New Endeavour Programme for Start-Ups Launches

Endeavour 2011 Irelandâ¿¿s leading fast-track programme for start-ups, Endeavour, has launched its 2011 programme with an impressive list of international mentors. Endeavour seeks to attract high-quality candidates who have a strong ability to succeed in the entrepreneurial world.

Endeavourâ¿¿s reputation as a successful programme for start-up companies is unrivalled thanks to the impressive achievements of the companies involved in year one. Their current combined funding valuation is in excess of €10m based on closed or imminent investments. These companies have also been recognised by the wider technology industry receiving awards at the Dublin Web Summit (Spark of Genius), from the Irish Software Association (Technology Start-up of the Year), Ulster Bank (Business Achievers Award) and SCUUL (Entrepreneur of the Year).

Participants on the Endeavour programme must show a strong work ethic and ability to prove their business can stand the scrutiny of the real world. Launching the programme, Jerry Kennelly, co-founder of Endeavour, outlined the commitment required for success on the programme,

⿿It⿿s all about tough love. Making the cut in fiercely competitive global markets isn⿿t easy and we expect the Endeavour participants to react quickly to the lessons shared by our mentors and focus on creating businesses that are unique and compelling for a customer perspective. That⿿s why we⿿ve made this a competitive programme with two rounds of candidates,⿝ said Kennelly.

Endeavour 2011 has two phases or rounds for candidates. The first will accommodate up to 80 participants and will run concurrently in two locations one evening per week in Dublin and Kerry, following a structured programme of contributions from entrepreneurs and professional advisors including Liam Casey, PCH, Ray Nolan, Worky, Morgan Lang, 9MMedia and Brian Long, Atlantic Bridge. A Demo Day pitch to an entrepreneur panel will act as the selection gateway to phase two.

Only ten participants will be selected for phase two on a six-month, full time programme to be run at Kerry Technology Park. Free office space, meeting facilities and broadband are provided for one year. Theyâ¿¿ll also have regular workshops, progress meetings, stress panels and professional training assessed by individual needs. Phase two will culminate in an Investor week in Dublin, London and Silicon Valley, where participants will have the opportunity to pitch in front of experienced international investors.

This year Endeavour has teamed up with the Kerry Group. As the most successful example of an Irish start-up company now employing over 20,000 people, and with a market capitalisation of €4bn., Kerry Group brings unique expertise and strengths: a global footprint, the international focus of its management team and a critical understanding of the high standards required when new start-up companies want to sell to the multinational sector. Endeavour organisers say its international mentor base and its impressive team of professionals is what differentiates it from other mentor programmes. Participants receive one-to-one support from Irelandâ¿¿s top entrepreneurs and learn from leading finance, legal and marketing professionals . Endeavoureeâ¿¿s business plans are reality-checked on a regular basis though business stress-test panels.

⿿This kind of one-to-one mentoring by globally experienced entrepreneurs is unique and keeps our founders grounded and focussed. It also allows start-ups the possibility of rapid global growth,⿝ explained Mr. Michael Carmody, President of Institute of Technology Tralee .

The programme is open for applications from the 14th of December until the 26th of January with phase one running from February to March and phase two, May to October. To apply, logon to www.endeavour.biz . Potential candidates can follow the programme updates on Twitter (@endeavourbiz).