b'Photography: Aengus McMahonThe Ireland Funds Business Plan Competition 2019 nalistsThe Ireland Funds has a long history of supporting excellence andI proposed the idea of a Business Plan Competition to The Ireland addressing need in Ireland. Since 2012, and initially in response toFunds in 2010 during the depths of the Irish recession, said Bill the economic downturn, The Ireland Funds has run an annual Busi- McKiernan. The economic climate in Ireland was pretty bleak at ness Plan Competition that seeks to nurture creativity and hone en- the time and it was clear that the biggest contribution The Ireland trepreneurial skills of Irelands next generation of business leaders.Funds could make to Ireland was to help create jobs. Young people By working in partnership with third-level institutions, innovationin Ireland should be encouraged to take risks. They need to be more hubs and focusing on early stage entrepreneurs, the Business Plancomfortable with failure and the lessons learned from it. The Ireland Competition promotes the skills and resilience needed to develop in- Funds Business Plan Competition hopes to do that.digenous industries, attract investors and, ultimately, to create jobs. In 2017, The Ireland Funds began partnering with Irelands Na-FoundedbySanFrancisco-basedBoardDirectorofTheIrelandtional Digital Research Centre (NDRC) to deliver the Business Plan Funds America, Bill McKiernan of WSM Capital, LLC, The IrelandCompetition. Funded by the Department of Communications, Cli-Funds Business Plan Competition finalists have a chance to win cashmate Action and the Environment, NDRC finds, builds and invests prizes as well as additional supports and mentorship.in tech companies and start-up teams with the potential to grow in-ternationally.connect 201849connect 2019'