The GMIT Innovation in Business Centre is delighted to be involved with Business Forum and we will be contributing on a regular basis over coming editions. We provide a professional, modern environment for early-stage entrepreneurs and businesses. In addition to business accommodation, there are opportunities
to engage with other businesses at the same or similar stages of development. Most importantly, management at the centre provides excellent support and advice.
Over 40 jobs have been created in the Western Region since the Innovation in Business Centre (IiBC) at GMIT Castlebar opened its doors in 2006.
Among the start-up companies currently residing in the IiBC at GMIT Castlebar are: Anacores, Destine, Giant Technologies, InTime Media, Messaging365, Ordú, PMG Consult, Powersavvy, Qmec, The Water Guardian, Treanbeg Shellfish Ltd. and Warface.
The IiBC is now approximately 90 per cent occupied and is also collaborating on numerous local and regional initiatives aimed at generating interest in entrepreneurship and innovation.
One such initiative is an innovative four-month enterprise-training programme for people interested in starting up their own business. This is due to commence in the IiBC in Castlebar in two weeks' time following the success of the pilot programme last March.
South West Mayo Development Company and Mayo North East Leader Partnership Company support the programme under the Rural Development Programme 2007 - 2013.
Another initiative is 'virtual space', which enables start-ups access to the centre (including access to the boardroom) and postal address (with option of mentoring) without physically being located in the centre.
The annual GMIT Student Innovation Awards took place on Thursday, February 24, in the IiBC. The overall winner was Joan Finnerty, a fourth year business and accounting student at GMIT Castlebar, who received a cheque for €1,000, business mentoring support worth €500 and two months free incubation space in the IiBC.
The IiBC is also involved in a Female Entrepreneurship Workshop, which took place on March 9 and 10, from 9.30 a.m. to 3.30 p.m. at Breaffy House, Castlebar.
Maria Staunton, Manager of the IiBC at GMIT Castlebar, saID: "We are delighted with the interest and progress of the centre since it opened five years ago.
"The start-up businesses located here have the potential to be the driving force for the Irish economy and although the current economic environment is difficult, there are good opportunities."