These IGNITE graduates are on fire

As 20 new start-up founders enter the IGNITE programme at UCC, four students have received scholarships for their achievements in innovation and entrepreneurship

The IGNITE programme at University College Cork (UCC), which nurtures start-ups from idea stage to commercial reality, recently held its Awards and Showcase in The Hub, UCC.

IGNITE is delivered by University College Cork and supported by Bank of Ireland, the Local Enterprise Offices of Cork City, South Cork and North and West Cork, Cork City Council and Cork County Council. 

“We are working towards a flexible programme that provides start-ups with the support they need when they need it”

20 start-up founders were introduced at the event last night (Tues) with backgrounds in science, engineering, business and the arts, working on ideas in areas such as renewable energy, the circular economy, health and wellbeing and business services including four shortlisted start-up founders who pitched their business ideas to the audience of entrepreneurs, business owners and investors.

Into the inferno

“The 20 start-up founders we are working with are demonstrating that hard work and dedication can ensure that a good idea can be developed into a great business with the right support,” said IGNITE director Eamon Curtin.

“Congratulations to the four start-ups progressing from the programme at this time. We are working towards a flexible programme that provides start-ups with the support they need when they need it. And we continue to invest in development of the programme to meet the emerging needs of our start-up founders.”

Pitch perfect

This year’s event also featured UCC’s four students who have received QUERCUS scholarships for their achievements in innovation and entrepreneurship.

The four IGNITE start-ups that pitched for the awards are Nternz, a professional social network platform designed to allow students to discover and connect with careers and companies and build their professional work experience, RecruitRoo providing companies with access to global talent by building technology solutions that reduce friction of screening, migration and onboarding, FemToFire is building a technology platform to help assess and locate fire risks within forests and SimpleScents is Ireland’s first ever fragrance subscription service.

The awards were determined by an adjudication panel of Mark Knowles of Bank of Ireland, entrepreneur Kate Hyde of Glencove Ltd and investment advisor Ted Foley of CorkBIC.

The overall Bank of Ireland Best Business Award Winner was Paddy O’Toole from Nternz and the Best Business Plan Award Winner was Stephen MacCarthy from RecruitRoo. Louis Walsh, founder of FemToFire was the winner of the Best Pitch.

“We at Bank of Ireland are honoured to be part of the fantastic IGNITE programme this year,” said Mark Knowles, manager with Bank of Ireland.

“The founders have inspired us with their ideas and we wish the IGNITE programme every success in the future as it continues to support our budding entrepreneurs of the future.”

Main image at top (left to right): Stephen MacCarthy, co-founder of RecruitRoo, Patrick O’Toole, founder of Nternz; Louis Walsh, founder of FemToFire; and Niall Brennan, founder of SimpleScents

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