Are you an entrepreneurial student or recent graduate with a business idea?

Accenture, in associations with NDRC and media partner The Irish Times, are looking for the Leaders of Tomorrow. Applications for the 2016 Award are now open.


Entrants take part in a number of development days on the themes of leadership, digital innovation and entrepreneurship. Guest speakers and one-to-one mentoring will nurture your idea and skills.

Finalists will have the opportunity to present their business plan to a panel of Irish business leaders.

The overall winners will receive a highly valuable space on NDRC LaunchPad accelerator programme. They’ll also have the option of a six month Accenture Internship following completion of LaunchPad. You will have everything you need to become a Leader of Tomorrow.

This competition is open to all third-level students across Ireland as well as those who have graduated in the last year.

Applicants will retain all intellectual property rights to ideas submitted. We want you to succeed and make Ireland’s future greater than the present.

Leaders of Tomorrow Award

The Accenture Leaders of Tomorrow Award aims to identify, foster and recognise leadership potential and innovative thinking amongst aspiring entrepreneurs in Ireland, with the aim of making Ireland’s Future > Present.

The Award is structured as a competition of three rounds where participants:

  • Submit an idea or concept which will be developed through the competition into a viable business plan

  • Explore the central topics of leadership, entrepreneurship and digital innovation

  • Network with likeminded participants

  • Identify and develop attributes in leadership, entrepreneurship and digital innovation through development days, which will include guest speakers and one-to-one mentoring

  • Present their developed idea to a panel of Irish business leaders

The overall winner(s) will visit one of Accenture’s Global Innovation Centres as part of the Leadership and Innovation Tour prize. Previous winners have been to France, India and New York.

Winners will secure a space on NDRC Launchpad programme, a three month accelerator programme for digital startup ventures. They will receive expert mentorship, weekly workshops and more to make their idea their future and become a Leader of Tomorrow. The option of a six month Accenture Internship following completion of NDRC Launchpad will be your safety net so that you can give it 100%.

This year we introduced a summer mini accelerator, the Accenture Boost Programme. The mini accelerator is open to previous finalists and alumni of the programme who were invited to participate in a series of afternoon workshops presented by Accenture leaders on a diverse range of topics including Strategy, Finance, Marketing, User Experience and more. The participants were also given quality one to one time with an Accenture Expert in the areas of Legal and Digital Media. The feedback from this year's participants was fantastic and we're planning on making this a permanent fixture in the Leaders of Tomorrow calendar.

But Why Participate?

The Accenture Leaders of Tomorrow Award is designed to provide participants with a forum to demonstrate and develop their leadership abilities and evolve their business idea. You’ll also have the opportunity to...

  • Gain an understanding of our business

  • Develop your professional skills

  • Develop collaboration and team working skills

  • Experience new perspectives

  • Meet our leaders

  • Take part in our series of Development Days

  • Network with likeminded people and business leaders

  • Have fun throughout!

Experiences of Past Winners

Competition Format

Three Rounds of Competition

The Award competition takes place over three rounds. The aim of these rounds is to provide participants with the opportunity to develop their business idea in a number of ways.

We are looking for people who can:

  • Provide practical and commercially viable business solutions

  • Demonstrate insight and clarity of thought

  • Demonstrate leadership in thought and innovation

  • Deliver practical real-world solutions

  • Leverage digital technology to deliver high impact solutions

Round 1 – Submit your business idea online. Business ideas must relate to one of the below mentioned themes/categories:

Finance & Payments
Health & Lifestyle
Social Responsibility
Goods & Services
Your business idea should include a digital focus (e.g. social, mobile, analytics, cloud).

Round 2 – Successful candidates will develop their business idea into a business plan and pitch to Accenture senior management

Round 3 – The group of finalists will then participate in a series of development days and pitch their business proposal to a panel of Irish business leaders, after which the overall winner will be selected.

Competition Timeline

6th December 2015 - Applications Deadline
29th January 2016 - Applications are narrowed down to 12 finalists
10th February 2016 - Round 2 shortlist are invited to attend a meet & greet in Accenture offices
17th and 24th February 2016 - Development Days
2nd March 2016 - Final of Leaders of Tomorrow Award 2016

The Prize

The Overall Winners of the Leaders of Tomorrow Award will receive an automatic place on NDRC LaunchPad. Spaces on this programme are highly coveted due to the success of NDRC in launching these startups.

The overall winner(s) will also be taken on the Leadership and Innovation Tour to one of Accenture’s Global Innovation Centres. These Centres are strategically located in cities of significant start-up activity where you will receive access to mentoring and an opportunity to expand your network.

We want to make sure that this award continues to develop and grow the skills of Ireland’s future Leaders. The Accenture Leaders of Tomorrow contestants will have the chance to give their ideas exposure, make valuable connections, and learn the essentials of business and digital innovation.

Development Days

These Development Days form an integral part of the competition and are designed to allow participants to practice and refine the business abilities required to transform their innovative ideas into a formidable business proposition.

During these Development Days, which take place in NDRC’s office in The Digital Hub and Accenture’s main office in Grand Canal Square, participants will benefit from one-to-one mentoring and take part in a series of workshops hosted by top business leaders from Accenture and other leading public and private companies. These workshops will allow participants to hone their business idea and prepare them for the final round presentations to our panel of judges.

If you win

What Happens If You Win?

On the evening of the final round, we host an awards presentation in our offices in Grand Canal Square, which we invite college representatives and friends and family of the finalists to attend. Here we announce:

The overall Accenture Leaders of Tomorrow winner(s) will receive our specially commissioned trophy by Seamus Gill Silversmith, Framed Certificate, the Leadership and Innovation Tour, a place on NDRC Launchpad programme, and the option of an internship with Accenture.

About NDRC: NDRC is an early stage investor in innovation. By providing the people, time, space and investment needed at the earliest stages of dedicated commercialisation work, NDRC is creating companies worthy of commercial investment and with the ability to scale.

The winner of The Leaders of Tomorrow Award will be offered a place on NDRC LaunchPad, a three month accelerator programme for digital startup ventures. Not only will the winner get to work at NDRC for the duration of the programme, they will also receive mentoring, attend workshops, and work alongside other startup founders, innovators, technologists and investors. The winner will also have the chance to pitch for investment from NDRC to support their participation in NDRC LaunchPad



Applications for the 2016 Award are now open. Please apply here.

Frequently Asked Questions

If your question isn’t answered here please contact us using the details available in this section or on our social media sites.

Who can participate?
This competition is open to all current third-level students in Ireland, undergraduate and postgraduate, as well as anyone who has graduated in the last year.

Do you need to be from a particular course to apply?
No, we accept applications from all disciplines.

Do all the team members have to be from the same college?
No, we accept applications from teams encompassing students from different colleges as well as teams of recent graduates or a mix of both.

How many people can be on a team?
A maximum of 3 members per team are permitted. Please contact us directly if there is a valid business case for additional team members to be included.

Please contact if you have any other queries.