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Five Irish businesses have been selected for the inaugural Creative Business Cup Competition. The Irish competition is now part of the Global Creative Cup thanks to CREW and our team at the Western Development Commission.

Mersus Technologies, Script Guru by Mekkato Createch Studios, Wonky Woollins, Isolde and Grá Chocolates, have all been selected as the national finalists for the first ever Irish Creative Business Cup. CREW (Creative Enterprise West), a prominent advocate for innovative startups in the creative industries was announced as the Irish National Partner for the Global Creative Business Cup (CBC) in late 2023. This partnership was made possible through collaboration with the Western Development Commission.  

The CBC is a renowned international startup competition spanning more than 60 countries, celebrating the synergy of innovation and entrepreneurship. It gives companies the opportunity to showcase their pioneering ventures to a global audience. The 5 Irish businesses selected will vie for the national Creative Business Cup title, with the opportunity to benefit from a Creative Business Development Programme in partnership with CREW and Creative Business Network (Denmark). This programme includes virtual and in-person mentorship, masterclasses, and seminars with industry experts. CBC Ireland National Finals will take place in March 2024 at CREW’s new Innovation & Enterprise Hub in Galway. This inaugural event will include business pitches from all finalists, keynote speakers and a networking event. The winner will represent Ireland in the Creative Business Cup Global Final in June in Denmark.  

In meeting the finalists, WDC CEO Allan Mulrooney highlighted the significant economic potential within the digital creative industries.

The Western Development Commission recognises the significant economic opportunity to unlock potential within the digital creative industries. The Creative Cup is a great opportunity for our team to work with CREW on what is the world's largest platform for creative and innovative start-ups. Our Irish companies, will gain access to substantial support to foster the growth of their start-ups and reach new markets with business services, programs, mentoring, and investment opportunities.

CBC finalists 2024 with Allan Mulrooney CEO Western Development Commission and Aisling Burke CREW
CBC finalists 2024 with Allan Mulrooney CEO Western Development Commission and Aisling Burke CREW

Speaking about the selection, Sarah Halpin, Isolde said “Being shortlisted for the Creative Business Cup is not just a milestone for Isolde; it is an acknowledgement of our commitment to transforming ideas into innovative and impactful experiences. This recognition fuels our passion to redefine possibilities and inspires us to continue pushing the boundaries of innovation” 

A national call for applications was opened on the 1st of November. It was specifically aimed at registered Irish startup globally focused creative entrepreneurs with innovation and creative skills as the core of their business.  

Applications were judged by an international independent group of esteemed experts in the creative sector.   

The selected businesses span across various sectors, all harnessing creative competencies within their business model, including immersive technologies, AI, textile design, audiovisual, design for social change, and artisan food production.  The diverse range of applicants and finalists to CBC Ireland is a testament to the role of innovation and creative thinking amongst Irish start-ups.    

Miguel Escobar, founder of Script Guru by Mekkato Createch Studios said “participating in the Creative Business Cup Ireland is a milestone moment for us — a launching pad for our MVP that we are confident will revolutionize the way screenwriters around the world unleash their creativity. This is the perfect arena to showcase what we’ve created, to connect with visionaries who share our passion, and to find the partnerships and support that align with our mission.”