Ireland’s next generation of entrepreneurs welcomed for 2024 competition

After the success of last year’s programme, IDEATE Ireland is returning for 2024. The initiative uncovers and empowers Ireland’s next generation of entrepreneurs, helping to turn their brilliant ideas into thriving international businesses.

Irish entrepreneurs wanted for 2024 competition

IDEATE Ireland is now seeking applications for its 2024 competition, where candidates can develop their business ideas through mentoring and workshops, apply for start-up support and pitch for cash funding. Applications open on Wednesday, 14th February and will be accepted until midnight on Tuesday, 19 March. Last year’s winners were Array Patch founded by Dr. Waleed Faisal, Dr Ziad Sartawi and Dr Caroline Blackshields of University College Cork.

ArrayPatch is a propriety wearable microneedle patch (MN) that treats local diseases. First runner-up was LEP Biomedical, led by Dr. Alan Hibbitts, Dr. Golestan Salimbeigi, and Dr. Tauseef Ahmad of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, who are on a mission to transform glaucoma surgeries.

As great ideas can come from anyone and anywhere, IDEATE Ireland is open to undergraduate, postgraduate or research students from any academic institution or research centre on the island of Ireland. The ten best submissions will be invited to participate in a 10-week mentoring and support programme and compete for a €20k prize fund.

“Last year’s cohort of IDEATE showed us yet again the extraordinary potential that entrepreneurs in this country have”, said Helen Fullen. “We’re looking forward to finding and working with this year’s participants and to continue inspiring future business leaders through the competition. We believe ideas can change the world; that’s why we’re just as excited and ambitious about our entrepreneurs’ projects as they are. Through IDEATE Ireland, entrepreneurs are provided expert guidance and support in a focused, motivational, and hands-on environment, making it an invaluable and rewarding experience.”

“We’re looking forward to writing the next chapter of Ireland’s leading third-level start-up competition with IDEATE Ireland”, added Chairman of IDEATE Ireland David Moffitt. “The competition’s success over the past 12 years highlights the importance of providing entrepreneurs across the island of Ireland with education, mentorship, and a robust business network. Our mission is to capture the imagination of Ireland’s brightest minds, enabling and empowering them to make a lasting contribution to the global economy, employment, and society.

We have a deep bench of alumni who are ready and willing to engage with the next generation of Irish entrepreneurs, offering them support and feedback; it’s also great to have the support of Key Capital and PwC Ireland as pillar sponsors for this year’s competition. We’re determined to sustain and grow this network to ensure IDEATE Ireland continues to be the best start entrepreneurs can get on the island of Ireland.”

Conor Killeen, Chairman of Key Capital, is looking forward to supporting entrepreneurs throughout the competition: “Our goal is to develop commercial know-how and allow the entrepreneurs to engage with like-minded people so that their business can have a global impact. Entrepreneurs can speed up their learning through exposure to the best in the business.”

Adding to this, Doone O’Doherty, People Partner at PwC Ireland, said: “IDEATE Ireland offers a tremendous platform to nurture emerging entrepreneurial talent. We look forward to exploring the diverse ideas being developed by entrepreneurs nationwide and offering them structured guidance to help their businesses thrive.”

This year’s IDEATE Ireland sponsors are PwC, Key Capital, Guinness Enterprise Centre, Each & Other, and Ormeau Baths.


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