The AIB Start-Up Academy comes to Athlone

AIB and The Irish Times have again collaborated for the second year of the AIB Start-up Academy, an initiative to support entrepreneurs across Ireland. Through this collaboration, AIB and The Irish Times are working together to build a nationwide community of entrepreneurs from all sectors and with all levels of experience.

From May to November a series of Start-up Nights will take place across the country, drawing together a mix of entrepreneurs, mentors, and investors.  These events are for start-ups and entrepreneurs from all backgrounds and at all stages, including those who are considering starting up a new venture for the first time. Successful and experienced entrepreneurs will be on hand at each event to share their stories and experiences and to network with attendees.

The next start-up evening will be held in the Sheraton Hotel in Athlone on Wednesday 16th September. Entrepreneurs looking to invest and start-up companies looking for investment can register to attend for free at

Speakers at the Athlone start-up night will include John Tuohy, CEO of Nightline, Ireland’s largest independent couriers and Ciara Donlon, founder of THEYA. John and Ciara will be joined by Karl McCarthy of Usher, Linda Syron of Mollie Moo’s Pet Farm and Darragh O’Rourke of AgriLink Farm Services who will all be pitching their respective businesses to the audience.

Applications are also now being accepted for the AIB Start-Up Academy programme, which will begin in early 2016. The intense training programme will see 11 finalists mentored and coached by AIB, The Irish Times and a panel of business experts before going on to compete for a grand prize valued at over €250k, which includes a €20k cash investment for the overall winner and an advertising and mentorship package for each runner-up. Entrepreneurs wishing to apply can register for free at

Eddie Buckley, Midlands Regional Manager at AIB said, “AIB understands that entrepreneurship is vital to the Irish economy and the calibre of start-ups in the market is fantastic, this was evident from entries that we received for the 2014 academy programme. The AIB Start-Up Academy plays a significant role in our on-going work to foster and cultivate entrepreneurship across the country. We are delighted to be working with The Irish Times on this project for a second year to support entrepreneurs across Ireland.”

Speaking about the initiative Liam Kavanagh, Chief Executive of The Irish Times, said “Our business coverage in The Irish Times has consistently supported the concept of innovation and entrepreneurship. We are delighted to extend this collaborative project with AIB into its second year. It is a very meaningful way to encourage and support individuals in their journey to a new start-up.”

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Fabien Peyaud of Herdwatch – winner of the winner of the AIB Start-up Academy 2015