b'FOUN DEDBYSAN FRANCISCO BASED IRELAND FUNDS AMERICA BOARD DIRECTOR, BILL MCKIERNAN OF WSM CAPITAL, LLC, THE BUSINESS PLAN COMPETITION FINALISTS HAVE A CHANCE TO WIN CASH PRIZES AS WELL AS ADDITIONAL SUPPORTS AND MENTORSHIP.TheIrelandFundsBusinessPlanCompetitionA FIRST: REMOTE COMPETITION inpartnershipwithIrelandsNationalDigitalDuetogovernmentrestrictionssurroundingthe ResearchCentre (NDRC) proves that entrepreneur- COVID-19pandemic,the2020BusinessPlan ship is ourishing on the island of Ireland, said BillCompetitionwasdeliveredentirelyremotelyby McKiernan.ThebusinessplanspresentedthisTheIrelandFundsandNDRC.Thecompetition yearillustratethatyoungpeopleinIrelandandoeredtenweeksofrigorous,virtualworkshops Northern Ireland are solving complex societal andand mentorship to the shortlisted teams to develop business problems with innovation, creativity, andapathwaytowardsbuildingaviabletechnology perseverance. It is very gratifying to see the energyventure.and intellectual horsepower these young people areOn23June2020,nineteamstookpartin THEIRELANDFUNDSBUSINESSdedicating to solving problems. TheIrelandFundsBusinessPlanCompetition In 2017, The Ireland Funds partnered with NDRCshowcase via Zoom where they pitched their ideas PLANCOMPETITIONPROVIDEDto deliver the Business Plan Competition. Celebrat- andeldedquestionsfromthepanelofstellar ing twelve years of investing in digital companiesjudges:BillMcKiernan,PresidentofWSM AN INVALUABLE OPPORTUNITY TOand start-up teams, to date, NDRC has worked withCapital LLC and Chair; Ronan Devins, Head of IT over 286 companies, which have raised 250m inatSt.PatricksMentalHealthServices;Shay SHARPENOURBUSINESSMODELfollow-on investment funding. Garvey,FoundingPartnerofFrontlineVentures; Since2017,TheIrelandFundsBusinessPlanHarryHartford,PresidentofCausewayCapital AND FOCUS ON ADDING VALUE TOCompetition ventures have gone on to raise moreManagementLLC;BenHurley,CEOofNDRC; OUR TARGET MARKET. than 6.2m in pre-seed investment. These includeAngelaMoore,ManagingDirectorofRavensdale EnterpriseIrelandCompetitiveStartfunding,Capital LLC; and Gareth Quinn, COO of Kairos. Lewis Twaddle Loane of Signal Optimser Enterprise Ireland Commercialisation grants, NewMore than 65 people from around the globe joined Frontiersprogrammes,LocalEnterpriseOcethe two-and-a-half-hour program online.grantsandprivatesources.Severaloftheteams continuetobootstraptheirventures,gaining good customer traction and generating signicant recurring revenues. connect 202045'