IGNITE graduates Stephen MacCarthy, Co-Founder of RecruitRoo; Niall Brennan, Founder of SimpleScents; Louis Walsh, Founder of FEMTOFIRE and Patrick O’Toole, Founder of nternz.
Photo Joleen Cronin
24 graduate and student start-up founders were introduced at the IGNITE Awards and Showcase at University College Cork
The IGNITE programme at University College Cork (UCC), which nurtures start-ups from idea stage to commercial reality, held its Awards and Showcase in The Hub, UCC.
Twenty 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.
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 winners on the night were:
Overall Bank of Ireland Best Business Award Winner: Paddy O’Toole – nternz
Best Business Plan Award Winner: Stephen MacCarthy – RecruitRoo
Louis Walsh, Founder of FEMTOFIRE – winner of Best Pitch
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.
IGNITE Director Eamon Curtin said: “It is great pleasure to be here again this evening to celebrate start-ups at University College Cork. 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. 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.”
Mark Knowles, Manager with Bank of Ireland said: “We at Bank of Ireland are honoured to be part of the fantastic IGNITE programme this year. 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.”