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10 February 2016

10 Finalists Announced for the 2016 AIB Start-up Academy

Posted By: AIB Business

The AIB Start-up Academy, in association with The Irish Times, is now in its second year and is going from strength to strength.  With more start-ups coming to our series of nationwide Start-up Nights and the number of entries to the AIB Start-up Academy competition almost doubling in year two, it’s now established as one of the key support programmes in the country for entrepreneurs to network and learn.  

Ten start-up companies recently won their place on the 2016 AIB Start-up Academy from a shortlist of 22 finalists who pitched their business idea to a panel of industry leaders and business experts. 

The final 10 include:

  • Blackwater Distillery  – Ireland’s first craft whisky and gin distillery
  • Brendan Joseph  – Working with gorgeous natural fibres to distil precious moments into woven wearable art
  • Buska Ltd  – Renting, delivering and collecting heavy duty, stackable, closable, recycled plastic Buska moving boxes for people on the move
  • Cool Bean Company – A healthy (beany) meal in a pot
  • Dropchef  – The smartest way to cook a healthy dinner
  • Leaves  – Pasta full meal solution that cooks in just five minutes
  • Nasal Medical Ltd – Nose implants that prevent snoring and sleep apnea, as well as 98% of airbourne allergies
  • Popertee  – Find the perfect retail space for your business 
  • Queezybags  – The compact, clean and convenient way to ensure nausea and sickness don’t get in the way of life
  • Rebel Chilli  – The home of award-winning chilli sauce

These ten companies, plus a “wildcard” yet to be chosen, will now take part in the AIB Start-up Academy, an eight-week accelerator programme in The Irish Times – designed to build their strength and capabilities across business strategy, marketing, eCommerce, sales, networking, pitch preparation, social media and more.

One final place still remains open for the wildcard candidate to be chosen by public vote via the and websites.  Regardless of which remaining start-up wins the final spot, the judges are fully confident that they are more than worthy candidates to join the Academy, such was the overall high standard of the entrants.  The wildcard finalist will be announced on 24th February 2016.

In April, each start-up will pitch again for the chance to share a prize package worth €250,000, which includes a €20,000 cash injection for the overall winner and runner-up prizes of substantial advertising and marketing packages, development support, and office space.

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