Cork Innovates is the only finalist from Ireland to be chosen by national coordinators Enterprise Ireland to represent the country at the prestigious European Enterprise Promotion Awards 2014.
The EEPA awards recognise the most imaginative and successful initiatives from EU public bodies and public-private partnerships, to support entrepreneurship and small and medium sized enterprises. Cork Innovates project coordinator Siobhan Finn spoke of her delight at the nomination, “I’m thrilled we have been nominated in the ‘promoting the entrepreneurial spirit’ category and that it is getting such prominent European recognition”. Teamwork, plurality and interconnection are at the heart of Siobhan’s job and how best to go about it. Team Cork is well on its way to becoming a shining example of teamwork among disparate – and even similar – businesses, from the very small to the very large.”We work together well and collaborate very effectively”, Siobhan agrees.
“The message around the country is that here in Cork we work as a group; we have a forum where we meet and engage reguarly to keep tabs on what’s happening in the region and to see how we can all work to support what’s happening here”.
“As a region we have the the commitment of the city and county councils through the Regional Development Fund. the focus of that is entirely around driving enterprise, and we also have a number of initiatives that are unique to Cork which really are a credit to the councils and local authority leadership”, Siobhan explains.
Cork Innovates was selected to represent the country based on that growth, those numbers, the remarkable culture of teamwork and the highly effective partnerships that have developed here between businesses of every background. Most notably, the number of startups in Cork almost doubled in a single year, from 800 in 2012 ti 1542 in 2013. the Cork Innovates InBusiness InCork Showcase, specifically targeted to SMEs and startups and entrepreneurs, has attracted and supported more than 2,800 business people and potential startups since 2012.
As Ireland’s entrepreneurship ambassadors to Europe, Cork Innovates is shining a bright light on innovation in Cork, Ireland, and now Europe. It is a collaborative effort, with credit going to Siobhan herself, her giant hub of connections, supporters and advisors and the connection they have with the up-and-coming entrepreneurs of today and tomorrow.