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The creative industries sector, with an estimated global growth rate of 7%, is brimming with potential, with startups taking the lead in this dynamic landscape. Fuelled by creativity, innovation and technology, a world of possibilities awaits emerging creative industry enterprises.

Startups within the creative industries sector hold a unique position to challenge conventions and create groundbreaking experiences. From immersive design to virtual production, these visionary entrepreneurs are shaping the future of creativity.

In a strategic move to support Irish creative industry startups in seizing global opportunities, CREW (Creative Enterprise West), a prominent advocate for innovative startups in the creative industries, is delighted to announce its selection as the Irish National Partner for the Global Creative Business Cup. This partnership is made possible through collaboration with the Western Development Commission.

The Creative Business Cup is a prestigious international startup competition spanning more than 80 countries, celebrating the synergy of innovation and entrepreneurship. It provides a platform for creative entrepreneurs, startups, and innovators worldwide to showcase their pioneering ventures to a global audience. Participants in this esteemed competition vie for the title of the world’s best creative industry startup while benefiting from invaluable exposure, mentorship, and access to a robust network of international industry leaders and investors.

Niamh Costello, CEO of Crew wth Allan Mulrooney, CEO Western Development Commission
Niamh Costello, Chief Executive CREW, Creative Enterprise West with Allan Mulrooney, CEO Western Development Commission at the launch of Creative Business Cup 2024. Photo:- Mike Shaughnessy

The call for the Creative Business Cup competition is specifically aimed at registered Irish startup creative entrepreneurs across various sectors, including animation, game design, digital arts, content creation, XR, interactive design, film and TV production, and startups focused on the creative digital and tech spheres. Applications open on November 1st, and all entry criteria for the Creative Business Cup can be found on CREW will be hosting roadshow events at ConnectedHubs and Gteics through the West and North-West regions, and virtual information sessions for interested startups.

Creative entrepreneurs will be immersed in a multicultural, creative entrepreneurial environment through the Creative Business Network. This experience includes the opportunity to pitch their business ideas at the Irish Creative Business Cup national competition, hosted at CREW’s Creative Enterprise Hub in Galway in March 2024. Shortlisted startups will receive mentorship and a series of customised masterclasses to refine their pitches. An international panel of judges will ultimately select the Irish finalist. The winner of the Irish Creative Business Cup will receive support to travel to Copenhagen to join creative businesses from over 80 countries at the global finals in June 2024. This event offers a unique opportunity to network and engage with like-minded creative entrepreneurs, business organisations, investors, and leading creative industries startups from around the world.

Founder of the Creative Business Network, Rasmus Wiinstedt Tscherning, expressed his enthusiasm for this unique Irish partnership:


We are thrilled to welcome CREW as the Irish National Partner for the Creative Business Cup. Ireland has a wealth of creative talent, and this collaboration will provide a remarkable opportunity for Irish creative entrepreneurs to shine on the international stage. We believe that their participation will enrich the global creative community and foster cross-cultural collaboration.

Allan Mulrooney, CEO of the Western Development Commission, welcomes this partnership: “The WDC is proud to bolster CREW in their mission to elevate Ireland’s creative sector as a global frontrunner. This collaboration empowers Irish creative startups with the essential resources and networks required to thrive on the world stage. Together with CREW, we eagerly contribute to Ireland’s creative success narrative.”

“The WDC has consistently championed the Creative Industries, and our support for the Creative Cup reaffirms our commitment to igniting innovation, entrepreneurship, and collaboration within the creative sector. By doing so, we aim to position Ireland’s creative economy as a potent global advantage. This sector, shaping our culture, values, and identity, contributes to our national dialogue through literature, entertains us with video games, defines and promotes our destinations through theatre’s and museums, and enhances our soft power with cultural exports. The WDC remains dedicated to fostering partnerships that support this sector and its dedicated professionals, enabling it to fully unlock its potential for generating high-quality employment and catalysing innovation in other industries.”

CREW’s Chief Executive, Niamh Costello, shared her excitement about the opportunities this Global partnership brings: “We are thrilled to be chosen as the Irish National Partner for the Creative Business Cup. This collaboration represents a pivotal moment for the Irish creative ecosystem. It will empower our creative entrepreneurs, enabling them to showcase their innovations globally while creating highly valuable connections with international mentors and investors who can propel their businesses to new heights.”

For more information about CREW Creative Enterprise West and updates on the Creative Business Cup in Ireland, please visit and follow @CREW and @CREWDigital1 on social media channels.