The Entrepreneur Experience 2018

The Cork BIC Entrepreneur Experience took place over 24 hours in Ballymaloe, Co. Cork on Tuesday 15th and Wednesday 16th of May 2018. The experience offered 24 of Ireland’s most promising, emerging entrepreneurs advice and mentoring from 24 of Ireland’s most successful entrepreneurs.


The entrepreneurs who took part in the event fell into three distinct groups:

  • Early stage startups – entrepreneurs with a new idea, business plan and strategy roadmap but not yet ready for investment.
  • Entrepreneurs with an investor ready proposition.
  • Entrepreneurs with an established business that are looking to scale.

The 24-hour event gave a chance for these businesses to learn from people who have been there, done that and grown a successful business. This year’s seasoned entrepreneurs included Larry Bass, founder of ShinAwil, who said, ‘This event is the best event of its kind in the country – you get to share war stories with people who have all the same bruises you have’.

cork bic

Spending 24 hours with a successful mentor can transform an early-stage business. The budding founders left the Entrepreneur Experience feeling energised and motivated with a focused set of goals and practical advice on how to take their business further and for the seasoned entrepreneurs; this is an opportunity to give back.

Bank of Ireland is the proud lead sponsor of the Cork BIC Entrepreneur Experience. David Tighe, head of enterprise and innovation, at Bank of Ireland said, ‘I’ve never been at an event like this before. I’m totally blown away. This event is really focused on how people interact and connect together, how they talk to each other and support each other and how they were really willing to open up and have that conversation.’

The Entrepreneur Experience began in 2011. Since then, over 170 emerging entrepreneurs from over 10 countries have taken part. 80 seasoned entrepreneurs have also attended. The top 20 have an average turnover of €54m. €40.5m has been raised by 45 companies that have taken part in the event, and 41 Enterprise Ireland High Potential Startups (HPSUs) have also been approved.

What the participants say

‘An inspirational event and gained a lot of vital information on the current concerns of running a business.’ – Denis Ryan, Spectrum AV.

‘Unconventional, brutally honest but absolutely brilliant.’ – Callum Donnelly, ParrotScribe.

You can follow Cork BIC on twitter at @CorkBIC! #EntExp24

Article by Laura Mellett.