Google has welcomed 30 of Ireland’s high potential Startups to its EMEA HQ to participate in its Adopt a Startup programme, which will provide each company with 12 weeks of mentoring by a dedicated Google support team. The team will work with the Startups to develop and improve their overall business strategy and the programme will culminate with a Dragons Den style competition final on July 12th.

“The principal aim of our Adopt a Startup programme is to assist Startups to develop their business strategies and provide them with hands-on support and advice on how they can take their enterprises even further,” explains Paddy Flynn, Head of Google Ireland’s Startup programme. “Now in its fourth year, this is a highly effective and successful initiative for Google in Ireland. Over two cycles of the program in 2015 we had 16 finalists and a total of 52 Startup participants. Many of these companies have gone on to raise significant capital funding and greatly increased their employee numbers.”

He added, “The calibre of participants in the Spring programme is very strong. Close to half of the companies are based outside of Dublin and a large number are headed by female founders and co-founders. This includes Ourobotics, a 3D bio-printing company which won the 2015 SVOD Europe competition and BonzaQuote, the online DIY marketplace and community who recently participated in the prestigious Silicon Valley Blackbox Connect accelerator program. This programme is a further opportunity for Google to support the Irish Startup ecosystem in a meaningful way.”BonzaQuote_JackDrea copyPictured are Martijn Sluijters, Google, Jack Drea, BonzaQuote, Jan Chlebny, Google.
Picture by Shane O’Neill Photography.

Previous participating companies including Bizimply, FoodCloud, Jobbio and Beats Medical have all taken the skills developed during the mentoring programme back into their companies and their continuing success is well documented. For example Bizimply recently raised €2 million in investment funds and announced plans to open an office in the UK.

Mikey Cannon, Co-founder at Bizimply says taking part in the programme allowed their company to grow rapidly, “One of the biggest learnings for our team was how Google has the tools to support a diverse digital marketing strategy. It’s not just AdWords but display marketing, retargeting, website performance, social engagement, in email advertising, video and much more. Working closely with our support team at Google to understand how to effectively use each one to suit our strategy was invaluable. But the programme wasn’t all focused on what you can do with Google but on establishing a digital strategy that worked for our company so we created multi-channel marketing strategy that resonated with our target market. Since taking part in the programme we have put in place a much more focused digital strategy, and as a result we have grown rapidly in the past 12 months.”

Another participant in the program, Pundit Arena, recently raised €650,000 and its CEO and Co-Founder, Ross O’Dwyer, says taking part in Adopt a Startup in Autumn 2015 was a major success for his company. “Our participation in Adopt a Startup began at a time when the company was raising its seed round and we received fantastic mentorship and made many valuable connections in Google. Since the programme we have continued to utilise the tools we learned to maintain a strategic outlook to all of our undertakings. I would certainly recommend this programme to startups both in Ireland and abroad.”

Each of the Startups will receive 12 weeks hands-on mentoring, access to an exclusive lecture series at Google offices and Google Apps for Work licenses, free for a year. Successful Startups will also get the opportunity to pitch their developed business plans and results of the program to members of Google Ireland’s leadership team as well as prominent figures from the Irish Startup Community at a Grand Final in Google’s European Headquarters in July. Last year’s panel included external judges Patrick Walsh, Managing Director of DogPatch Labs and Kevin Sherry, Global Business Development with Enterprise Ireland. The winner will receive €10,000 Google AdWords credit and will also become eligible for the Google Cloud Platform for Startups program which comes with $20,000 Google Cloud credits.

The Adopt a Startup Programme forms part of Google’s commitment to supporting the Startup community in Ireland through mentoring events such as Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur and hosting community events with partners like Startup Weekend and Enterprise Ireland. This commitment includes the expansion of the Google Tech Hub Network to Ireland by partnering with Dogpatch Labs a physical space for startups to work from and for community events. The Google Tech Hub partnership helps to open new doors to mentorship, investment and growth opportunities, and to help developers and entrepreneurs launch new ideas and turn them into thriving young companies. Irish Startups also avail of direct support from Google for Entrepreneurs programs in Dublin, London and the US.

For more information go to https://events.withgoogle.com/adoptastartup/

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