The IGNITE Annual Awards and Showcase took place on Wednesday evening, celebrating the innovation and talent of the graduate business programme at UCC that helps graduates turn ideas into a business.
Among the start-ups showcased were Teleatherapy, a MedTech company that provides voice therapy to individuals with Parkinson’s disease and social enterprise firm, Da Silly Heads.
The winner of the IGNITE Award for Best Business and the Award for Best Business Plan was won by Eoin Buckley and Daniel Keane Kelly, co-founders of Refractd.
Refractd is a data privacy and compliance company. Refractd's mission is to improve data privacy for everyone. They want to do this by helping organisations improve their approach to data protection and privacy. Both Eoin and Daniel have degrees in Business Information Systems (BIS) from UCC and they developed the company on the back of the increasing level of cyber threats and regulations companies face each year.
The keynote speakers on the night included UCC President Prof John O’Halloran and UCC Vice President for Research and Innovation, Prof John Cryan.
IGNITE director Eamon Curtin said: “We are very excited to be back on campus at UCC this year for our IGNITE graduation ceremony. The last two years have been challenging for many businesses and we are very proud to see that people continue to want to start and develop businesses with the help of the IGNITE programme.
"We are delighted that the IGNITE startups were able to pitch their business ideas in person once again this month and we look forward with great enthusiasm to the year ahead as we meet and work with our new programme participants.”
Brendan O’Sullivan, Manager with Bank of Ireland said: “Once again we at Bank of Ireland are delighted to be part of the IGNITE programme and excited to meet the graduates and the new entrants. We are always inspired by their ideas and the quality of their pitches and business plans. IGNITE is a fantastic programme that helps to support entrepreneurs and we are very proud to be a part of it.”
The IGNITE Graduate Business Innovation Programme is delivered by University College Cork in partnership with Bank of Ireland, the Local Enterprise Offices of Cork City, South Cork and North and West Cork, Cork City Council and Cork County Council.