Tech start-ups vie for investor funding at DCU Ryan Academy

6 May 2011

Six start-ups from DCU Ryan Academy’s Propeller Venture Accelerator programme are making pitches for funding to more than 70 investors from Ireland, the US, the UK and Italy today.

The six companies, which are operating in technology areas ranging from mobile applications to clean tech, online gaming, health informatics and internet applications, have been engaged in the Propeller Venture Accelerator programme for the past three months, where they have been availing of seed funding, collaboration space and mentoring.

The start-ups include Associate Mobile, which is building and commercialising cloud-based mobile platforms. It has already created the Mobileminder app, so parents can monitor their child’s mobile activities remotely.

Fantom is taking the energy of the schoolyard trading cards game into a new social media dimension, with a virtual and actual rewards system. It’s aiming to be the next big social-media obsession for tweens, teens and young adults.

Meanwhile, GreenEgg Technologies is developing technological solutions for the clean technology and environmental sectors. One of its eco-educational tool creations has been the EcoBike, a pedal-powered electrical generator that demonstrates the concepts of energy efficiency in a fun and interactive way.

HealthComms is specialising in ‘In Home’ care communications. It has developed an image-based software product called MyHomeReach that allows two-way visual communication between an older person and his or her care network.

Simple Lifeforms is an online games development, publishing and consultancy firm that develops games for platforms such as Facebook, the iPhone and iPad.

VendorShop is enabling businesses to engage in social e-commerce on Facebook via its social shopping cart application, which they can set up in minutes. VendorShop now has thousands of stores and 75,000 monthly active Facebook users.

Accelerating early stage tech start-ups

Propeller Venture Accelerator itself was established in 2010 with the funding of €1m from Irelandia Investments and Declan Ryan of Ryanair.

Taking the successful US accelerator model and adapting it to the Irish context, the programme aims to accelerate early stage technology start-ups, both Irish and international, in Dublin.

It was announced as a charter member of the Techstars Network earlier in the year, as well as having agreed partnerships with the Halo Business Angel Network (HBAN) and the Irish Technology Leadership Group (ITLG).

Gordon McConnell, deputy-CEO of the Ryan Academy and director of Propeller Venture Accelerator, says bringing together both Irish and international funders at events like today is vital to Ireland’s progression towards becoming a true smart economy.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic