Simon Coveney TD; Larry O’Donoghue, CEO of AxisBIC; Peaches Kemp, Director, itsa; Martin Corkery, Regional Director, Enterprise Ireland and Gert O’Rouke, Nexus, UL. Photo: John Allen

South west sees big rise in high potential start-ups

An organisation specialising in working with high potential start-ups (HPSUs) has recently revealed some very promising new data.

AxisBIC worked with a record number of HPSUs in 2023 - 17 HPSUs from across the Cork and Kerry region, more than double the number from the previous year.

Working alongside their partner Enterprise Ireland, AxisBIC’s wishes to unlock the potential within their region- which has recently been expanded - empowering high growth innovators to drive positive impact.

These HPSUs were among 85 that featured in the Class of 2023 at this week’s Enterprise Ireland Start-Up Day. There were also 71 pre-seed start fund (PSSF) investments with 11 of these having worked directly with AxisBIC.

Enterprise Ireland confirmed that the Irish state agency invested a total of €24 million in start-ups last year with €4 million going towards the 17 HPSUs that worked with AxisBIC. One of those HPSU start-ups was Peigín Crowley, founder of Ground Wellbeing. Ms Crowley has worked with AxisBIC in developing her spa brand idea into a successful business.

Larry O’Donoghue, CEO of AxisBIC said: “We have been working with start-ups for the past 35 years and it is heartening to work with people like Peigín Crowley as they develop an idea into a thriving business. We had a particularly successful year in 2023 and we hope to continue to increase the number of high potential start-ups that we work with in 2024, especially in our expanded territories now including Clare, Cork, Kerry and Limerick.”

Ms Crowley of Ground Wellbeing said: “It’s really encouraging to see so many female led start-ups, especially in the Cork and Kerry region, but I think we need to try to increase that number even further. I would strongly recommend anyone in business to contact AxisBIC for support.

“Setting up your own business can be very daunting but the team at AxisBIC have been so helpful working with me on my business plan as well as providing invaluable advice along the way. Last October, I attended the AxisBIC Entrepreneur Experience which was really beneficial as it offered entrepreneurs unparalleled access and mentoring from some of the country’s most successful business leaders.” Leo Clancy, CEO of Enterprise Ireland added: “Enterprise Ireland is proud to continue supporting AxisBIC as they help to grow and develop innovative startups who have high growth potential and can contribute to economic development in their areas. AxisBIC worked with 17 high potential start-ups in 2023 and we look forward to seeing further success stories in the year ahead.”

The team at AxisBIC works closely with each entrepreneur to develop a well-tested business plan, raise investment, manage business propositions, and arrange agreements with shareholders and investors. The organisation has an extensive network of partners including local authorities, universities, investors, business bodies and seasoned entrepreneurs across Ireland and internationally.

AxisBIC was formerly known as CorkBIC but rebranded earlier this year due to an expansion of the region in which it offers its services. AxisBIC now works with businesses in Clare, Cork, Kerry and Limerick. The company has been driving innovation and fostering the growth of start-ups in the south west for 35 years.

For more information go to the AxisBIC website