A year-and-a-half in the planning, an accelerator at the PorterShed, to be delivered with our partners at the NDRC, was formally announced today. This is a fantastic opportunity for entrepreneurs in the West of Ireland, and is the culmination of a lot of hard work on the part of my volunteer colleagues at the Galway City Innovation District (GCID), a non-profit that is helping to foster a startup ecosystem in downtown Galway, NDRC, Ireland’s national accelerator, and the programme managers at Enterprise Ireland.
Before Enterprise Ireland announced their timely Regional Accelerator Development Scheme, we had issued a Request for Information to various national and international accelerator operators in late 2015, and this laid the groundwork for our successful proposal submitted to Enterprise Ireland in March 2016.
The NDRC at PorterShed Accelerator will support 30 companies who have a digital technology focus to their business, linking to Enterprise Ireland’s strategy to develop more HPSUs regionally and nationally. A HPSU (High-Potential Startup) is defined as one that will employ at least 10 people and be generating over €1 million in revenue within a three-year timeframe.
Three cohorts of 10 companies will be admitted to the NDRC at PorterShed Accelerator, with the first cohort of 10 to start at the end of this summer, and two more cohorts in 2018. As well as receiving an investment of €30,000 and three months of desk space for their team at the PorterShed, companies will avail of expert mentorship and training from the NDRC here in Galway in areas such as company financials, investor readiness, marketing/PR, and innovative business models.
Previous NDRC-supported ventures have secured over €125 million in follow-on investment, and this includes successes such as Logentries, Newswhip, Silver Cloud Health, Boxever, Nuritas, Soundwave and Clearsight Innovations.
The PorterShed is the first innovation hub run by the Galway City Innovation District, a non-profit that was established with the support of Galway Chamber in 2016. The directors are John Breslin (NUI Galway), Niamh Costello (Galway Technology Centre), Dave Cunningham (Privity Pay), Conor O’Dowd (KPMG), Johnny O’Dwyer (AIB) and Maurice O’Gorman (Consultant).
According to Maurice O’Gorman, Chairman of the Galway City Innovation District: “GCID is excited to work with our partners to launch the NDRC at PorterShed Accelerator. The accelerator programme is an important addition to the vibrant startup ecosystem in Galway and the West of Ireland. GCID looks forward to welcoming the first companies, providing an environment where they can flourish.”
To apply for the NDRC at PorterShed Accelerator programme, visit www.ndrc.ie/west where you can find out more information and see the criteria.