Calling all Galway startups — Bank of Ireland launches Startup Awards 2016

Pictured at the launch of the 2016 Bank of Ireland Startup awards are David Merriman, Head of Enterprise Development at Bank of Ireland; and Stephen Dillion, Founder of the Startup Awards.

Pictured at the launch of the 2016 Bank of Ireland Startup awards are David Merriman, Head of Enterprise Development at Bank of Ireland; and Stephen Dillion, Founder of the Startup Awards.

Bank of Ireland this week launched the Bank of Ireland Startup Awards 2016 — The competition, now in its fifth year, recognises and rewards Irish startups for their success in business across 12 categories including digital, food and drink, retail and technology. The awards were formally launched by Startup Awards Judge and successful entrepreneur Gavin Duffy.

Open to companies and organisations across all sectors, awareness for the Startup Awards continues to grow annually, with almost 650 entries received in 2015. The awards attract an exciting and diverse range of nominees, with categories such as the ‘Startup Hero Award’, won by BizWorld Ireland which delivers entrepreneurship workshops to primary schools.

Two new categories have also been added for 2016 which will see an Award being given for best Emerging Startup aimed at companies in existence for 18 months or less, and best Sustainable Startup which will recognise a startup that has developed their model and strategy in a sustainable fashion.

Companies can enter the awards on their own behalf or can be nominated by a friend or colleague. Entries are judged in their respective region, which includes Dublin, the rest of Leinster, Munster and Connacht/Ulster. Regional finalists are then shortlisted for the national final which takes place in Dublin in May. The competition is open to Bank of Ireland customers and non-Bank of Ireland customers.

Speaking at the awards launch, David Merriman, Bank of Ireland’s Head of Enterprise Development said “We are delighted to again sponsor the Startup Awards in 2016. The awards recognise the immense contribution that Ireland’s innovators and entrepreneurs make to the economy as well as offering them the opportunity to promote their company on a national and international stage.

“As Ireland’s leading Bank for business, we have a range of supports and initiatives to help people start, grow and develop their business. Both financial and non-financial assistance is important when setting up a new business and at Bank of Ireland we offer a broad range of supports. Our Enterprise Lounge in Grafton Street in Dublin offers new and developing businesses meeting space free of charge whilst branches at Grand Canal Square in Dublin and Mainguard Street, Galway, provide free co-working space at their workbenches, allowing like-minded people to connect and create new opportunities. I look forward to reviewing the entries which will showcase the success, hard work and dedication of Ireland’s entrepreneurs,” concluded David Merriman.

Stephen Dillion, Founder of Startups Ireland said “Starting a new business takes a huge amount of courage and hard work. The first few years can be really challenging and the Startup Awards are here to support entrepreneurs who are investing so much of themselves to build businesses that will ultimately create employment and benefit the broader economy.

“Each year we receive feedback from entrants that the awards were instrumental in supporting their business by providing additional credibility, boosting morale and by opening new doors with the exposure received. With the Startup Awards we are proud to play our part in supporting entrepreneurship in Ireland.”

To enter or nominate someone for a Startup Award visit: www.startupawards.ie Entry into the awards is free and is open to sole traders, partnerships and companies that have been set up in Ireland that are in business for three years or less with up to 30 employees. The awards judging committee will comprise representatives from Bank of Ireland, Startups Ireland and leading Irish entrepreneurs.

The closing date for entries into the awards is Thursday, March 31, the regional finals will take place during April with the national gala final taking place in Dublin on Thursday, May 26. 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.

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