The 5 Minute IBYE Read
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the billions of buzzwords that get bandied around when you enter the Start-up world with your brand new business idea. Words like Angel Investors, Seed funding, Elevator Pitches and Thought Leadership can go from being buzz words to turning into a mind buzz, without giving you a clear picture and understanding of the value that lies behind each term.
It can be the same with IBYE. The acronym alone can be confusing, never mind the process and adventure that may await as you progress on a potential six month IBYE journey into a maelstrom of media and mentorship mayhem. Yet, this whirlwind of business growth has left a multitude of Young IBYE Entrepreneurs on a different kind of buzz. That high level buzz of the euphoria felt when delving into your own creation and seeing it gather its wings and fly.
To get an idea of what lies ahead for those who have taken the exciting plunge (or are about to), here are five things that you can expect on entering IBYE.
A Chance to Win IBYE Funding
Well it’s the main one, right? The tangible take home at the end of the day is the cold, hard IBYE cash that can be invested into the growing success of your business.
The Competition as a whole has a huge funding pot of €2 MILLION EURO. Yep that’s € 2,000,000 which is divided up between 32 Local Enterprise Offices and the Overall National Prizes.
This is the bit that some people read and then the doubt and uncertainty creeps in. “I’ll never win this.’ ‘It’s full of huge businesses with great experience’ ‘I’m a local lad/lady who has no experience in business.’
These were familiar reflections that were heard from the Kerry coastline up to the wilds of Donegal last year. However, they were actually familiar reflections of laughing relief from contestants who ignored the doubts and dispelled the uncertainties by taking the plunge and typing their idea or business into the form on the website. Contestants who now have anything from €10,000 to €70,000 in their pocket to help grow their business and, whilst doing so, have learnt a hell of a lot along the way.
So let’s break down the cash:
This is the amount that each Local Enterprise Office has to divide between the winners of the three IBYE categories available:
- Best New Idea
- Best Start Up
- Best Established Business
This means that someone with an idea buzzing around in their head in Counties like Wexford, Wicklow or Westmeath could walk away with a 10k IBYE prize to make that idea into a reality. How bad is that!
It also means that the many new Start Ups in Counties like Louth, Leitrim and Limerick could get an IBYE cash injection of €20k to expand and grow their business.
The great news is that these prizes are spread Country wide which means the Competition as a whole is anyone’s game and the chance to bring your business from a local level into the National realm is very real.
The National IBYE Cash prizes are real too. On top of the money received from winning at a local level, the chances are that you could increase this funding by up to €50k as the National prizes have a cash pot of €100k to give to deserving winners. Last year’s winners came from Westmeath, Tipperary and Dublin with the Google prize for online promotion going to Waterford. It may read like a Quarter Final replay yet the results are very real and so is the cash!
Many that won last year did not expect to win as they were unsure of their standing in the business world but this money has helped them in so many ways and their businesses have moved forward in as many steps as it would take to win a marathon. Have a glimpse at their IBYE stories here.
IBYE Mentorship | Bootcamps
This is where it gets really interesting! This stage can be the most valuable for any business as it is packed with sound business advice and practical solutions in helping to grow your business into one that has real commercial standing in the big bad business world.
The successful applicants at County level will be invited to a bootcamp where they will be introduced to business mentors and given the practical skills needed to achieve in business. The mentors will work with each business based on their current stage of growth.
This means that if you are blessed with a great business idea that hasn’t developed into a tangible business yet, they will provide you with the necessary skills with which to turn that idea into your chosen career. Alternatively, if you have a business that has been running for a few years and is at the stage of expansion, then you will be supplied with the skills and knowledge with which to do that.
The success of the Competition lies here. It was fantastic last year throughout the process to see the IBYE competitors take these skills and put them to good use. From talking business plans in the first few months to expansion into the export markets a year later just says it all and mirrors the growth that IBYE has been delighted to be a part of!
Build LEO Relationships
Who knows who and where their LEO is?
‘What do those letters stand for’ says you! (It’s Local Enterprise Office and there’s one near you!)
These are the unsung heroes of the IBYE process and the very organisations that are the backbone of the business and mentorship relationships that strongly develop throughout the IBYE process.
If you could ask each and every one of last year’s finalists what their LEO did for them in helping with their business, they will ALL talk non-stop about the great advice and strong relationships made that aided their business growth. The LEO’s go BEYOND the IBYE process as they are there to help long after the Competition ends and have the resource, training and mentorship programmes to help local businesses at ANY stage of their growth.
They run the IBYE Competition at the County level and are instrumental in seeing the best in your business or idea and bringing it to the next stage. They stay with you and mentor on every stage in the process and beyond. Aside from IBYE, I would recommend that you contact them just to see what resource they have to help you and your business. It’s great to have that support!
Networking | Contacts at IBYE
These IBYE’ers from last year developed unique friendships and a shared experience that has carried on since the Competition ended last December. Whether it be a few pints in the pub, at a Start-Up event, or a tortilla or two in Little Ass Burrito Bar (see IBYE Category Winner Philip Martin for that one!), the guys and gals have a special bond that has seen them discuss their doubts and fears, gain knowledge insight and share personal stories over the months they shared in IBYE 2014.
This, some might say, is one of the best parts of IBYE as it provided a hub for like-minded people to meet and network with those at a similar stage in their entrepreneurial career. The specifics of the businesses may be diverse but the questions, business framework and those almighty buzzwords are all the same no matter the industry. Sharing that journey into the IBYE unknown is something that is not easily forgotten.
There’s the other type of networking too. IBYE gives you access to some of the key figures in the entrepreneurial world that, outside of the Competition, could have an impact or an insight into your business. Last year saw the Finalists visit Wayra Ireland, attend the Google Foundry to be quizzed by scientific maestro, Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin, meet influential figureheads in Start Ups and discuss their business with key figures in the world of Government and politics. A far cry from sitting at home in Offaly, Galway or Cork and dreaming up an idea that you think MAY have potential!
Ever think you could become a media savvy interviewee, telling your business story to the likes of the national Dailies, the Weekend Supplements, the Business Radio Shows and the online news sites.
Neither did the IBYE lads and lassies last year, yet ask them about it now and its water off a ducks back to them! The guys have had their businesses focused in their local media, featured in National newspapers, examined on radio shows on Stations like Newstalk and covered on the good ould telly! Westmeath winner Dean Gammell recently wrote about his business journey for TheJournal.ie and the response was amazing.
From local to National coverage, each time your business name is mentioned then someone new takes notice and it serves to help the growth of your business. The more exposure you get with the media, the more you learn about how to portray your brand well to the specific audience they cater to. This raises YOUR business profile and gets your business out to the people that matter; potential clients.
This is why the phrase we are using a lot on IBYE Social Media at the moment is ‘Don’t Dream it, Do it.’ It’s so apt for IBYE as the dream could turn into a reality and, when it does, could REALLY change your life.
Enter IBYE here and turn YOUR dream into a reality.