Jennifer Nickerson of Tipperary Boutique Distillery, Cahir, Co Tipperary, will be one of fourteen start-ups taking part in the AIB Start-up Academy Final in Dublin’s Lighthouse Cinema on Thursday April 20th
The 2017 AIB Start-up Academy, a national competition comprising of a selection of Ireland’s most promising start-ups, will draw to a close on 20th April at the Lighthouse Cinema in Smithfield, Dublin 7. Hosted by Gráinne Seoige, the final event will see fourteen start-ups deliver a 5-minute elevator pitch followed by a 5-minute Q&A session with judges.
Jennifer Nickerson is the founder of Tipperary Boutique Distillery which has produced a new single malt whiskey made from her own barley, grown on Ballindoney farm in County Tipperary. The company currently has planning permission for a distillery on the Ballindoney farm and will offer a field-to-bottle spirit. With only 1,916 bottles produced of their first whiskey, ‘The Rising’, it will be the only company to produce whiskies cut to bottling strength with water from Ballindoney farm in Tipperary.
Starting in September, almost 500 entrepreneurs put forward their business ideas to an expert judging panel. These entries were narrowed down to a shortlist of 22, from which 10 were chosen. A further four start-ups were selected at the regional AIB Start-up Academy Summits in Galway, Cork, Dublin and Belfast.
The finalists have completed 8 weeks of a strategic training and mentoring from topics like networking, data analytics, design thinking, finance, marketing and social media. They have also been honing their pitch skills in preparation for the final pitch event.
Now in its third year, the AIB Start-up Academy provides start-ups with crucial business support and networking opportunities designed to help entrepreneurs bring their business to the next level. In addition to the competition element, AIB, in association with The Entrepreneurs Academy, will also hold over 80 Start-up Academy Bootcamps across the country in 2017. These free workshops are open to start-ups from all backgrounds and at all stages of development.
Speaking ahead of the final, host Gráinne Seoige said, “In January I hosted the AIB Start-up Academy Summit in Galway and having recently started a business myself I found it to be a rewarding experience. The learning process never ends and I’m eager to hear what the fourteen entrepreneurs have learned on their journey to date and their plans for the future.”
Brian Keating, AIB Group Propositions and Brands Director, said, “The AIB Start-Up Academy is going from strength to strength with a year long programme of support for Start-ups. Not only is our national competition attracting entrepreneurs from a wide range of sectors including fashion, food, medtech and healthcare, earlier this year our inspirational summits saw over 1,000 Start-ups gain access to support and tools to grow their business. In addition our AIB Start-Up Academy Bootcamps are taking place in towns across the country to ensure more and more entrepreneurs gain access to the Academy training programme.”
The final will begin at 6pm at the Lighthouse Cinema on Thursday April 20th. Keeping with the theme of entrepreneurship, previous AIB Start-up Academy finalists Peter Mulryan of Blackwater Distillery and James Winans of Vanguard Beer Collective will be supplying refreshments on the night, along with Neil Shirt Catering and Cornude Popcorn. A limited number of tickets are available on aibstartupacademy.ie, with proceedings streamed via the AIB Facebook page.
For full information on the AIB Start-up Academy and Bootcamps please visit www.aib.ie/startup and follow us @AIBBiz on Twitter.
For information on products and services for Start-ups, please visit aib.ie