1 November 2016
By Bryan T. Smyth
IGNITE Graduate Business Innovation Programme has announced details of a sponsorship that sees Musgrave partner the nine month business incubation programme based at University College Cork (UCC), which is aimed at nurturing, developing and strengthening entrepreneurial potential among recent graduates from any discipline, from any third level institution with a viable business idea.
Musgrave’s sponsorship will support the expansion of the Programme over the next number of years, and coincides with the 7th IGNITE Graduate Business Innovation Programme, which is now an established part of the start-up ecosystem in the region. The current Programme sees ten aspiring graduate entrepreneurs working on nine start-up businesses; and since its inception in 2010, IGNITE has seen 60 businesses, involving almost 80 individuals, complete the programme, many of which are now trading internationally. For start-ups that undertake the Programme, IGNITE support is equivalent to a €25K investment and founders do not give up any equity in their business.
Speaking at the announcement of the sponsorship, Dave O’Flynn, Head of Business Development at Musgrave said “We are delighted to support the IGNITE Graduate Business Innovation Programme which is providing such valuable support to the development of young entrepreneurs. Musgrave partners with local retailers, suppliers and communities across Ireland on a daily basis and we recognise the important role which innovation and entrepreneurship plays in the success of our country. As Ireland’s number one food retailer and wholesaler, we already support over 35,000 jobs through our SuperValu, Centra, Daybreak and MarketPlace brands and we have an objective of growing good business which is closely aligned with the work of the IGNITE Programme. We look forward to supporting Eamon Curtin and the IGNITE team, and wish all the participants great success in the future.”
Other synergy between IGNITE and Musgrave includes former IGNITE participant, Breffney O’Dowling Keane, founder of FruitCubed, which creates a blend of nutritious, delicious fruit and vegetables, cubed and proportioned into ready-to-eat cubes. Having graduated from IGNITE, Breffney also completed the Food Academy programme, run by SuperValu in partnership with Bord Bia and the Local Enterprise Office Network. Food Academy, which works with and nurtures small businesses through their journey from start-up to getting their products on the shelves of supermarkets, was of great assistance to Breffney in helping her trial her products in the challenging Irish grocery sector.
IGNITE Programme Director; Eamon Curtin thanked Musgrave for the support offered through the sponsorship: “We recognise, nurture, and encourage entrepreneurship as a viable career choice. IGNITE participants have access to an extensive team of mentors, advisors and industry partners, they share a workspace in UCC’s Western Gateway Building, benefit from regular workshops and guest speakers, and receive seed funding. This new partnership will see Musgrave integrate with the Programme on many levels including participation on a mentoring level, offering invaluable advice to our participants. Without the support of partners like Musgrave, we simply could not offer such support to young entrepreneurs to get a head start with their businesses.”