Bank of Ireland launches new national Accelerator Programme

Bank of Ireland launches new national Accelerator Programme

Pictured at the launch of the Bank of Ireland Accelerator Programme in Penrose Wharf, Cork City are Gerry Prizeman, Head of Enterprise Development, Bank of Ireland, Bill Liao, programme founder and David Merriman, Regional Manager, South West, Bank of Ireland. 

Bank of Ireland today, Wednesday, 28 May 2014, announced the launch of the “Bank of Ireland Accelerator Programme” for start-up SMEs and talented entrepreneurs across all business sectors.

This national programme offers up to ten Start-Ups an opportunity to join this unique initiative in what is a highly intensive three month journey of discovery commencing September 2014. During this time, participants will receive the input and guidance of some of Ireland and Europe’s leading mentors and coaches from a network including Bill Liao and Sean O’Sullivan of SOS Ventures as well as Gavin Duffy of Dragon’s Den. The sole objective is to help develop and support viable, revenue positive, self-sustaining, high potential start-ups, whilst also creating opportunities for jobs, investment and expansion. The Bank of Ireland Accelerator Programme will be based at Penrose Wharf in the heart of Cork City.

Bank of Ireland is providing the funding for this programme and is excited about supporting what will be a truly dynamic and intense development opportunity for those selected to participate.

Commenting on the programme Gerry Prizeman, Head of Enterprise Development at Bank of Ireland said, “We are delighted to launch the Bank’s first Accelerator Programme. As we strive to become Ireland’s ‘Enterprise Bank’ we continue to expand on the different ways we can support SMEs and start-up companies. This Accelerator Programme is a fantastic platform for young companies to participate in to help grow and develop their business. It seeks to attract those entrepreneurs with the passion, energy and commitment to succeed and the entrepreneurial talent to make it happen.”

“Companies taking part in the programme will also receive €10,000 in seed funding and will have the full use of the Bank of Ireland Accelerator Programme office and all its resources, said Gerry Prizeman, ”The company running the programme on our behalf, StartPlanet Ltd,is a not for profit organisation and their focus and objective is solely on helping to develop entrepreneurs and early stage ventures.”

This collaboration involves well known international entrepreneur and programme founder Bill Liao, with the support and expertise of Cork Business Innovation Centre’s Michael O’Connor and Gerry Donovan, along with Programme Manager Wayne Murphy.

Bill Liao said “We are unique in our approach in that we intend to adopt a “Founders’ Co-op” model which again reinforces the total commitment and focus on the participants and support of the start-up eco-system. This innovative model involves those accepted on to the programme investing 3% of their equity in return for shares in a fund formed for the benefit of and to be shared by the start-ups themselves. Should any of the start-ups enjoy a future successful exit, all company founders will share in that success”.

“The Bank of Ireland Accelerator Programme is an incredible opportunity for all young companies in Ireland and abroad to participate in a highly focussed initiative designed to fast track young companies to success,” said Bill Liao, “I have been involved in supporting entrepreneurs for many years and know how important it is to get the right support when you are starting out. I am genuinely excited about this enterprise initiative with Bank of Ireland and what we will create. The possibilities are truly endless.”

To find out more or to apply for the “Bank of Ireland Accelerator Programme” visit the dedicated website at