The immediate focus of the Hincks Centre will be on teaching the staff in financial institutions how best to support entrepreneurs across start-ups and existing SMEs.
The centre will also carryout research into why emerging Irish businesses fail, as well as working on training lecturers and teachers in entrepreneurship.
CIT’s head of School of Business, Gerard O’Donovan, said: “The establishment of the Hincks Centre for Entrepreneurship Excellence demonstrates CIT’s commitment to the national job creation agenda. We believe this centre will be a significant support to growing entrepreneurship to a new level in Ireland and ensuring our entrepreneurship infrastructure can optimally support the growing level of entrepreneurs in Ireland.”
The new centre is named after the Rev Thomas Hincks, who proposed a society in Cork that would “contribute to and promote industry, economy and philanthropy”.
The launch came as 10 new companies emerged from CIT’s new frontiers programme. The programme, which is based in the Rubicon centre and funded by Enterprise Ireland, replaced the Genesis enterprise programme.
The overall winner of this year’s New Frontiers Programme was Stephen Slattery’s Zeto. The company saves customers time and money by alerting them to problems with refrigeration equipment and even warning of potential equipment failure before it occurs.
The winner of the best market opportunity went to Sarah O’Sullivan of SeaHorse Atlantic. The company produces a range of kelp supplements from the sea for horses, cats and dogs.
The most innovative business award went to Conor Quigley of Safe Care Technologies. Mr Quigley’s company creates software that allows the disabled, impaired or elderly people lead a more independent life in their own homes.
A special Alumni Award was presented to AspiraCon’s Pat Lucy in recognition of his contribution to the economic development of knowledge-based businesses in the region.
AspiraCon has helped over 40 companies bring world-class software to market and is a leading provider of IT and project management services in Ireland.
The new 2013/2014 programme is now recruiting for entrepreneurs. Each successful applicant receives a variety of supports to the value of €36,000.