We’ve said it before but we’ll say it again: Ireland is one of the most exciting countries for tech entrepreneurs and one of the strongest for BizSpark www.microsoft.com/BizSpark/, our programme to help early stage start-ups by providing them with software and support.
Microsoft programme to help start-ups access funding comes to Ireland
Ireland's not just hot for start-ups, but also for network partners too, including Enterprise Ireland http://www.enterprise-ireland.com/
and the local angel investor network HBAN http://www.hban.org/
. And now, we’ve launched a new European Union Grants Advisor (EUGA) http://www.microsoft.com/EMEA/EUGA/programme
in the country, to help to connect the local SME community to potential funding from the EU to help it to achieve its incredible potential.
The launch of EUGA in Ireland was one of the highlights of an event that Microsoft Ireland organized. They put together an impressive agenda that brought together 180 BizSpark companies to talk about entrepreneurship in Ireland, how to attract investors and how to export products outside of Ireland. There was also a ‘pitch slam’ event during which about a dozen companies had the chance to present themselves, with a chance to win funding and publicity for the next year.
But back to EUGA in Ireland. We’re delighted to be partnering with grant agency Affect Networks and Enterprise Ireland to roll out EUGA nationwide. So exactly what’s involved? Well, EUGA is a natural extension of the work Network Partners are already doing with local SMEs, such as helping them to finalise their business plans.
After completing an online questionnaire that’s aimed at gauging the likeliness of a successful application process, each company is invited to meet with a EUGA consultant and if everyone is agreed, start the application process.
It’s early days for EUGA in Ireland, but I’m pleased to say that the announcement of the programme was met with great enthusiasm from the audience. We’ve already got many meetings with individual Irish companies lined up, so watch this space for further news in the coming months!