Updated 24 June 2020. Due to the situation across Europe, it looks like a few of these may not happen this year. Hopefully they will return in 2021.
I was prompted to create a post containing Irish business competitions to win investment after the success of my Irish Technology and Irish Business awards article. There can be a fine line between accelerator programmes and competitions, so I’m sticking purely with competitions and as usual it’s a B2B focus.
Of course the ultimate for those with nerves of steel is Dragon’s Den where you can win up to €250k worth of investment. But don’t mix up your numbers or they’re out! Hard to find anything online for the 2018 series and applications usually have to be in around now so I’m not sure if it’s happening this year. (Yes, those being aired now are all repeats.)
- InterTrade Ireland Seedcorn – November. Cash prize: €100,000
- Web Summit PITCH – Held normally in November but online in December 2020. Prize varies each year. Could be cash or VC funding, but don’t know as yet if it’s happening this year.
- Ireland Funds Business Plan Competition. The 2020 version was on 23 June. Keep an eye out to see if it will run again in 2021. Cash prizes total €16,000 with entries needing to be submitted by mid April.
- The NDRC has a “Lift-off” competition for companies that have graduated the recent NDRC accelerator programme where proposals are pitched to the investment community. As far as I can tell the first place value is €30,000. NDRC has a number of different programmes (more accelerator programmes than actual competitions) including Autumn Investor Day supported by Bank of Ireland so contact them directly via www.ndrc.ie.
- Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur – This is organised by the 31 Local Enterprise Offices (LEO). The county prize winner gets €15,000 with the regional prize being €20,000 and overall national winner another €20,000. This totals a fabulous €55,000 for the winner with runner up prizes also. (One of my mentees was in the 2018 final.)
- upSTART €5k cash prize + mentoring + 1 year co-working space + legal advice. Applications opened 10th April. It’s not entirely clear when they close, but pitch dates are 19-20 June 2018.
- UCD VentureLaunch accelerator programme showcase and awards. Winner will receive incubation space at NovaUCD, and competing start-ups are hoping to secure funding to take their companies to the next stage. Learn more.
I suspect there are more, so please do send me details of any Irish business competitions to win investment. You may sponsor one, have entered one or simply just know about one.
First published 2 February 2018