Council to offer office space to high-potential business start-ups

Cork’s City Hall is throwing open its doors, literally, to help high-potential business start-ups get off the ground.

Fledgling companies will be offered office space in a new 4,500sq ft co-working office space which is being developed in the city’s civic headquarters building on Anglesea Street.

The office space — which is being developed by Cork City Council in part of its new civic office building — will be made available at a nominal fee to start-up, micro-enterprises looking to develop their business idea before they graduate to other spaces around the city as they prepare to scale up.

A spokesperson for the council said preference will be given to businesses operating in the manufacturing sector or to those with the potential to become internationally traded services and graduate to the Enterprise Ireland portfolio.

The companies that secure office space will also benefit from and have access to the onsite support of the Local Enterprise Office which is based in the adjoining main City Hall building.

The new co-working space will be formally launched in early January.

Entrepreneurs and those involved in business start-ups have always favoured a city centre location but the lack of suitable and affordable city centre office space has often been cited as a major obstacle.

The spokesperson said the development of the new start-up co-working office space in the Civic Offices is a key part of the city council’s innovation and entrepreneurship strategy.

“This project is about building upon and complementing a number of already thriving co-working spaces in the city centre such as Republic of Work, Plus10, and BoI Workbench and improving and strengthening the burgeoning innovation ecosystem in Cork,” the spokesperson said.

“It also demonstrates the council’s ongoing commitment to spearheading the economic development of the city centre.”

Meanwhile, CorkBIC — the private-sector led organisation which supports knowledge-intensive start-ups — has launched an International Security Accelerator programme which will offer a €50,000 investment to suitable “early stage disruptive companies” working in the cyber security sector, including the Internet of Things, health and bio- informatics, defence, critical infrastructure, financial services and logistics.

The package includes the cash injection, as well as access to business planning services, access to leading mentors and to an international investor network.

The application process is open until December 8.

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