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Under 35? Looking for funding and mentoring? This competition could be for you

The Ireland Funds, in partnership with NDRC, has launched the ‘Business Plan Competition 2017’ (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

The Ireland Funds, in partnership with NDRC, has launched the ‘Business Plan Competition 2017’, offering funding and mentoring to emerging young entrepreneurs under the age of 35.

Students and recent graduates from Ireland are invited to submit technology proposals for the competition that are at pre-investment stage.

Up to 10 individuals or teams will then be selected to take part in three days of workshops, bringing their business ideas from concept to pitch, receiving mentoring and feedback throughout the process.

There will be a final pitching event and three prizes will be awarded. The winner will receive a €10k cash prize and the opportunity to pitch for a place on an NDRC investment program.

There will also be a €5k prize for finishing second, while the person or team which finishes third will receive prize money of €1k.

The competition aims to nurture creativity and hone entrepreneurial skills amongst emerging and early stage entrepreneurs.

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“The Business Plan Competition aims to hone skills amongst budding young entrepreneurs, who play a crucial role in developing local industries, attracting investors and creating jobs in Ireland,” Bill McKiernan, president at WSM Capital, LLC and founder of CyberSource, said.

The competition has led to considerable success for a number of the previous entrants, with the 2016 winners, Sothic BioScience, travelling around Europe meeting investors over the past 12 months.

They are currently submitting a proposal for Horizon 2020 SME instrument funding.

Meanwhile the 2016 second runners up, GlowDx, are working towards their 2019 launch in Latin America. Their goal is to revolutionise how infectious diseases are treated in developing countries, with modern molecular diagnostics.

“Growing a culture of digital entrepreneurship is a key goal of NDRC and a competition like this is a great way to start stimulating those individuals and teams who may have a good idea but are not sure of its potential.” Gary Leyden, commercial director at NDRC, said.

The competition, which is now in its sixth year, is open for entries until June 13.

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