Creating a buzz…

11th October 2017

Posted In: FYI

ApisProtect, a business that helps beekeepers globally prevent losses and increase the productivity of their hives, has been named Bank of Ireland/ IGNITE Business of the Year 2017. Founder of ApisProtect, Fiona Edwards-Murphy was recognised at the annual IGNITE Awards and Showcase held in UCC’s Aula Maxima on Thursday, September 28th. The event celebrated the achievements of the 7th cohort of Recent Graduate Entrepreneurs who participated in the 12 month business incubation programme. Ten aspiring Recent Graduate Entrepreneurs, who have just commenced the programme, were also introduced on the night.

Since 2011, IGNITE has supported over 80 entrepreneurs through the early stages of their start-up journey, and has developed support structures tailored to their specific needs. IGNITE focuses on innovative business models to ensure competiveness and scalability; validating the business model to ensure the business idea is robust enough to succeed; and developing soft personal skills needed to network, pitch, sell and survive in today’s competitive marketplace.

Sponsored by Bank of Ireland, EY and JW O’Donovan Solicitors, awards were presented in front of an invited audience including Lord Mayor of Cork City, Cllr Tony Fitzgerald; Lord Mayor of Cork County, Cllr Declan Hurley; and the President of UCC, Professor Patrick G. O’Shea.

Top award winner ApisProtect helps commercial and amateur beekeepers, managing 81 million beehives globally who are losing up to 50% of their colonies each year by using in hive IoT enabled sensors, machine learning , and world class beekeeping knowledge to help them identify hive problems, diseases, and pests.

UCC’s 2017-2022 strategic plan, launched last month by president, Professor Patrick O’Shea includes plans to support 100 graduate-led companies through IGNITE. Eamon Curtin, IGNITE Programme Director said “The future is very bright for IGNITE. The objective for next year is to take on two cohorts, six months apart; a total of 20 start-ups a year. Inclusion in UCC’s strategic plan is an indication of the University’s acknowledgment of what we’re doing here, the successes we’ve had, and its commitment to supporting entrepreneurship.”

Dr Sinead Bleiel (Doherty), founder of AnaBio Technologies Ltd., a provider of encapsulation expertise, IP generation, commercial manufacture and licensing for food, pharma, animal and human health nutrition markets was one of the speakers on the night.  Dr. Bleiel was Bank of Ireland/ IGNITE Business of the Year 2013 winner (most recently Sinead was shortlisted for the WMB Awards in the Woman in Technology category).

Supported by Cork City Council, Cork County Council, the Local Enterprise Offices of Cork City and County, Bank of Ireland, and University College Cork, IGNITE is open to all recent graduates from any discipline and from any 3rd level institution in Ireland. For more information visit here.