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Incubator programme for innovative start-ups



Bank of Ireland is calling on all Galway technology startup companies to apply for one of seven places on the startlab Galway programme, a six month intensive business development, mentoring and networking  incubator programme for innovative tech businesses.

startlab Galway aims to develop entrepreneurial activity in the West of Ireland and strengthen the local infrastructure and supports available to entrepreneurs at the critical early stages of establishing a company.

Based in a custom-designed Bank of Ireland building on Eyre Square, the seven companies who successfully progress to the  programme will benefit from a range of complementary facilities including desk space, high-speed wifi, conference rooms as well as one-to-one sessions with key coaches and mentors, introductions to investors and support from Bank of Ireland’s Innovation Team.

The companies will embark on a six month curriculum which includes sessions on business model validation, lean methodology, building strategic partnerships and stress-testing the product / market fit.

The programme is designed to educate, connect and scale the technology startups and, once completed, businesses will participate in a ‘Demo Day’, with the opportunity to pitch to industry leaders, venture capitalists and investors. Applications are now open at

Startups involved in the last incubator programme which finished in August have had fantastic success since partaking in the programme and some have secured significant investment from VC funds.

Speaking about how they found the programme, Siobhan Ní Chofaigh, MintTek Circuits, said: “The very first thing that we felt when we got into the BOI startlab in 19 Eyre Square was like a real company.

“We had been working from a home office and the energy and work environment of startlab was exactly what was needed. startlab got us back on track. Our first month saw sales grow by 40% month on month. In the six months we created more customers, sales and partnerships than in the previous 12.  Tracy and the team were always around to help overcome challenges.  If we needed help or a connection the digital rolodex was opened up and that connection was made, instantaneously.”

Discussing the startlab Galway programme, David Tighe, Head of Innovation, Bank of Ireland said: “The West of Ireland is a hotbed of innovation and our last intake of startups are testament to the quality of emerging business talent in the region. startlab, through its customized programmes, focuses on helping businesses to develop their teams, fine-tune their ideas and engage potential customers and investors.

“Supporting and empowering startups is at the heart of Bank of Ireland’s enterprise ethos and we look forward to working with our new entrepreneurs over the coming months.”

For more information follow @BOIStartups account, email , call into startlab Galway, Bank of Ireland Workbenches in Dublin and Galway, or visit


More than one third of adults have no pension



The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) has published new research outlining Irish adults’ preparations for their retirement.

The research findings show that a high percentage of consumers do not have any pension plan in place. When asked their reasons for not having a pension in place, 32% stated that they have yet to get around to it, 20% feel they are too young and a further 20% don’t feel they can afford it.

Almost a quarter (23%) of those in the 55-64 years age group – those who may expect to retire in the next decade – reported that they don’t currently have a pension in place. 77% of this age cohort expect to qualify for the State Contributory pension as one way of funding their retirement.

Of the 735 adults who took part in the research, two thirds (66%) stated they would be using the State Contributory pension to help fund their retirement. The research also shows that 32% of those questioned were unaware of the amount of the State Contributory pension payment (currently €253 per week).

Respondents intend to supplement their pension plans with a variety of other forms of retirement funding, including, selling a property (24%), rental income (23%), equity release (15%) and selling a business (14%). One third of those aged 25-34 expect to use funds from the sale of a property or income from a rental property as a source of funding in retirement.

Kevin O’Brien, Member of the CCPC, said: “This research suggests a lack of provision for adequate retirement income among a considerable cohort of Irish adults.

“It raises concerns therefore around the long-term financial well-being of consumers, with 38% having no pension in place.

Of those surveyed, many cite the time to set up a pension or being too young as barriers to making pension provisions.

“Pension planning is key to maintaining financial well-being in retirement and it is evident from this new research that many Irish adults do not have the necessary provisions in place to provide for a secure retirement, despite the significant tax reliefs available on pension contributions.


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Connacht Tribune

Local Ireland welcomes move to 0% VAT for news publishers



Local Ireland, the association representing 32 weekly paid-for newspapers around the country, has welcomed the decision by the Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe to remove VAT on newspapers.

President of Local Ireland Declan McGuire said: “This is a very important move for news publishers.

“Zero per cent VAT will allow local newspapers around Ireland to invest in journalism and in the transition to new digital business models.

“News publishers have faced a series of major challenges over recent years, most recently the huge increases in the cost of newsprint. This move will help support jobs in the industry and sustain the quality of our service to readers.

“We very much appreciate this endorsement by Government for the valuable role we play in our communities and the public service content we provide.

“I would like to thank the Minister for Finance and the Minister for Public Expenditure and all the Ministers, TDs and Senators from across the political spectrum who have given their support to our campaign to end VAT on journalism.”

Executive Director of Local Ireland Bob Hughes said: “Local news publishers are the lifeblood of the communities they serve. Along with our national colleagues represented by NewsBrands Ireland, we play a vital role in Ireland’s democracy.

“Today’s decision will protect the future of trusted, professional journalism in Ireland against the tide of global disinformation that threatens to undermine healthy democratic debate and analysis.”




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Connacht Tribune

Galway call-out with entries now open for Guaranteed Irish Business Awards



Pictured at the launch of the Guaranteed Irish Business Awards are Patrick Farrell,Retail Banking Director, Permanent TSB; Michael Jackson, Managing Partner, Matheson; broadcaster Anton Savage, and Christina Conlon, Marketing Manager, Guaranteed Irish.

Guaranteed Irish has announced the launch of the 2023 Guaranteed Irish Business Awards, celebrating the best of locally based businesses in recognition of their contribution to business in the country.

The Awards – back after their inaugural year – aim to put the spotlight on local businesses that have made a commitment to support local jobs and contribute to local communities across the country.

The event, which will be MCed by broadcaster Anton Savage, will take place at an awards luncheon in The Shelbourne Hotel on Tuesday, March 14 2023.

“Guaranteed Irish has been supporting businesses in Ireland for almost 50 years and is recognised as the national symbol for trust in business and provenance,” explained Brid O’Connell, CEO of Guaranteed Irish.

“It’s important to celebrate the best of homegrown businesses as well as firms that have chosen to operate locally here in Ireland. Through the Guaranteed Irish licensed symbol, consumers identify businesses that build local supply chains, support local jobs, and embrace sustainable business practices.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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