Sports media website PunditArena wins UCC Ignite business award

A sports media website has won the main prize at the UCC Ignite graduate business awards.

Sports media website PunditArena wins UCC Ignite business award

PunditArena.com was last night named the Bank of Ireland/Ignite Business of the Year 2014 at an awards ceremony held at University College Cork.

The awards recognise businesses at the end of a nine-month period at the college’s in-house incubation centre for graduate-led start-ups.

Bank of Ireland area manager Diarmuid Lynch, who presented the award, said that all the candidates embodied the entrepreneurial spirit that is likely to see them succeed.

“We had a tough job, as each participant demonstrated true entrepreneurial spirit and steadfast determination. Each start-up demonstrated to us that they have the ability to develop successful businesses and I’m sure we’ll hear lots more from them in the near future,” said Mr Lynch.

PunditArena.com was founded by UCC graduates Richard Barrett and Ross O’Dwyer, who initially entered the Ignite programme working on individual sports websites.

The company now has over 200 contributors, a sub-editorial team of six and a further three people involved in digital marketing.

Other winners on the night included Walter O’Grady, founder of Cemood Ltd, who won the EY/Ignite Business Plan Award for his software solutions company.

University of Limerick business studies graduate, John O’Donoghue was also amongst the winners for his agricultural solutions business, AgTeCH4 which grabbed the innovation award.

Speaking at the ceremony, Ignite programme director, Eamon Curtin said that the calibre of entrepreneurs is improving every year.

“As we come to the end of the fourth phase of the Ignite Programme, it’s clear to me that entrepreneurship is thriving among recent graduates, and the calibre out there is getting stronger and stronger as more supports become available to young entrepreneurs,” he said.

This year the awards recognised businesses across fashion, food and nutrition, agriculture and software solutions.

Here is the full list of winners from last night:

- Bank of Ireland/ IGNITE Business of the Year Award 2014 - Richard Barrett and Ross O’Dwyer, PunditArena.com

- EY/ IGNITE Business Plan Award - Walter O’Grady, Froblem

- JW O’Donovan Solicitors/ IGNITE Innovation Award - John O’Donoghue, AgTeCH4

- IGNITE Peer Award 2014 - Richard Barrett, PunditArena.com

- IGNITE 2014 Showcase Award - Evelyn Flynn, Trifolium

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