The ILCC – Ireland-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce – is organizing its third Innovation Contest to promote the concepts of innovation, entrepreneurship and pitching (i.e. business ideas), with the support of a number of other organizations including Enterprise Ireland. This year’s contest is going “back to basics” by focusing on early-stage startups where the entrepreneurs have formed their business ideas but not yet necessarily created their company.
A contest for early-stage startups (only)
Launched on March 15, with the Pitching Event scheduled for May 9, the ILCC Innovation Contest is based loosely on the Dragon’s Den concept of pitching ideas to potential investors with market experience. The requirements for entry include that the project will be operated from Luxembourg, that it’s an early-stage startup – i.e. raised less than €50K – and that it has a technological component. However, there are no restrictions as to the business sector or whether the business is product or service-based, and participating entrepreneurs do not have to be ILCC members.
Applicants need to apply by April 20 and must demonstrate that they have covered the four basics: performed market research, created a product prototype, developed a financial business plan, and are prepared to deliver a pitch. The applications will be screened and the entrepreneurs whose applications tick all the four boxes will be selected for the Pitching Event.
Facing the “Dragons”
The selected entrepreneurs will be invited to pitch their ideas in front of a panel of “Dragons,” each for a maximum of 5 minutes. During the following 5-10 minutes, the “Dragons” can ask questions to better understand the business concept. When all of the pitches have finished, the “Dragons” will deliberate to choose the best pitch(es) for the awarding of prizes. Judging criteria will be along the lines of the four basics detailed above, with the individual “Dragons” bringing their own market expertise to their critiques and decisions.
The pitching event will be followed by a networking reception during which the winning pitches will be awarded prizes from partnering organizations.
Picture report of the launch event: