Over sixty jobs have been created in Mayo since the Innovation in Business Centre (IiBC) at GMIT Castlebar opened its doors five years ago (2006). The IiBC at GMIT offers desk space, office space and virtual space to new start-up companies. The IiBC also runs Enterprise Programmes funded by various enterprise agencies.
One such programme is the Enterprise Programme (MWEP) which commenced in July 2011 and currently six participants are on the programme in Mayo. These businesses plan to exploit opportunities in on-line Media (IrishTv.ie, online TV platform with a channel for each county in Ireland), Manufacturing (Horizon West, Specialist Engineering services), Healthcare (Knowledge Clinic, treatment compliance), Marketing (Visual Brand Communications, leading edge marketing technology), Cloud Computing (Intelligent Software Solutions, Bringing the benefits of cloud computing to Irish Businesses) and Support Services (PMG Consult, project creation & evaluation process).
The Innovation in Business Centres will have a new Enterprise Programme in 2012 with all successful applicants receiving grant assistance. If you are a prospective entrepreneur with industry experience, this programme will provide you with the business skills and supports necessary to transform your idea into a successful exportable business.
The IiBC is also currently running the Small Enterprise Programme (SEP) in conjunction with South West Mayo Development Company who funded the programme under the Rural Development Programme 2007 - 2013. This is the third programme of its kind and currently twelve participants are undertaking the programme. This programme gives the participants the knowledge and skills necessary to develop small enterprises. Thirty two people have participated on this programme since it commenced.
The annual public event ‘Spirit of Entrepreneurship' took place in Sept (on starting up your own business) and attracted over 400 people. An Taoiseach Enda Kenny was present along with Sean Gallagher (Dragon's Den) and Ciaran Crean (Micksgarage.ie). The event was sponsored by CMS Peripherals in Kiltimagh.
The IiBC is currently running its annual Student Innovation Awards in GMIT Castlebar and has received over forty entries so far for the coming year.
Congratulations to the Horizon West Team, an MWEP participant at IiBC Castlebar, who won the SFA National Small Business Award for Emerging New Business. The awards will be presented by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny to all category winners at a Gala Event Ceremony in March 2012.
Maria Staunton, Manager of the IiBC at GMIT Castlebar, says: "Even though there is a lot of doom and gloom around, the centre has received lots of good ideas and potentially good start-up companies which will help provide more jobs in Mayo in the coming years. The start-up businesses located here have the potential to be the driving force for the Irish economy and although the current economic environment is difficult there are good opportunities. While we appreciate that many new high technology start-up companies fail in the first few years, statistics demonstrate that those that go through a process of incubation within innovation centres have a much greater chance of growing into sustainable businesses than start-ups that do not."
For further information, contact: Maria Staunton, IiBC Manager, GMIT Castlebar. Tel: 094-9043198