Fiona Edwards Murphy won LEO Cork North & West’s Best New Idea category and also walked away with the title of ‘Best Young Entrepreneur’ for the Cork North and West region in December. Fiona’s business Apis Protect helps beekeepers to prevent losses and increase the productivity of their hives through the use of unique in hive sensors and data processing technology.
Why did you enter IBYE?
I was recommended to apply to IBYE by the IGNITE Graduate Business Innovation Programme, which I’m currently participating in. I thought it would be a good opportunity to gain some experience pitching my business idea, and a great opportunity to network with the other young entrepreneurs in my area and throughout Ireland.
What is the biggest thing you’ve learned from your IBYE experience?
The IBYE competition was an excellent opportunity to get help working on my business plan. It’s now much more developed in areas like marketing and financials. The workshops at the business bootcamp were excellent for improving our business model, and practising our presentation and pitching skills.
How do you plan to use the investment you won?
We’re planning to use the investment towards our pilot deployment of our hive monitoring technology in over 200 hives internationally. This is a vital step for us to evaluate the market, and start building up a widespread database of honey bee information.
Any advice to other young entrepreneurs?
Get involved in your local networking events for entrepreneurs, such as those run by your Local Enterprise Office! I’m always surprised by how many other people are working on starting a business too, and it’s helpful to talk to and get advice from people who are going through the same experiences you are.