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Start-up journeys fired up for Dublin Castle showcase


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While it sometimes feels like a solitary activity, founders should be assured they are not alone, as Enterprise Ireland is committed to supporting entrepreneurs from the very beginning of this journey – and has a number of programmes and supports to help Irish businesses at this pivotal stage.

That’s why the start-up journey is the focus of this year’s Enterprise Ireland Start-up Showcase event, which is happening this Tuesday in Dublin Castle.

Enterprise Ireland is committed to assisting Irish companies to achieve their global ambition

From the earliest-stage entrepreneurs to seasoned business leaders, the start-up community will have an opportunity to share lessons learned, hear from others about their experiences, and learn how best to forge new ­connections at this day-long ­invitation-only event.

It’s the largest annual event on Ireland’s start-up calendar, with 600 people set to attend.

The audience this year will include start-up founders, scaling entrepreneurs, venture capital firms and angel investors, technology- transfer professionals, multinational executives, representatives from Enterprise Ireland and the Local Enterprise Offices, the network of business innovation centres and other key ecosystem stakeholders.

Putting a focus on the global expansion process will be keynote speaker Dr Mark Barrett, co-founder of pharma research company APC, which also has operations in the US.

He will share insights from APC’s growth path, which includes the €100m expansion the company announced earlier this year, together with its sister company, VLC.

The day will also include pitches from researchers hoping to commercialise their work

The event will also include two panel discussions. The first will discuss the power of ­networking – with leading entrepreneurs offering tips on how to get stuck in and improve at a skill that comes naturally to few people.

Those sharing their experience will be Sinéad Crowther, CEO of Soothing Solutions; Barry Lunn, CEO of Provizio; Ciarán Crean, co-founder of Micksgarage.ie; and Sarah Jane Larkin, director general of the Irish Venture Capital Association.

The second panel will focus on what it takes to scale a business, and will hear from Rory O’Connor, CEO of Scurri; Orlaith Ryan, CTO of Shorla Oncology; and Bobby Healy, CEO of Manna.

They’ll also be joined by Dr Helen McBreen, partner at equity investors Atlantic Bridge, giving the VC perspective on what they look for in a young business.

Alongside networking opportunities, the event will also include pitches from researchers hoping to commercialise their work as part of the Big Ideas programme.

The day will also celebrate Enterprise Ireland’s ‘Class of 2023’, which includes firms funded by the Pre-Seed Start Fund, and others who received High Potential Start-Up (HPSU) funding.

Early-stage entrepreneurs who have completed the third stage of Enterprise Ireland’s New Frontiers programme will also join in.

New Frontiers is often the first stage of support extended to would-be founders. The innovators who come through this programme with their new business up and running can then go on to graduate through further stages of support and funding, such as PSSF and HPSU.

Enterprise Ireland is committed to assisting Irish companies to achieve their global ambition and provides a range of comprehensive supports for innovative entrepreneurs at every moment of their start-up journey.

Anna-Marie Turley is department manager of entrepreneurship and HPSUs at Enterprise Ireland

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