The Ireland Funds, in partnership with NDRC, launches The Business Plan Competition 2018

7th March, 2018 : Ireland

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Photo: Paul Allen, Aurius and Caitriona Fotrell, The Ireland Funds –

The Ireland Funds in partnership with NDRC

Early-stage technology entrepreneurs invited to enter The Business Plan Competition for chance to win up to €10,000

The Ireland Funds launches its annual competition, in partnership with NDRC

The Ireland Funds, in partnership with NDRC, launches The Business Plan Competition 2018, offering early-stage technology entrepreneurs €16,000 in funding and mentoring to kick-start their new business ideas.

Now in its seventh year, the competition seeks to nurture creativity and hone entrepreneurial skills amongst early-stage technology entrepreneurs and is open for entries until noon on April 25th, 2018. Students and recent graduates from the island of Ireland are invited to submit technology proposals that are at pre-investment stage.

Ten business ideas will then be shortlisted and will be invited to participate in four pre-acceleration workshops, bringing their business ideas from concept to pitch, receiving mentoring and feedback throughout the process. There will be a final pitching event and three prizes will be awarded. The winner will have the opportunity to pitch for a place on one of NDRC’s investment programmes as well as securing a €10,000 cash prize. Second place will receive a €5,000 cash prize and third place will receive prize money of €1,000.

The Business Plan Competition founder Bill McKiernan, President at WSM Capital, LLC, founder of CyberSource and Board Director of The Ireland Funds America says: “Ireland boasts a thriving start up scene, with initiatives popping up across the country. The Business Plan Competition aims to hone entrepreneurial skills amongst budding young entrepreneurs, who play a crucial role in developing local industries, attracting investors and creating jobs in Ireland.”

Gary Leyden, Commercial Director, NDRC says: “NDRC is always looking for ways to enhance the level of digital entrepreneurship in Ireland, with The Ireland Funds Business Plan Competition offering a perfect opportunity to do just that. A competition like this is a great way to start stimulating those individuals and teams who may have a good idea but are not sure how to proceed.”

Last year’s winner was early-stage startup Aurius, a company that offers affordable, high-quality hearing aids that are paired with a phone or tablet app, allowing users to tune the device at home. Since winning last year’s Business Plan Competition they are now ready to go to market.

Aurius CEO Paul Allen says: “The mentoring and support we received as part of The Business Plan Competition helped us realise that, although we had an excellent product, there is more to a startup than what it sells. As a result, over the past 9 months, we’ve shifted our focus towards marketing and the expansion of our team and now have 4,000 devices pre-ordered which we are aiming to ship later this year.”

More information

Connect online: #IrelandFundsBPC

Hannah Brogan
The Ireland Funds
25 St Stephen’s Green, 2nd Floor Dublin 2 Ireland
T – +353-1-662-7878

About The Ireland Funds

The Ireland Funds’ mission is to harness the power of a global philanthropic network of friends of Ireland to promote and support peace, culture, education and community development across the island of Ireland and among Irish communities around the world.. For further information visit:

About NDRC

NDRC sources and builds digital companies to invest in. NDRC has a mandate from the State (Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment) to make commercial investments in early stage startups, ensuring digital entrepreneurship is a vibrant and growing part of the economy. Visit: