UCD spin-out shortlisted for EU-wide entrepreneurship competition

2 Nov 2009

University College Dublin (UCD) spin-out company HeyStaks Technologies has been selected as one of three shortlisted finalists for the first, Europe-wide, UNICA Entrepreneurship Competition for Students and Young Researchers.

HeyStaks, which is a NovaUCD client company, has developed a new social web search platform that aims to make it easier for people to find and share relevant content on the internet. 

HeyStaks is designed to work with all mainstream search engines and enables searchers to better organise and easily share the resources they find while searching and browsing the web, thus providing more relevant search results.

HeyStaks’ patented, social re-ranking core technology was developed by company co-founders Dr Peter Briggs and Dr Maurice Coyle during their PhD research at UCD’s School of Computer Science and Informatics.  

Prof Barry Smyth, a leading UCD researcher in recommender systems, was their PhD supervisor and is the company’s third co-founder.

Professor Smyth is an experienced entrepreneur who was Chief Scientific Officer and co-founder of the UCD spin-out ChangingWorlds Ltd, acquired last year by Amdocs for US$60m. 

Dr Briggs and Dr Coyle are currently postdocs in CLARITY, the Science Foundation Ireland funded Centre for Sensor Web Technologies at UCD.

UNICA, headquartered in Brussels, is a network of 42 universities, including UCD, from the capital cities of Europe with a combined strength of over 120,000 staff and 1.5 million students.

HeyStaks was selected as UCD’s nominee for the UNICA competition following its success in winning SUSSED!, UCD’s €10,000 Entrepreneurship Competition organised and run earlier this year by NovaUCD.

The overall winner of the UNICA competition, which is sponsored by the Cyprus Research Promotion Foundation, will be announced on Friday 6 November during UNICA’s 2009 General Assembly, which will be held in the Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris.

The overall winner will receive an award and a prize of €20,000.

The other two finalists in the competition are, Paraelectrics, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany and UNIKI Intelligent Media Development, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Article courtesy of businessandleadership.com

Photo: Dr Maurice Coyle and Dr Peter Briggs, UCD School of Computer Science and Informatics and co-founders of HeyStaks.