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IGNITE is Now Open for Applications

5 Jul 2021

Friday 20 Aug 2021 is the closing date for applications for the next intake of participants for the 16th IGNITE programme which gets underway in September.

The twelve month business innovation programme at University College Cork, that nurtures, develops and strengthens entrepreneurial potential, is inviting applications from recent graduates from any discipline, from any third level institution with a viable business idea with potential for economic, environmental or social impact. Apply here.

IGNITE is an international award winning start-up programme supporting recent graduate entrepreneurs turn good ideas into scalable businesses.

10 reasons you should start your business with IGNITE:

  1. We select just 10 businesses for each IGNITE programme to ensure that founders get the support they need when they need it.

  2. Our supports include practical workshops and seminars in areas such as business model innovation, marketing, sales, finance, law, taxation and investment.

  3. And we help develop and fine tune personal business skills such as pitching and presenting, networking and relationship building.

  4. We have an extensive network of entrepreneurs, business owners and industry executives available to offer advice and guidance on a one-to-one basis as required.

  5. And we have regular guest entrepreneur speakers who share their stories in small group sessions.

  6. All our founders have access to a shared workspace in the Western Gateway Building at University College Cork and can access many of our supports online.

  7. And they benefit from the support of UCC’s research, commercialisation and academic expertise.

  8. Founders enjoy free membership of Cork Chamber and IT@Cork.

  9. We provide early seed funding for each start-up

  10. And we do not take an equity stake in your company.

IGNITE has been in existence since 2011 and we have worked with almost 130 start-ups, including:

  • Conor Lyden, founder of Trustap. Trustap is a peer to peer escrow style payment platform. Conor completed a BE (Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering) in 2016 at University College Cork.“Without IGNITE and all of the people involved I simply would not have my own business”
  • Marion Cantillon, founder of Pitseal. Pitseal is an edible biofilm that replaces plastic sheeting in the silage process to reducing plastic waste and improve greenhouse gas emissions in farming. Marion completed a BSc Food Marketing and Entrepreneurship at University College Cork in 2020. “When I started IGNITE, all I had was an idea in my head; and now that I’m nearly finished, I have a product, a company and, most importantly, a clear plan for the future as well as a support network I can always count on. IGNITE helped me bring my product to life whilst providing me with the advice and guidance to navigate through any challenges that may arise.”
  • Dr Fiona Edwards-Murphy, co-founder of ApisProtect. The company uses Internet of Things (IoT) technology to monitor honey bee colonies. The company raised €1.5M in 2018 to deploy the system in the U.S and is currently monitoring 100 million honeybees worldwide. Fiona was recently listed on Forbes 30 under 30. Fiona completed a BE (Electrical and Electronic Engineering) at University College Cork and a PhD with the Embedded Systems group in Electrical and Electronic Engineering and the School of Biological, Earth, and Environmental Sciences (BEES) at University College Cork. “IGNITE really helped me to develop my pitching skills, I’ve gone from afraid to stand up and talk in front of a single person to pitching to over 400 people”

To find out more about our IGNITE Alumni, click here.

Eamon Curtin, Director IGNITE said “We want to work with ambitious founders who have identified a business opportunity with potential to scale. Successful applicants will have access to an extensive team of mentors, advisors and industry partners, share a workspace in UCC’s Western Gateway Building, benefit from regular workshops and guest speakers and receive seed funding..”

The programme is supported by UCC, Bank of Ireland, Cork City Council, Cork County Council and the Local Enterprise Offices in Cork City and County.

On Wed 30 June, we hosted a “Discover How IGNITE Can Help You Start Your Business” webinar for anyone interested in finding out more about IGNITE, during the session:

  • Eamon Curtin, IGNITE Programme Director, introduced the programme and explained how it works and answered questions
  • William Nolan, founder Addaptiv and Marion Cantillon, founder Pitseal, both IGNITE Alumnus, provided advice on how to make the most of the programme
  • Michelle Dorgan, IGNITE Programme Manager, explained the application process.

Click here to watch the recording.

The closing date for applications is Friday 20 August at 23.00 - you can submit your application HERE.

For more information or if you want to meet the team and have a chat before submitting an application, email the Programme Manager

For FAQ, visit: Frequently Asked Questions


Clár Gnó Iarchéime IGNITE

Western Gateway Building, University College Cork