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U2 hoping new initiative will strike chord with Northern Ireland start-ups


U2 guitarist The Edge

U2 guitarist The Edge

Michael Zorn/Invision/AP

U2 guitarist The Edge

Irish rock band U2 is hoping that a new business venture in the Republic will strike a chord with start-up companies in Northern Ireland.

The band's guitarist The Edge - real name Dave Evans - has helped set up the Ireland office of an international not-for-profit organisation to support entrepreneurs.

While Endeavor will be based in Dublin, it will work with enterprise agencies on both sides of the border in order to provide networking opportunities, connections and access to capital to enhance the existing support services.

As well as The Edge, the board of directors of Endeavor in Ireland includes Paddy McKillen, a property developer who was born in Belfast, tycoon Denis O'Brien and Anne Heraty, the head of Cpl Recruitment.

To be eligible for help from The Edge and friends, company founders must have passed the initial start-up phase and be able to demonstrate the potential for rapid expansion and scale.

Between four and six entrepreneurs will be picked every year for the Endeavor Ireland programme. The office will open in November led by Rory Guinan.

The Edge said: "Endeavor is about enabling homegrown entrepreneurs with high impact potential to scale up, and to ultimately provide a societal benefit for the island of Ireland.

"U2 has long been exploring how we can use our influence to do something positive in this particular area.

"I came across Endeavor through my own research and, in discussing it with the band, we all felt that their model was the best fit to deliver for Ireland."

The rock band guitarist added: "I'm looking forward to working with Endeavor Ireland's very committed and talented board of directors, all of whom have shown incredible generosity, and the incoming MD, to help some of our most talented entrepreneurs - north, south, urban and rural - to reach their fullest potential."

Belfast Telegraph