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Press Release

 

€25,000 value prize on offer for one lucky exhibitor at this year's Irish Innovation Showcase
Dragon's Den style 'Pitchcrawl' competition, with prize of seed funding/equity plus consultancy services, up for grabs

Companies exhibiting at the upcoming Irish Innovation Showcase in Limerick might walk away with a prize worth €25,000 from the first ever 'Pitchcrawl' competition staged at an Irish business showcase.

The 150 or so companies showcasing at event, which will be hosted by LIT at Dell Ireland on its Limerick campus on October 4th next, will be in with a chance of securing an equity/seed capital injection of €15,000 from LIT's Enterprise Ladder Fund, plus a range of consultancy services worth €10,000, in the 'Dragon's Den' type competition.

Dell is supporting the event, which is the high point of Limerick Enterprise boards Business Week, for the second year running. 

The 'Pitchcrawl' concept is modelled on a new method in the US for startup CEOs to network with investors in which they make an 'elevator pitch' at events/showcases of their ideas and concepts to investors.  The Irish Innovation Showcase Pitchcrawl will be the first of its kind here and is mainly geared towards start-ups and early stage companies.

Only companies who are showcasing at the event will be entitled to enter and can do so by filling out a form, which will ask them to set out why they should be considered for the prize, when booking a stand for the event.
Up to ten companies will be selected out of all the entries to pitch Dragon's Den style for three minutes in the morning session to a panel of judges.  The judges will be tasked with choosing a shortlist of three companies who will then receive some coaching from an expert before going on to pitch again, this time during the lunch-time recess and in front of members of the public, for the grand prize.

Announcing the competition, LIT Enterprise Development & Business Liaison Manager Gillian Barry said that the prize will be a significant boost for a startup or early stage company.  “Between the seed funding that will be available to the winner from our Enterprise Ladder Fund and the consultancy services that they will receive as part of the overall prize, this is a really attractive opportunity for startup or early stage companies and at a time when this type of funding and advice can make such a difference.

“We expect this to generate a lot of interest but companies will need to book their stand early to avoid disappointment as we already have a large number of stands taken and only companies exhibiting at the Showcase can enter.   This element of the Showcase will also create an additional buzz at the event, not least during the final, which will be open to the public.”

The €10,000 worth of consultancy services, in addition to the €15,000 in funding from LIT's ELF fund, in the overall prize will be provided by Holmes O'Malley Sexton Solicitors, Grant Thornton, The Discovery Partnership, Bridge PR and Kieran Clancy Photography.

The Pitch-Crawl is one of a number of additional elements added to this year's Showcase after the successes of the previous five events.   The event is now the largest enterprise showcase held annually in Ireland.
Over 150 companies will exhibit their products and services at the event, which will also include break-out sessions/seminars in the morning and evening on Funding for Small Business, Innovation and International Trade. 
Companies looking specifically to develop export/import trade with international markets will also  benefit from the addition of a unique new element to the Showcase involving foreign embassy representatives from some of Ireland's leading trade partners being present on stands to give insights into doing business in their countries.

The Innovation Showcase is open to all businesses, from start-ups to long established companies, across a range of sectors, from manufacturing to services.  They will be able to exhibit to an expected 3,000 strong attendance that will include investors, other businesses and general members of the public.  It will also be an ideal opportunity for budding entrepreneurs to examine the market for their emerging companies.

For further information, including booking stands for the Showcase email innovation@LIT.ie or visit the Irish Innovation Showcase website at www.irishinnovationshowcase.ie.

 

About LIT's Enterprise Ladder Fund

LIT's Enterprise Ladder Fund, launched earlier this year, is a unique, privately generated fund to support the early and developmental stage for start-up businesses in the Mid-West region.  The €1million 'Enterprise Ladder Fund' (ELF) is the first seed-fund specifically for start-up companies at an Irish Institute of Technology.  Qualifying companies can expect to receive funding of between €10,000 and to €25,000 through the newly established ELF.

The ELF will provide much needed early stage financial equity for start-up companies in LIT's existing enterprise centres.  The ELF will also be open to supporting start-up companies in the greater Limerick region.  The fund was instigated by the LIT Thought Leadership and Advisory Group as part of its ongoing endeavours to support entrepreneurship and stimulate job creation. LIT has already secured €350,000 of the targeted €1m through philanthropic contributions from donors around the region.  The remaining two-thirds of the fund will be secured by year-end through similar, tax-incentivised means. 

Donors who have already contributed to the ELF are Analog Devices, Grant Thornton, Holmes O'Malley Sexton, BDO, Limerick Chamber of Commerce, Ryan Group Holdings, The JP McManus Foundation and M2 Supplies.

 

Limerick Chamber line-up 16 embassies to give key insights into doing business abroad at LIT's Irish Innovation Showcase in Limerick

Four of Ireland's top five trading partners among the embassies attending LIT run event at Dell's Limerick Campus, October 4th

Businesses will have a unique opportunity to get key insights from some of the leading and emerging trade partners in Ireland's €92bn export market thanks to a unique Limerick Chamber initiative for this year's Irish Innovation Showcase, which will be held on Thursday next, October 4th at Dell Ireland's Limerick campus.

Dell is supporting the event, which is the high point of Limerick Enterprise boards Business Week, for the second year running. 

The 16 confirmed embassies will have a day-long presence at the Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT) run event held at Dell's Ireland's Limerick Campus as they provide key information for Irish exporters and, indeed, importers seeking to develop business with international markets.

Among the embassies will be four of Ireland's top five trading partners - the UK, Belgium, Germany and France - plus some key emerging markets like Malaysia, Mexico, Poland, Argentina and Ukraine.

Over the course of the day there will be an Embassy Row exhibit, with each of the embassies having representatives on stands, giving advice to companies seeking to develop business in these markets.   In addition to this, each embassy will also deliver separate talks at the Embassies' Speakers Corner - a dedicated zone at the showcase where representatives will give ten minute addresses on the key points of doing business in their countries.

The initiative is the first coming together of embassies in such a forum in Ireland and is one of the key elements of what is now the largest enterprise showcase held outside of Dublin.

Other exciting elements of the event include seminars on accessing funding (attended by banks, Venture Capitalists and Angel Investors), international trade and innovation and an opportunity for the exhibitors to win a €25,000 Dragon's Den style 'pitchcrawl' competition.

A limited number of stands are still available for the event but the Showcase is expected to book out in advance so companies seeking to attend are advised to book early.  For further information on booking, go to www.irishinnovationshowcase.ie.

Announcing the embassies' involvement in the event, Limerick Chamber President Gordon Kearney said:  “One of the biggest challenges for companies wanting to develop overseas trade is access to information and advice.  We are bringing that to their doorstep at Irish Innovation Showcase. 

“Each country differs greatly in terms of what's required to do business there and this is a one-off opportunity for businesses in this region to get the key insights and contacts they need to develop business into these exciting markets.  We will have 16 embassies, ranging from some of Ireland's leading markets to emerging markets, all ready to assist companies on the day.”

Complimenting Limerick Chamber on the initiative, LIT President Dr Maria Hinfelaar said: “Limerick Chamber is doing an outstanding service for business not just in Limerick but across the region by pulling this aspect of the Showcase together.   It's an opportunity not to be missed for start-up or emerging businesses as this is the first time they will be able to get access to so many embassies at once.

“Ireland, as we all know, is a really strong export nation and we are in a time of great entrepreneurship in this country so there is a greater need than ever for this type of information so that companies can develop trade in these markets.  We are delighted that Limerick Chamber has managed to secure the attendance of such an impressive list of embassies.”

Welcoming the announcement, Padraig Healy, Executive Director Global Supply Chain and Site Leader, Dell Limerick said: “Dell is delighted to once again partner with Limerick IT to host the Irish Innovation Showcase at our campus here in Limerick. It's great to see so much activity around the day and to have so many embassies lined up should be of great interest and value to those that attend on the day. Dell has a strong track record of supporting start-ups and small businesses so we look forward to meeting with small business owners and entrepreneurs on October 4th and hope that we can play some role in helping them to grow and develop successful businesses.”
The full list of embassies attending, and their speaking times at the event, is:

Argentina                                 
Belgium                                   
Czech Republic                                   
Ethiopia                                   
France                                     
Germany                                 
Lesotho                                   
Malaysia                                  
Malta                                      
Mexico                                                
Poland                                     
South Africa                            
Ukraine                                   
United Kingdom                      
Spain                                       
Latvia                                      

 

LIT ANNOUNCES DETAILS OF IRISH INNOVATION SHOWCASE AT DELL'S LIMERICK CAMPUS
ON OCTOBER 4TH

150 exhibitors and 3,000 plus attendance at Ireland's largest enterprise showcase

INTERNATIONAL EMBASSIES TO GIVE INSIGHTS INTO DOING BUSINESS ABROAD

Wednesday, 29th August 2012: Limerick Institute of Technology is today delighted to announce Ireland's largest enterprise showcase, the Irish Innovation Showcase, which will be held on October 4th next at Dell Ireland's Limerick campus.

Over 150 companies will exhibit their products and services at the event, which will also include two key break-out sessions, covering Innovation, Funding and International Trade, in which leading industry figures will give their expert opinion on these key areas.

The Showcase is open to all businesses, from start-up to long established companies, across a range of sectors, from manufacturing to services. They will be able to exhibit to an expected 3,000 strong attendance that will include investors, other businesses and general members of the public. It will also be an ideal opportunity for budding entrepreneurs to examine the market for their emerging companies.

Companies seeking to develop export/import trade with international markets will benefit from the addition of a unique new element to the Showcase involving embassy representatives from some of Ireland's leading trade partners being present on stands to give insights into doing business in their countries.

This element, which is being organised by Limerick Chamber of Commerce, will be complemented by the International Trade break-out out session which will see experts add their views on internationalisation and breaking into global markets.

The Innovation break-out session will hear from a panel of experts on areas such as industry collaboration, finding the right partners and 'being lean'. Critically also, it will focus on accessing finance across all sources, from banks to angel funding and Venture Capital as well as other existing but largely under-utilised resources.

The Irish Innovation Showcase has evolved from the highly successful Mid-West Showcase run over the past five years. Booking for exhibition stands is now open and companies wishing to participate are asked to secure their stand early to avoid disappointment as the event is over-subscribed each year.

The Irish Innovation Showcase is supported by a range of businesses and agencies in addition to Dell. These include AIB Bank, as well as Enterprise Ireland, Limerick City Enterprise Board, Limerick Chamber of Commerce, Shannon Chamber of Commerce, Plato Mid West, Shannon Development and Supply Network Shannon.

Announcing the Showcase, Limerick Institute of Technology President Dr Maria Hinfelaar said:
"We have had five hugely successful events to date and the programme in place for this year's Showcase is by far the most dynamic and exciting so we are really looking forward to October 4th and what it can do for businesses.

"We believe that the event will be an excellent opportunity for them to exhibit their products and services to potential customers. Businesses will also, through the morning and evening seminars, get invaluable insights into what it takes to be a success as well as our new innovative element focussed on developing international markets."

Speaking today about Dell's support of Ireland's Innovation Showcase, Padraig Healy, Executive Director Global Supply Chain and Site Leader, Dell Limerick said: "Dell is delighted to once again partner with Limerick IT to host the Irish Innovation Showcase at our campus here in Limerick. Dell's operations in Ireland are a true reflection of innovation in action. In Dell's Solutions Centres, one of which is located at the Limerick facility, there is a team who constantly work to develop new technology solutions to help our customers achieve their objectives. A key focus this year for the Showcase is to help the start-up and entrepreneurial community evolve their ideas and to support them with the information and expertise that they need to grow their plans.

"Members of the Dell team will offer attendees advice on 'How to get Started'. As part of this we'll focus strongly on the role that technology can play in developing business ideas while also helping to minimise the investment required. Dell has a strong track record of supporting startups and small businesses so we look forward to meeting with small business owners and entrepreneurs from the mid-west on October 4th and hope that we can play some role in helping them to grow and develop successful businesses."

Announcing the International Trade element of the Showcase, Limerick Chamber President Gordon Kearney said: "We know that obtaining quality information on overseas markets is one of the biggest challenges firms face with they look to expand internationally. For this reason we have been looking at bringing the embassies to the region so that they can educate businesses on how to access their markets. The Irish Innovation Showcase is the perfect opportunity for this as there is no other forum that draws together so may business which ensures that the initiative will have maximum impact."