Limerick entrepreneur hoping to seal the deal with safer farming concept

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Limerick entrepreneur hoping to seal the deal with safer farming concept

Marion Cantillion recently completed the IGNITE programme

A LIMERICK entrepreneur has become one of the first participants to complete the prestigious IGNITE programme entirely online.

Marion Cantillon is a nutritional science graduate from UCC and the founder of PitSeal, which has developed an environmentally friendly alternative to the PVC sheeting and old tyres commonly used to cover silage pits on farms in Limerick and all over the country.

She is one of seven entrepreneurs to have completed the most recent programme which concluded earlier this month with a virtual awards ceremony and showcase for Spring 2021. 

The IGNITE Graduate Business Innovation Programme is hosted by University College Cork and is supported by Bank of Ireland, the Local Enterprise Offices of Cork City, South Cork and North and West Cork, Cork City Council and Cork County Council.

PitSeal is a biofilm made from seaweed. It’s edible and when ingested by livestock it helps to reduce their methane emissions. Marion first became fascinated by the possibilities of biofilms during her final year at college when she developed a particular interest in edible food packaging.

Commenting following the conclusion of the latest programme, IGNITE director Eamon Curtin said: “We are proud of the hard work and dedication of all our founders in developing their start-up ideas in what are very challenging times. This is the 13th cohort to come through IGNITE and those involved join a growing network of successful founders who started their start-up journeys on IGNITE. We are always open for expressions of interest from recent graduates from any discipline, from any third-level institution in Ireland with a viable business idea.”

Professor John Cryan, Vice President for Research and Innovation at UCC said: “The IGNITE programme is one example of UCC leading in the field of innovation. The start-ups graduating have diverse academic backgrounds from English and History to Nutrition. I am passionate about bringing together all disciplines making UCC a campus of Creativity, Curiosity and Critical Thinking; the IGNITE programme embodies those ideals.” 

Brendan Reddin of Bank of Ireland, who chaired the awards adjudication panel said: “Once again, we at Bank of Ireland are delighted to be part of the IGNITE programme. It is a fantastic programme that helps to support entrepreneurs. We are always inspired by the founders at IGNITE, their ideas and the quality of their pitches and business plans.”

The winner of the IGNITE Award for Best Business was: Patrick O’Regan, Founder of Reach The Top - a platform to streamline basketball scholarships in the USA.