Bank of Ireland Startup Awards 2014 launched

Bank of Ireland Startup Awards 2014 launched

Bank of Ireland today, Thursday, June 19th 2014, launched the Bank of Ireland Startup Awards 2014 at an event in its Enterprise Lounge on Grafton Street in Dublin. This is the first year the Bank is sponsoring the awards which are open to startup companies across Ireland. The awards launch was attended by Damien English, TD and Chairperson of the Oireachtas Joint Committee for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and leading Irish entrepreneur, Dragon’s Den and Startup Awards judge Gavin Duffy.

The awards recognise and reward Irish startups for their success in business both at home and abroad across a range of sectors including digital, food and drink, retail, social enterprise and export businesses.  Last year’s winner of the grand prix award was Allogen Biotech with the Irish Handmade Soap Company winning in 2012 showing the variety of companies taking part in the awards.

This year startup companies can enter the awards on their own behalf or can be nominated by a friend or colleague. Also new to the awards this year are regional finals which will take place across Dublin, the rest of Leinster, Munster and Connacht/Ulster.  Regional winners will be shortlisted for the national final taking place in autumn 2014 in Dublin.

Speaking about the awards Gerry Prizeman, Head of Enterprise Development at Bank of Ireland said “We are delighted to come on board as sponsors of the Startup Awards. It is a unique event which recognises and rewards startups for their hard work and success. Entrepreneurs’ opening their own businesses in Ireland is vital for the continued recovery of the Irish economy”.

“At Bank of Ireland we want to be Ireland’s Enterprise Bank and by so doing we are here to support startups and SMEs with their business needs. Last year alone over 16,000 startups opened accounts with us. We have a number of supports in place to help startups and SMEs aside from financial advice; we also host social media clinics and sectorial seminars and programmes. I am looking forward to seeing the entries for this year’s awards and know they will highlight the fantastic success and work from some of Ireland’s best and brightest entrepreneurs. ” added Gerry.

Commenting, Damien English, TD and Chairperson of the Oireachtas Joint Committee for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation said “I am delighted to attend the launch of the Startup Awards for 2014. Startups are vitally important for Ireland’s continued economic development. It is important that we support startup companies for the contribution and employment they bring to the economy. It is also encouraging to see that there is such support in the business community for startup companies and SMEs. I know that Bank of Ireland has a number of initiatives and programmes in place to support startups and SMEs. I encourage all startups to enter the awards and wish everyone taking part continued success for their businesses and in the awards”.

Stephen Dillon, Founder of added “I am looking forward to this year’s awards and am delighted that Bank of Ireland has come on board as the sponsors. The Awards are a fantastic avenue for companies to showcase their businesses. Last year we received a high volume of entries and met some inspirational entrepreneurs and I know that this year with the increase in the number of startups in Ireland that the competition will be very steep. I wish everyone taking part the very best of luck”.

To enter or nominate someone for a Startup Award visit . Entry into the awards is free and is open to sole traders, partnerships and Irish companies in business for three years or less with up to 30 employees.  The awards judging committee will comprise of representatives from  Bank of Ireland, local enterprise offices and regional leading Irish entrepreneurs.

The closing date for entries into the awards is Friday, 15th August and regional finals will take place in September with the national gala final taking place in Dublin in October.  Further information on the awards will also be available via the Bank of Ireland Twitter account @BOIbusiness and a dedicated hashtag has been created for the event #boistartupawards.