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Tony Ryan pledges €10M investment fund for entrepreneurs at the DCU Ryan Academy
- 24 October 2005

Dr Tony Ryan announced the creation of a €10m fund to provide seed capital for entrepreneurs at the launch of the new €7m DCU Ryan Academy for Entrepreneurship at CityWest.

The fund is to ensure that entrepreneurs at the academy “ will not be constrained if they have an exciting – but practical plan.” he said.

He also called on venture capitalists and bankers to assist in providing “new and exciting opportunities” at the academy. The Academy, launched by the Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, has been funded the Ryan family in honour of their father, founder of Ryanair and other significant Irish ventures, and will form a vital element of the DCU business education programme. The foundation of the Academy demonstrates DCU’s strong connection with the business community and a clear university belief that entrepreneurial activity and development is vital for Ireland’s future prosperity and growth. The Academy will provide flexible, market-focussed programmes in entrepreneurship for business people who wish to grow their enterprises to the next level, assisting development agencies like Enterprise Ireland to reach strategic targets for the development of high potential start-ups.

There will be a strong focus on science entrepreneurship to develop the entrepreneurial skills of scientists engaged in Ireland’s multi-million euro research and development initiatives funded through Science Foundation Ireland, the HEA’s PRTLI programme, and other national research programmes.

The Academy will also provide timely programmes on intrapreneurship, driving innovation, creative thinking and entrepreneurship within large organisations in the public as well as the private sectors.

Programmes on social entrepreneurship will be included to help enhance the skills of those in the not-for-profit sector and in organisations that create social capital, addressing the social challenges of 21st Century Ireland.

At the launch, Dr Ryan revealed that a number of high profile business figures, including Dermot Desmond, Michael O Leary, Denis O Brien, David Bonderman, Sean Fitzpatrick, Mary Finan and Ken Rohan have agreed “to help in any way they could” with the Academy.

DCU President Ferdinand von Prondzynski said: “ The Academy intends to have a profound influence on Irish entrepreneurship, lifting business creativity and innovation to new levels and developing the entrepreneurial talents of Ireland’s scientists. It will foster the kind of entrepreneurship that the country needs to meet the challenges of the future and continue Ireland’s economic success.” The Academy which will be run on an enterprise basis will also provide Master classes and tutorials with Irish and international entrepreneurs.

It will be home to the Entrepreneurs’ Organisation – a membership organisation designed to help business owners around the world on the path to greater business and personal development. And it will host the Irish arm of the US based National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship, which helps young people from less well-off backgrounds to build skills and unlock creativity.

The Academy will be housed in an environmentally friendly modern building at DCU’s CityWest location – a great glazed hall with gracious “pod” shaped lecture theatres layered with titanium panels.