Ireland is in trouble. Daily doom and gloom stories paint the picture of a country going down the toilet. Creating a “smart economy” is the oft-quoted solution to our many problems. But amidst all the talk, there’s limited decisive action being taken.
Dublin-based internet consultancy iQ Content isn’t buying all this bad news, and has decided to take action to get the “smart economy” ball rolling.
The company has just launched the iQ Prize: an open competition for the best business plan for an internet start-up, with a no-strings-attached grand prize of €10,000.
“iQ Content was born in the last great tech recession of 2000, so we know how hard it is for startups. But we also think recessions are a great time for creativity, good ideas and starting sustainable businesses,” said Morgan McKeagney, managing director at iQ Content.
“The iQ Prize is our contribution to creating a better Ireland: a catalyst to tap into Ireland’s talent, to spark innovation, and to help create the great businesses of the future.”
But the company has made it clear that they will have no equity stake in any business founded by the eventual winner of the prize, nor are they looking to invest.
“We’re doing this because we can, and because we think it’s timely and worthwhile.”
McKeagney also thinks Ireland as a nation is particularly well-positioned to create world-class internet companies.
“What are the Irish good at?” he asks. “Storytelling, creativity, technology – and that’s just the start of it. I think we have a natural advantage in building web-based businesses. We’re good at it, so why not focus on it and try to build something out of it?”
Interested entrants must send in a brief 5-page business plan that shows how they will turn their idea into a great online business.
The prize will go through an initial round of applications, after which a shortlist of applicants will be asked to present their business plans before a panel of independent judges.
The final winner will be announced at the end of June.
For more details on the prize, see the FAQ below or visit www.iqprize.ie.