Founded by brothers and UCC graduates James and Peter Nagle, Bitcove allows customers to buy and sell Bitcoins instantly.
Bitcoin is a digital currency that can be traded directly from person to person over the internet without passing through a bank or clearing house.
Bitcoins can also be bought and sold for mainstream currencies including euro and dollar, through currency exchanges such as Bitcove.
As a business at the forefront of a burgeoning online movement, Bitcove received the top award at last night’s ceremony in UCC’s Aula Maxima theatre having best demonstrated the potential to build a business that can achieve growth and create sustainable employment.
Bank of Ireland branch manager Diarmuid Lynch who chaired the judging panel praised the 11 companies that were fighting it out for the title of business of the year.
“The calibre of the business presentations was very high. It is incredible how far each of the business has progressed over the past nine months on the Ignite programme. Each of the start-ups that presented to the judging panel demonstrated true entrepreneurial spirit and steadfast determination; and each has the potential to develop successful businesses,” Mr Lynch said.
In addition to Mr Lynch, JW O’Donovan associate solicitor John Fuller; Seamus Downey, EY taxation director; and Kernel Capital partner Orla Rimmington completed the panel.
Two additional awards were made last night with Eileen Weadick, founder oftaking home the EY/Ignite Business Plan Award.
DrWeadick, holder of a PhD in experimental physics from UCD, is developing online educational programmes and services in technical communication.
The JW O’Donovan Solicitors/ Ignite Innovation Award went to UCC business information systems graduate Peter Marcano founder of Key.
The objective of this new company is to provide an effortless yet secure way of logging into password- protected computers and websites, without ever needing to remember a password.
Ignite programme director, Eamon Curtin praised the progress of this year’s participants.
“It’s clear that entrepreneurship is thriving among recent graduates, and the calibre out there is getting stronger as more supports become available to young entrepreneurs,” he said.