By Michelle Crean
RDI Hub in Killorglin have this week announced exciting new opportunities for startups in Kerry designed to accelerate them towards securing the first €100k investment. A new RDI Hub team will help prepare entrepreneurs for accelerator and investment under the national startup accelerator programme NDRC.
New NDRC Office Hours, Founder Weekends and a Pre-Accelerator will be delivered across Ireland by RDI Hub Kerry, Dogpatch Labs Dublin, Portershed Galway and Republic of Work Cork, with a dedicated team in each hub to deliver programmes locally.
The new support will give founders from across Ireland access to a network of globally renowned entrepreneurs, investors and mentors for feedback on their idea, advice on resources that can accelerate the growth of their startup, and a structured programme to prepare to pitch for investment or to apply to the NDRC Accelerator. The early stage programmes do not take equity in the companies, and are free for accepted teams.
One successful startup Content Llama, co-founded by Kerry women Joleen Looney, completed the NDRC accelerator programme in 2019 and is now raising funding and expanding her team. “Content Llama is at an exciting growth stage – fundraising and expanding our team. It is great to see regional support for Irish startups through NDRC now, building those connections and network at the early stages is vital for long term growth, Joleen said.
The RDI Hub team is also expanding with Programme Manager Niall Larkin relocating to Kerry to take up his new role. Niall has founded several startups and worked closely with hundreds of founders, accelerating startups to scale through programmes he designed and led over the past four years at NDRC.
“The early part of the startup journey is about getting feedback on your idea, mentoring from people who know what they are talking about and surrounding yourself with other entrepreneurs. The NDRC programmes at RDI Hub gives entrepreneurs and innovators in the region access to these supports so they can go from idea to established startup quickly,” Niall said.
Programmes such as Office Hours, Founder Weekends and Pre-Accelerator will also be delivered from RDI Hub.
Office Hours help entrepreneurs take their first step through one-to-one 25 min slots with experienced NDRC Programme Managers and leaders based in each regional hub, and also gives them access to an extended one thousand plus mentor network from companies such as Google, Stripe, Facebook, Unilever, Enterprise Ireland and many others.
Founder Weekend is a chance for aspiring entrepreneurs to immerse themselves in the Irish startup community, develop their idea with expert mentors, or find that co-founder to spark a new idea with.
The Pre-Accelerator helps entrepreneurs validate their startup idea with customers, structure it to get investment, and prepare to get accepted onto the NDRC Accelerator.