Ireland is often acknowledged as being home to some of the best incubators and accelerator programs in Europe. These organizations give budding entrepreneurs the chance to meet with people who have gone through the same journey as them. Most of these people are on the same journey as the young entrepreneurs they meet.

With the help of likeminded people, the entrepreneurs in these programs are able to develop the skills that they need to succeed in a market that has cut-throat competition. Apart from the acquisition of skills, startups can also structure their business model and gather investment options with the help of their incubator.

After a startup has gathered enough investment, it can launch, and the process of scaling-up your business begins. Even after a startup has launched and has started earning revenue, entrepreneurs still seek guidance from their incubators that helps them in growing their business. Accelerator programs in Ireland serve the same purpose from a broader perspective.

What Is the Difference Between an Incubator and an Accelerator?

Both incubators and accelerators in Ireland help the young businesses in their early stages, but both come into the picture at a different stage. While an incubator helps a business develop from the very beginning, an accelerator offers guidance when a company is off the ground. For example, an incubator might help a young business adjust their moral values or their mission statement. While an accelerator, on the other hand, helps an established business gather investors, so it takes a business decision.  One of Ireland’s most well-respected accelerators is the NDRC (National Digital Research Centre).

This accelerator program is based in the Liberties area of Dublin. For over a decade, NDRC has invested in technology-based startups and has also mentored them on growth strategies. The advice from the NDRC prepares businesses for their next step, which can be an investment for some startups.

So if you’re a startup or an established business in Ireland, you’d be glad to know that there are several incubators and accelerators in Ireland that can help. To save you from the effort of searching for the perfect startup for your business, we’re listing the best incubators and accelerators in Ireland.


1.    The NDRC

As we mentioned earlier the NDRC is often regarded as one of the best incubators in the world. If you are leading a business that is in its initial stages, the NDRC is the place to be. The NDRC builds and sources startups so they can leave the ground and start earning revenue. They provided businesses with knowledge from their experiences and expertise. The capital that they provide is also in a modest amount. This makes sure that these startups are ready to be presented in front of investors.

2.    IGNITE Incubator Program

The IGNITE incubator program is a part of the University College Cork (UCC). The program was designed so recent graduates of the university could develop and support their businesses. This program offers:

  • Several workshops
  • The chance to interact with guest speakers
  • Seminars
  • Chance to speak with experienced businessmen
  • Experts of the industry
  • Workplaces at UCC premises
  • Early seed funding

Every year, the program hopes to support at least 20 startups that are led by recent graduates. Any startup is welcome to participate if they belong to a third-level institution. Amongst the participants of IGNITE, there are also the founders of:

  • AnaBio Technologies Ltd
  • Vconnecta
  • Talivest
  • PunditArena
  • EuroComply
  • ApisProtect
  • TrustAp

3.    Origin8 from NCAD

Orgin8 hopes to help professionals from the industry to have access to the best design research. Orgin8 is originally an on-campus center at the National College of Art and Design (NCAD). It was created so the students of the institute could have increased access to innovation and commercialization. At the same time, Origin8 has also helped students on campus to get access to brilliant companies that need excellent designers.

In a way, not only does Origin8 help the college’s students in being noticed by successful companies, but they can seek guidance from them, too. Because of the multi-purpose agenda of Origin8, it has helped several students in achieving their dreams.

4.    NovaUCD

NovaUCD is an incubator that is based in one of the biggest universities in Ireland. Over the years, NovaUCD has distinguished itself as a center for excellence for startups from various disciplines. Regardless of what kind of startup you have, NovaUCD provides guidance to all kinds of startups. Some of the ways NovaUCD helps businesses are:

  • Legal taxation advice
  • Advice on marketing campaigns
  • Funding from venture capitalists

5.    The Rubicon Centre, Cork

The Rubicon Centre is an incubator that is jointly financed. Enterprise Ireland and CIT are the two organizations that fund The Rubicon Centre. It is Ireland’s leading business innovation hub, and it helps young entrepreneurs scale up their businesses. It has over 12,000 students, and the organization was established in 2006. Since the Rubicon Centre was established, it was the goal of the management to cater to students that were both on-campus and off-campus.

Because of its popularity, the institution accepts students that are both international and Irish. From the time this institution was established, it has grown at a blistering pace and is now housing 50 companies inside of it. More than 400 companies, over the years, have used the Rubicon centre for their development. As a way of giving back to the institution, these entrepreneurs often return to the Rubicon center to provide guidance and to often invest in younger businesses.

6.    Maynooth University Incubation Centre

The incubation center at Maynooth University opened in 2015. Unlike other incubation centers that focus on developing businesses, the Maynooth Incubation Centre focuses on the commercialization of research. It ensures that a professional approach to research is taken, and this idea has often received continuous support from Knowledge Transfer Ireland and Enterprise Ireland.


So if you’re leading a startup that has excellent potential – don’t let it go to waste! There are several incubators and accelerators in Ireland that are waiting to help you improve, and invest in your idea.

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