New supports for early stage founders

New supports for early stage founders

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NDRC, the national startup accelerator programme, has launched new supports to help early stage founders across Ireland.

Whether you’re in Tulla or Killkee, this programme will enable entrepreneurs and innovators to create globally-scalable and innovative tech.

New Office Hours, Founder Weekends and a Pre-Accelerator will be delivered across Ireland by RDI Hub Kerry, Dogpatch Labs Dublin, Portershed Galway and Republic of Work Cork, with each hub acting as a regional centre of excellence to deliver programmes locally.

The supports will give founders from across Ireland access to a network of globally renowned entrepreneurs, investors and mentors for feedback on their idea, advice on resources that can accelerate the growth of their start-up, and a structured non-equity programme to prepare to pitch for investment or to apply to the NDRC Accelerator.

Clare based startup went through the NDRC Accelerator  “+AddJust are at an exciting stage now with contracts secured with Local Authorities and private clients but navigating the early stages of the startup journey is hard. It’s great seeing the NDRC supports today because having someone to bounce ideas off or point you in the direction of funding can make or break a company in the early days. I would love to see many more startups go global from Clare on the back of these supports,” said Padriag Neylon, Founder and CEO of +AddJust.

The early part of the startup journey is about getting feedback on your idea, mentoring from people who know what they are talking about and surrounding yourself with other entrepreneurs. The NDRC programmes at RDI Hub gives entrepreneurs and innovators in the region access to a these supports so they can go from Idea to established startup quickly ” said Niall Larkin, Programme Manager, RDI Hub

Office Hours help entrepreneurs take their first step through one-to-one 25 min slots with experienced NDRC Programme Managers and leaders based in each regional hub. Selected founders receive feedback on their idea and advice on how to navigate different funding and supports available within the ecosystem. Additionally, entrepreneurs in every county will also be able to access an extended 1000+ mentor network from companies such as Google, Stripe, Facebook, Unilever, Enterprise Ireland and many others.

Office Hours will run weekly from 10am – 12pm beginning Friday February 19th. Applications can be submitted at ndrc.ie/office-hours.

Founder Weekend is a chance for aspiring entrepreneurs to immerse themselves in the Irish startup community, develop their idea with expert mentors, or find that co-founder to spark a new idea with. Over a 2-day high energy sprint 50 attendees will learn firsthand what it takes to move an idea from concept to creation, and how to validate their problem, market and customer. They’ll take part in feedback rounds with mentors and investors, and Q&A sessions with inspiring guest speakers, before pitching to a panel of entrepreneur judges.

The Founder Weekend runs every quarter throughout the country starting on March 13-14. Applications are accepted until March 7 at ndrc.ie/founder-weekend.

The Pre-Accelerator helps entrepreneurs validate their startup idea with customers, structure it to get investment, and prepare to get accepted onto the NDRC Accelerator. Over the course of 6 days across 6 weeks, early-stage startups take part in workshops delivered by successful founders, receiving one-to-one feedback from entrepreneurs and stress testing their pitch with real investors in mock boardroom meetings. The Pre-Accelerator ends in a virtual Demo Day pitch, broadcast live to investors, VIP entrepreneurs and potential customers.

The first NDRC Pre-Accelerator runs from March 29 – May 7th. To apply before March 7 visit ndrc.ie/pre-accelerator.

“In the long run, we hope this strategy can help activate more entrepreneurs by giving a clear roadmap of supports,” said Suzanne Mills, NDRC Pre-Accelerator Director.

“Fear of failure is one of the biggest deterrents for potential founders in Ireland. People forget that most entrepreneurial skills are learnable and coachable and that’s what these programmes are for – so leave that imposter syndrome at the door and take the plunge!”

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