Guinness Enterprise Centre invests €200k in CoConnect initiative

Guinness has invested €200,000 in a new initiative aimed at enriching the start-up ecosystem in Ireland by promoting more engagement and collaboration between regions.

The initiative – known as CoConnect – will create a number of home-away-from-home bases for growing entrepreneurial businesses in Ireland.

As part of the programme the Guinness Enterprise Centre (GEC) will team up with at least one enterprise hub in each county, giving participating companies access to the GEC’s wide range of services and contacts as well as its University Programme.

Regional start-ups and scale-ups based in participating hubs can avail of co-working space in the GEC in Dublin, while any employee based in the GEC can avail of co-working space in any of the partner members’ hubs.

CoConnect provides invaluable support for regional businesses by providing spaces to network with other entrepreneurs, start-ups, investors, mentors and influencers across the country .

It has been six months since the GEC launched its initial pilot programme, which has already seen the centre partner with more than 40 enterprise hubs nationwide.

Eamonn Sayers, Manager of the Guinness Enterprise Centre, says, “Tapping into the GEC’s extensive entrepreneurial network can make all the difference to a start-up and CoConnect will ultimately provide more support for business ideas from every corner of Ireland.”

The CoConnect programme is one of 21 initiatives to receive funding from the Regional Enterprise Development Fund as a part of a government initiative to support and engage with regional enterprise in Ireland.

According to Julianne O’Leary, Partnership Programme Manager, GEC, the initiative is already receiving “a warm reception” from hub managers around the country.

“CoConnect will work to further enrich the fertile start-up environment in Ireland by encouraging knowledge sharing and networking between start-ups,” O’Leary concludes.