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Start Your Own Business at UCC

Graduates with a great business idea may discover just the kick-start they need from the IGNITE Graduate Business Innovation Programme at UCC which is funded by Cork City Council in partnership with Cork County Council, Cork County & City Enterprise Boards and Bank of Ireland.

The IGNITE Programme has developed a formidable reputation for nurturing and supporting up and coming entrepreneurs since its inception just two years ago., Seahorse Atlantic and Portable Medical Technologies are but three of the businesses that have gone on to thrive since enrolling with IGNITE. Stephanie Lynch, currently enrolled on the programme and founder of, a tourism website with a difference that was recently launched, is enjoying a similar experience. A 2012 finalist of the Young Entrepreneur Programme and finalist for the Ireland Funds Business Plan Competition 2013, Stephanie credits much of her success to date to the IGNITE programme, and in particular to the mentorship on offer:

IGNITE provided great support through the mentor programme, weekly classes and funding opportunities. I developed great networking and entrepreneurial skills, and gained an amazing mentor with Anne Moore, who gave advice and support continuously since our first meeting. My background is in video and radio production and I have now been able to mix my creative and business skills together to develop one great business”.

Instilling a sense of belief and a track record that participants can carry with them is what the IGNITE programme is all about. It has shown itself to be a hugely beneficial environment for entrepreneurial graduates to launch their own businesses. The Programme is based at UCC’s modern Western Gateway Building, where Mike McGrath of, a successful business start-up from the 2011 IGNITE intake, launched his business: “The biggest benefit was access to the expertise, assistance and knowledge of successful entrepreneurs who I am now lucky to call mentors, friends and clients”.
Other successful alumni of the programme include Kevin Bambury and Eoin O’Carroll, founders of Portable Medical Technologies.They recently became the 1st Irish company and only the 3rd company worldwide to achieve CE approval for their mobile app ONCOassist, which provides a range of prognostic tools developed specifically for oncology healthcare professionals. This now means the app, which was launched in December 2012, is classified as a medical device, and can be used in hospitals to make clinical decisions.

Eamon Curtin, Director of the IGNITE programme, comments: “The programme has been remarkably successful in just two years. It has been central to the establishment of 10 new businesses so far and this figure is expected to almost double by the end of 2013”.

The IGNITE Graduate Business Innovation Programme is open to recent or forthcoming 2013 graduates of any 3rd level institution. The Programme offers:

  • A start-up grant and access to further funding opportunities
  • Business incubation space in a top-class facility at Western Gateway Building, UCC
  • Individual business mentoring from leading entrepreneurs
  • A comprehensive Start Your Own Business Programme
  • Guidance from UCC Entrepreneur ‘Coaches on Campus’
  • Regular networking events and access to key entrepreneur networks
  • Access to UCC’s academic, research and commercialisation expertise

The deadline for applications is 31st May 2013. More details are available at or email

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