Cork digital companies are being encouraged to join a unique and exciting internationalisation programme this month as the Local Enterprise Office, Cork City launches The Atlantic Digital Startup Academy(ADSA) this month.

Hosted by Simon Cocking, Editor of Irish Tech News, an information evening will take the form of a panel discussion and networking event to be held on October 30th at 6pm in Republic of Work, 12 South Mall, Cork City.

The ADSA is a programme that has been specifically designed for digital entrepreneurs taking their first steps into European Markets. Cork City Council successfully secured EU funding for the project through applications to Interreg Atlantic Area programme, an initiative which promotes transnational cooperation among the Atlantic coastal regions. The Local Enterprise Office Cork City is operating as the local partner for the Atlantic Digital Startup Academy and the programme is open to digital companies trading less than five years.

The panel discussion will be centred on highlighting the pitfalls of international business for small digital companies. The discussion will feature Fiona McKenna of consulting firm fourtheorem, an entrepreneur with over twenty years’ experience working with startups. Pat Lynch, Co-Founder of Compliance & Risks and David Coallier, a tech entrepreneur who has founded companies such as Barricade IO and Orchestraio. He is currently the Director of Engineering at Cyber Security Sophos.

The ADSA network brings together a wealth of experience, expertise and specialist knowledge in a strategic way to support companies to develop their proposition, market presence and sales systems with the aim of launching into new markets.

Adrienne Rodgers, Head of Enterprise at LEO Cork City, said, “Companies joining the Academy will receive training and mentoring tailored to their needs and particular challenges – this starts with a thorough Business Health Check. The Academy companies will form a supportive peer group and can expect strong engagement from our local ecosystem partners. Through an international partner network in France, Spain, Portugal and Northern Ireland they will get overseas soft-landing supports, including mentoring, first contact point, introductions and desk space.”

Speaking about the importance and the opportunity provided by the ADSA, Ita O’Sullivan, Startup Community Manager at Bank of Ireland said, “Cork is compact, friendly and incredibly well connected, we have a fantastic business community here – so many people are happy to take a call and share contacts or experience. This project builds on that network approach.”

Ivan McCutcheon, EU Projects Manager, at LEO Cork City emphasised the strategic advantage for Cork digital companies targeting international growth, “Cork companies have been very successful in the US and UK markets where we have strong support networks but the rest of Europe is often overlooked. We got involved in this partnership project to help local startups enter new markets. We may underestimate the competitive advantage we have as a bridge for innovation and technology between Europe and the English-speaking world.”

Attendance at the launch of the Atlantic Digital Startup Academy is free and you book via the LEO website or at atlanticdigitalstartups.eu/cork

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