Student-focused social network start-up wins top prize at Ignite awards

Nternz, RecruitRoo and FemToFire were all awarded prizes after pitching at the Ignite start-up event hosted by UCC.

Social network start-up Nternz won the top prize at the Ignite programme showcase yesterday evening (25 October) at University College Cork (UCC).

Led by founder Paddy O’Toole, Nternz has developed a platform designed to allow students to discover and connect with careers and companies, and build their professional work experience. The start-up was declared the overall Bank of Ireland Best Business Award winner at the event.

O’Toole, who graduated with a government and political science degree last year, was part of a cohort of 24 graduate and student start-up founders who pitched their business ideas at the Ignite showcase. Ignite is an incubator programme that helps graduates turn their ideas into fully fledged businesses.

A joint initiative by Cork City Council, Cork County Council, the Local Enterprise Offices in Cork and UCC, the programme is open to recent graduates from all third-level institutions in Ireland. It helps them work full-time on a scalable start-up idea with potential for commercial or social impact.

While Nternz took the top award, Stephen MacCarthy won the Best Business Plan Award for his start-up RecruitRoo, which provides companies with access to global talent by building technology that reduces friction of screening, migration and onboarding.

The Best Pitch Award was bagged by Louis Walsh for his start-up FemToFire, which is building a technology platform to help assess and locate fire risks within forests.

“We are working towards a flexible programme that provides start-ups with the support they need when they need it. And we continue to invest in development of the programme to meet the emerging needs of our start-up founders,” said Ignite director Eamon Curtin.

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Since its founding in 2011, Ignite has worked with around 150 start-ups including AnaBio Technologies, ApisProtect, LegitFit, EziVein, Talivest and Trustap.

Earlier this year, e-learning platform for data skills Sunny Numbers took the top prize at Ignite’s last showcase. It was founded by Cleidi Hearn.

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This content was originally published here.