13 April 2016

Barry O’Driscoll, Cork GAA and Nemo Rangers footballer with the help of Martin Corkery, Enterprise Ireland; Joan Walsh, President of Network Cork and Siobhan Finn, Cork Innovates, showed their support in launching an exciting and innovative programme that will assist job seekers in Cork. The free programme which has been developed and will be run by the Innovation Academy UCD, is funded by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) Springboard+ Initiative. It will offer an innovative approach to third level education - which to date has resulted in 72% of all graduates starting their own businesses or going into regular employment.

The programme is internationally recognised and nurtures creativity and increases the participant’s capacity for innovation and entrepreneurship; skills that are highly sought after by employers in all sectors presently. It brings together participants in groups who work on projects that stimulate creativity, problem solving and create positive environments for experiential learning. Participants also have an opportunity to connect with employers through innovation projects with industry and guest speakers.

Speaking positively of his experience, Simon Cocking, Cape Clear, Co. Cork, a past graduate of the programme, who is the Founder and Senior Editor at Irish Tech News, which has just been voted Ireland’s No1 online site for Tech News said, “This course is a great opportunity to really get out and kick the tires on your business idea. To try things out, and test your ideas in a great supportive atmosphere. Fellow students were encouraging and supportive, and the teacher/entrepreneurs were people with experience of already successfully starting and selling previous companies. If you get the opportunity, take part it's a great course and potentially life changing too.”

Professor Suzi Jarvis, Founding Director of the Innovation Academy said: “We are so delighted to be bringing the programme to Cork, nurturing entrepreneurship and getting more people back into the workforce as we use our learnings in innovation and developing people’s creativity for business and education into communities around the country.  Our whole focus is to encourage creative thinking and increase people’s capacity for innovation within their careers or with their business ideas and we see first hand new businesses shooting up following these programmes and more people re-joining the workforce with renewed confidence and energy.”

The GAA through a partnership with the Innovation Academy UCD, are also lending their support to the course to reach communities around the country. The course is also championed by entrepreneurial leaders from the GAA in each province including Pat McDonagh, founder of Supermacs, Pat McDonagh, founder of Riverdeep, Brian McEniff, Director, McEniff Hotels and Frank Murphy, CEO, Monex.

Beginning Thursday 31st March, this course will run for 18 weeks, 2 days a week from 9am-5pm in XXXXX. Participants who successfully complete the course will gain a qualification from University College Dublin along with a highly transferable skill set with the skills to gain employment or to start their own business or social venture. The course applies a ‘learn by doing’ teaching method with no exams and attracts a diverse mix of people who either wish to start their own business, embark on a new career or rejoin an existing career path.

The course is taught by a team of academics and entrepreneurs such as Dr Eileen Diskin and Maurice Knightly, whom are both entrepreneurial specialist with the Innovation Academy. Dr. Eileen is the founder of the initiative - BioDiversityInOurLives.com and has a background in business research with a keen interest in archaeology, natural sciences and the wilderness. Maurice Knightly, a graduate of the programme is a director of multiple food and new media companies.

For further information on the course and to register your interest please visit www.innovators.ie