It’s 2017. We’re now in year three of the AIB Start-Up Academy. 14 high-potential businesses will be shortlisted to take part in an 8-week training programme leading to a final pitch event in Dublin and the chance to receive a prize package valued at over €200k to bring your business to the next level. How high that level is depends on you. Former winners are now going global, highlighting that there is no limit to your business ambitions.


The AIB Start-Up Academy continues to grow and expand – the programme now comprises of the national competition which includes a transformative 8-week training programme for new businesses, regional summits which take place in Galway, Cork, Dublin and Belfast, and Bootcamps that are open to start-ups at every stage of development.

Running alongside the competition element of The Start-Up Academy, 96 Bootcamps will be held in association with The Entrepreneurs Academy across Ireland in 2017 and is available to start-ups of all levels of experience.

AIB will also hold four regional Start-up Academy Summits throughout January and February in Galway, Cork, Dublin and Belfast. These events will bring together local start-ups and key business influencers for an evening of learning and networking. There will be an informative start-up themed panel discussion at each summit comprising of local business leaders and entrepreneurs.

AIB have always understood that entrepreneurs never stop thinking about their businesses. Nothing has changed.  It’s still bloody tough. But nowadays there are business supports out there. There’s also a like-minded community of entrepreneurs out there. With the Start-Up Academy, AIB are there to help.  

The AIB Start-Up Academy isn’t just about a massive prize. It’s about bringing all the participants along on the journey. There may be only winner of the competition but now in its third year, past participants of the nationwide programme can verify that sharing the start-up pains can make help makes those pains bearable. The Japanese have a name for it. A karate teacher is a Sensei which can be translated as ‘(he) who has gone before’.  No matter what your business issue, someone has encountered it and overcome it before. That’s why involvement in the programme, as much as the overall prize, is worth so much.

For the next few weeks, the Sunday Business Show, where we do business differently, will feature past judges, previous winners of the competition and members of the Academy both past and present on the programme. We’ll hear about their businesses, their journeys and we’ll encourage others to get involved. Previous overall winners Herdwatch and Nasal Medical have joined #TeamSBS on our Sunday morning show. Now we’re looking for the next big winner.

Your company may not have entered the Start-Up Academy this year, but by listening to participants and judges you’ll learn what they’re looking for and how to get your business in shape to what is one of the most valuable business prizes in Ireland. What a way to start the New Year! Listen to the Sunday Business Show every Sunday, 10am, right here on nationwide Today FM.

To access more info on attending a Summit event near you, please click HERE