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It’s all about being innovative

START-UP companies seeking incubation facilities and enterprise support to allow grow from business idea stage to commercialisation can apply to join the 2013 Ennis Innovate Programme.

Facilitated by the Ennis Innovate Regional Innovation Centre, the programme supports and guides companies through the start-up process and provides them with introductions and linkages to various support bodies in the West of Ireland.

Based in Shannon Development’s Information Age Park in Ennis, the centre is funded by NUI Galway, University of Limerick, Shannon Development, Clare County Council and Ennis Town Council and supported by partners Enterprise Ireland, Clare Local Development Company, Clare County Enterprise Board.

“The aim of the centre is to provide practical support to entrepreneurs as they navigate the start-up path and provide them with introductions and linkages to relevant support bodies and processes, ultimately improving their chances of success,” Gert O’Rourke, director of Ennis Innovate said.

“Applicants to our programme should ideally have a number of years’ industry experience and have the enthusiasm and drive necessary to develop and grow a successful business. If you’re looking for practical help and linkages to help your business grow, then this programme is for you,” added Ms O’Rourke, who has over 20 years experience in the micro-enterprise and SME sector.

The Ennis Innovate Regional Innovation Centre, which was officially opened in early 2012 by Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton, has already supported a number of businesses in the region through its Ennis Innovate Programme, including Empress Cosmetics, Fraysen Systems, Golf Voyager, Greenieland and Egan Concepts.

Trazoo, a website business that aims to take the effort out of planning and booking a group trip in Ireland, has also expanded rapidly as a result of its participation in the programme and recently won the Enterprise Ireland New Frontiers award in GMIT worth €10,000 sponsored by KPMG. Pádraig Neylon, who co-runs the business with his uncle Joe, said, “The Ennis Innovate Programme proved to be a real catalyst for Trazoo in terms of developing our product. Participating on the programme gave us access to industry, marketing and sales professionals and other entrepreneurs, with whom we could discuss issues facing our business. Ennis Innovate also gave us a sound platform from which to engage with the likes of Enterprise Ireland programmes like New Frontiers, of which we have been a part of since last July. It’s a great facility to have in Clare and I would highly recommend anyone with a new business idea to apply to get on the programme.”

A number of applicants have already been accepted on to the programme and there are a limited number of places remaining. Interested applicants should visit www.ennisinnovate.ie  or email gert@ennisinnovate.ie.


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