Tech start-ups get a boost as pre-accelerator programme returns

Start-up Boost is back for early-stage companies who are looking to scale

Start-up Boost, the pre-accelerator programme for early-stage tech companies, is returning to Dublin shortly with applications now open for those wishing to take part.

The initiative aims to help companies that have not yet reached seed stage move towards accelerators, investment and revenues.

Start-up Boost, which began in Dublin last year, also takes place in Detroit, Los Angeles, London, Toronto and New York. The programme has supported 55 teams in total from around the world from an application pool of close to 1,000 start-ups.

The initiative, which runs for one evening a week over six weeks, offers one-to-one mentorship, pitch training and expert talks. It is aimed at entrepreneurs who are either too busy to commit to full-time accelerator programmes or who haven’t yet progressed their ideas enough to take part.


Overall, between six and eight companies will be selected to take part in the autumn programme, which commences next month. The start-ups accepted are not charged fees and no equity is taken. However, all are expected to have a comprehensive business model, a minimum viable product, and market validation or traction.

Start-up Boost, which announced a new partnership with the world's number one accelerator programme Techstars earlier this year, is fronted in Ireland by Gene Murphy, formerly a co-founder of Start-up Next Ireland and now entrepreneur-in-residence at Bank of Ireland.


Cavan-headquartered Bespoke Choice, a company that has developed an online sales platform that helps venues to increase their annual number of wedding bookings and the average revenue per event, participated on last autumn's programme.

The company recently won the One2Watch competition at the FutureScope conference in Dublin.

"Start-up Boost was an invaluable experience for our business, it really helped us to validate our business idea and focus on our target market," said the company's founder, Ronan Kelly.

“It helped us to refine our pitch so much we won a national pitching competition. The connections and ongoing support from the Start-up Boost team has been invaluable and I would recommend anyone with a business idea and thinking about applying for an accelerator, or just looking to get an introduction into the Irish start-up scene to look no further and apply,” he said.

Applications are now open to pre-seed/seed stage start-ups at

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor is a former Irish Times business journalist