AIB/Irish Times Start-up Academy: A Guide

May 7, 2016

The dust has settled, the award is resting on a shelf and life as Runners-up in the AIB/Irish Times Start-up Academy 2016 is getting back to normal.

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It was a wild ride. Of the 400 + companies that applied for the AIB/Irish Times Start-up Academy, 11 were send on an 8 week training programme. A business boot-camp if you like, and at the end of it all we got to pitch to six judges and a packed house at The Sugar Club in Dublin.

Pointing at stuff is always useful
Pointing at stuff is always useful

Along with the shiny award, as runners-up we get a large chunk of advertising, more training and even more free coffee. But the real reward I suspect will be knowledge. During the 8 weeks we met and talked to some inspirational people and learnt loads of stuff. Now I know what design thinking is, as for the business canvas and the marketing funnel – sorted. And it wasn’t all about buzz terms, go on Google ‘Irish Gin’ – after a session on Search Engine Optimisation I set out to push an old blog post into the top five search results. After four days the post was at number five, as I write it’s search result number 4. Now that’s take home information.

The ride began around 9 months ago when we filled in the application form, in other words very shortly they will be cranking up the 2017 AIB/Irish Times Start-up Academy. So if you are a start-up, or you know one; get involved. Visit one of the open nights, fill in the form and be brave.

The Final of the 2016 AIB Irish Times Start-up Academy at The Sugar Club, Dublin
The Final of the 2016 AIB Irish Times Start-up Academy at The Sugar Club, Dublin

A big congratulations to other runners up Popertee and the winner of the AIB/Irish Times Start-up Academy 2016, Nasal Medical. The other finalists also have super companies and I have a feeling we’ll all be staying in touch for a long, long time.