THE NDRC today launched new supports nationwide to help early stage founders take the first steps to creating globally scalable and innovative tech startups. Republic of Work, based in Cork City’s South Mall, will serve as a regional centre of excellence, delivering programmes in the South East of the country.
New Office Hours, Founder Weekend and a Pre-Accelerator will be delivered across Ireland by Republic of Work, Dogpatch Labs Dublin, Portershed Galway and RDI Hub Kerry, with each hub providing best-in-class training at a local level. These programmes are built with a regional mindset, embedded in the community, and drawing on the wealth of entrepreneurial experience across Ireland.
The support will give founders across Ireland access to a network of globally renowned entrepreneurs, investors and mentors for feedback on their idea, advice on resources that can accelerate the growth of their startup, and a structured programme to prepare to pitch for investment or to apply to the NDRC Accelerator. The early stage programmes do not take equity in the companies, and are free for accepted teams.
Speaking at the launch Republic of Work’s General Manager Frank Brennan says, “Republic of Work is delighted to be part of this exciting initiative. There is a global recognition that Cork is buzzing with start-up potential, where ambitious local entrepreneurs view the world as their oyster. Our local programme will provide entrepreneurs with a viable national path towards a new set of supports that will ultimately feed into the NDRC’s accelerator program".
Cork entrepreneur Pat Phelan, best known as the founder of fraud-detection firm Trustev, which was acquired by TransUnion for $44 million, says it’s important that we continue to give entrepreneurs a chance to release their potential, “When you’re just starting out, support from mentors and other entrepreneurs can be a life-line. Too many startups run out of time, energy and money too fast due to a lack of structure and commercial focus, and pre-Accelerators are a great opportunity to test the market and put a solid shape on an idea/ concept before seeking investment. This is a great opportunity for founders in the South East to immerse themselves in the programme, surround themselves with fellow entrepreneurs and learn from those who have gone before”.
Established in 2006, the NDRC is a Government initiative to invest in very young digital enterprises and start-ups.NDRC supports have been designed to complement and run in parallel with other startup resources in the ecosystem such as Enterprise Ireland Competitive Startup Fund, New Frontiers, and HPSU Match Funding.
Participation in the NDRC Pre-Accelerator is not a requirement for acceptance onto the NDRC Accelerator.
Office Hours help entrepreneurs take their first step through one-to-one 25 min slots with experienced NDRC Programme Managers and leaders based in each regional hub. Selected founders receive feedback on their idea and advice on how to navigate different funding and supports available within the ecosystem. Additionally, entrepreneurs in every county will also be able to access an extended 1000+ mentor network from companies such as Google, Stripe, Facebook, Unilever, Enterprise Ireland and many others.
Office Hours run weekly from 10am - 12pm beginning Friday February 19th. Applications can be submitted at ndrc.ie/office-hours Founder Weekend is a chance for aspiring entrepreneurs to immerse themselves in the Irish startup community, develop their idea with expert mentors, or find that co-founder to spark a new idea with. Over a 2-day high energy sprint 50 attendees will learn firsthand what it takes to move an idea from concept to creation, and how to validate their problem, market and customer. They’ll take part in feedback rounds with mentors and investors, and Q&A sessions with inspiring guest speakers, before pitching to a panel of entrepreneur judges.
Founder Weekends will run every quarter throughout the country starting on March 13-14. Applications are accepted until March 7 at ndrc.ie/founder-weekend.
The Pre-Accelerator helps entrepreneurs validate their startup idea with customers, structure it to get investment, and prepare to get accepted onto the NDRC Accelerator. Over the course of 6 days across 6 weeks, early-stage startups take part in workshops delivered by successful founders, receiving one-to-one feedback from entrepreneurs and stress testing their pitch with real investors in mock boardroom meetings. The Pre-Accelerator ends in a virtual Demo Day pitch, broadcast live to investors, VIP entrepreneurs and potential customers.
The first NDRC Pre-Accelerator runs from March 29 - May 7th. To apply before March 7 visit https://www.ndrc.ie/programmes