The IGNITE programme at University College Cork, which helps entrepreneurs turn ideas into businesses, is celebrating ten years in operation this month.

To date, the programme has supported more than 120 start-ups, led by recent graduates.

Over that time the companies have created 250 jobs and raised more than €16 million in funding.

"We are very proud of all that has been created over the last ten years here at IGNITE," said Eamon Curtin, IGNITE Director.

"Our start-ups are building innovative businesses in a variety of sectors including food and agriculture, health and medical, business and financial with a key focus on having an economic, environmental or social impact," he added.

Over the years, Mr Curtin said the programme has evolved to meet changing needs.

"We now offer a comprehensive range of workshops, seminars and guest speaker events.

"Participants also get access to a wide network with over 100 entrepreneurs, business owners and industry executives contributing to the programme every year," he said.

Companies that have been set up as a result of the IGNITE programme include ApisProtect, co-founded by Dr Fiona Edwards Murphy, Trustap founded by Conor Lyden, Legitfit, co-founded by Ryan O'Neill, Gearoid Collins and Ian O’Sullivan, Ezi-Vein, founded by Marie Casey and AnaBio Technologies, founded by Dr Sinead Bleiel.