Ahead of the IBYE Regional Final which takes place on Thursday, January 19th we asked the Cork winners to share their IBYE experience. First up is Michael Sheehan from Milis Bio…
Michael won the Best New Idea category from LEO Cork City competition, receiving an investment of €7,000 in his company. Michael also walked away with the title of ‘Best Young Entrepreneur’ for the Cork City region.
Michael’s business Milis Bio is making novel proteins to act as healthy flavouring ingredients for the food and beverage industry, starting with a sin-free sweetener.
So Michael, why did you enter IBYE?
IBYE was recommended to us by some friends in the startup environment in Cork, and we then stumbled across the application again when looking through the Local Enterprise Office website.
What is the biggest thing you’ve learned from your IBYE experience?
The most valuable thing that we have learned I think would be an updated and more advanced understanding of the business model canvas, as well as how to tackle some of the trickier elements of a business plan such as financial assumptions and projections. These can be notoriously difficult for a young startup without experience of our own to draw upon, so the mentorship that came hand in hand with our involvement in IBYE was invaluable and will undoubtedly pay further dividends in future as we look to grow and raise funding.
How do you plan to use the investment you won?
I am delighted to say that we have already allocated a large portion of the investment towards our first hire! Mr Diarmuid Cahill has joined our business development team to help bring the company into our first round of funding smoothly. While the position is at present an operations internship role, we all hope that this will develop into a full time COO role provided the internship goes to plan. The rest of the funding will go towards Intellectual property protection, again a crucial expense for a biotech company such as ours.
Any advice to other young entrepreneurs?
Go for it! I fully believe that there is no greater way to capitalise on your position as a young Irish person than to pursue that great idea you’ve been sitting on, with support from world-leading initiatives such as IBYE and the fantastic people at your LEO who are dying to help you make it a reality.