10th anniversary of the Novation Enterprise Platform Programme

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Novation Enterprise Platform Programme, the Regional Development Centre was transformed into an exhibition centre on Thursday 19th January last. The Novation EPP is a comprehensive programme of support for technology start-up companies and over 20 past and current participants "set up stall" for the day. Just short of 150 delegates were in attendance many of whom were also interested in learning about the new 2012 programme being unveiled during the exhibition.

President of DkIT, Denis Cummins welcomed those in attendance and gave an overview of some of the successes achieved by the 130 programme participants over the past 10 years. – notably a growth in turnover to €64 million per annum and employment of 400 direct employees (mostly 3rd level graduates). He was particularly pleased with the collaboration with DCU Invent which was agreed in May 2011 and which will continue for future programmes.

Conor Fahy, Regional Director Enterprise Ireland, spoke about the pivotal role that the RDC plays in fostering start-ups and innovation in the Region and Enterprise Ireland's delight to be partnering with DkIT on the new programme.

Three past participants spoke about their journey building successful businesses and the role the Novation EPP programme played. For Peter Smyth, Founder and Chairman of RedMere the programme provided focus and the environment to learn how to start and grow a business that now is headquartered in Ireland and has a significant presence in the United States and Taiwan.

Deirdre MacCormack, CMO Mcor Technologies, had some advice for those starting out on their entrepreneurial journey – "avail of all hard and soft supports you can, mentors are magic, enter as many competitions as you can (it sharpens the business plan) and Network, Network, Network.

Kieran Fitzpatrick, CEO Barracuda FX, was on the programme in 2008/09. For Kieran the programme supported him in many ways:

Getting from Idea to Business

Exposure to New Ideas & Fresh Thinking

Mentoring & Networking

Provided a supportive Environment

Objective Critical Review

Building Confidence

Provided Discipline

The audience also heard from Grainne Lennon InterTradeIreland who spoke about the unparalleled run of success NEPP participants have had in InterTradeIreland's Seedcorn Competition providing overall winners on three occasions and Regional Winners on a further three occasions.

Sean MacEntee, Incubation Centre Manager in the RDC gave an overview of the new programme and announced that the new programme is now open for applications. Phase one will be over 8 weeks (part time, evenings) delivered in two locations Dundalk and Glasnevin and will commence in February.

For the remainder of the afternoon delegates visited the stands, networked and did business. The showcase, with exhibitors such as Digiweb, The Design Basket, SMEContracts.ie, Danu Wind, STATSports, Big Mountain Productions, Armac Systems, Mara Irish Surf and many more, also highlighted the variety of sectors and business ideas developed with the support of the programme over the past decade.

If you would like further information on the Novation EPP or would like to Apply for the new programme, please contact garrett.duffy@dkit.ie or Tel 042 9370427