A round II call has been issued to release a €450,000 Ludgate Seed Capital fund. The fund is designed to support start-up and early stage companies with job creation potential. Selected companies for the fund will locate in The Ludgate Hub in Skibbereen, Ireland’s first rural hub to receive 1Gb (1000Mb) connectivity. Start-ups are encouraged to apply for the seed fund to help develop and scale their business, attract new talent, or develop their product or service. Those wishing to apply are invited to meet the Ludgate Investment team on Friday 11th of November during National Digital Week.

The event is set to attract over 1,600 people for discussion and debate on some of the most topical issues facing entrepreneurship and digital accessibility in Ireland. Dedicated speaker sessions will focus on topics including ‘agri-tech’, ‘female founders and leadership’ and ‘the sharing economy’.

Taking place from November 10th – 12th, National Digital Week is being organised by the Ludgate Digital Hub and is supported by event partners AIB, Vodafone and Google. The only event of its kind in a non-urban area in Ireland, National Digital Week will cater for everyone and anyone with an interest in the future of digital technology.

National Digital Week will provide plenty of opportunities for attendees to informally network with each other, over 80 speakers and the Ludgate Investment team. With no ‘VIP’ areas, attendees will have access to all stages, workshops and one-to-one clinics. At night, National Digital Week offers a festival-like atmosphere where attendees can enjoy activities around West Cork as well as access to all entertainment in the arenas each night, including Ceili Allstars, Booka Brass, Dr. Feelgood and the Electric Mayhem Band and DJ Ian Richards.

Gráinne Dwyer, CEO of the Ludgate Digital Hub and member of the Ludgate Investment team said: “We’ve already received applications for the Ludgate Seed Capital Fund from some really interesting Irish and international companies. The whole Ludgate team are really looking forward to meeting potential fund recipients during National Digital Week. We hope it’ll give us a better understanding of what entrepreneurs are hoping they can achieve if they win a share in the fund. Attending will also give fund applicants a chance to meet some really interesting people that may inspire and sharpen their business ideas.”

Included among the speakers at National Digital Week are, Ben Verwaayen, Former CEO of Alcatel-Lucent & Founding Partner of Keen Venture, Mark MacGann, Senior Board Advisor, Uber, Gráinne McCarthy, London Bureau Chief, Wall Street Journal and Robin Barnett, British Ambassador to Ireland. Saturday afternoon will have broadcaster Pat Kenny MC for a panel discussion on ‘Creating Ireland’s Gigabit Society’ with guests including Imna Martinez, world renowned tech pioneer and data scientist.

The Ludgate Seed fund is joint-funded by three private investors including Gain Line Capital Investments Limited and the Sean and Rose O’Driscoll Family Investment Fund and an international private investor.

All interested parties are encouraged to pitch for a share of the Ludgate Seed Capital Fund, by demonstrating how the fund could support job creation or retention. Interested parties can find out more information by visiting www.ludgate.ie/seed-funding/ or email [email protected] by 5pm, December 1st 2016.

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