50 start-ups emerge from UCC-led EU-XCEL accelerator

31 Jul 2015

The best of the EU-XCEL start-ups will then be short-listed to pitch to an international team of judges at the EU-XCEL Challenge Final in Cork, Ireland on 2 and 3 November 2015

Fifty start-ups involving 250 tech entrepreneurs have emerged following the UCC-led EU-XCEL accelerator in Athens this week. They will vie for an overall prize at a competition in Cork in November.

Emerging entrepreneurs from 25 European nations have just completed the first phase of the UCC-led EU-XCEL European Virtual Accelerator programme and now intend to conquer an array of ICT fields globally.

EU-XCEL is a two-year Horizon 2020 project and part of Start-Up Europe. It is co-ordinated by Cork University Business School with partners from five leading European organisations in Denmark, Greece, Spain, Germany and Poland, all with proven track records in successful incubation.

250 of Europe’s best tech entrepreneurs have successfully completed week-long mentored start-up scrums in Athens, with 50 international start-ups emerging from the six scrums.

Start-ups to focus on novel businesses


The launch of EU-XCEL at UCC. Picture: John Sheehan Photography

They will now commence a 14-week virtual accelerator process to further develop their novel businesses, which focus on technology, engineering, industrial design, business development, finance and marketing.

The best of the EU-XCEL start-ups will then be shortlisted to pitch to an international team of judges at the EU-XCEL Challenge Final in Cork, Ireland on 2 and 3 November 2015, which coincides with UCC’s George Boole bi-centennial celebrations.

The timing is particularly apt as the start-ups are all targeting the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) domain, the origins of which lies in George Boole’s mathematical discoveries. Boole was UCC’s first professor of mathematics and is often called the forefather of the information age.

“Under the umbrella of Start-up Europe, the goal is to develop a new European entrepreneurship culture,” said the EU-XCEL project director, Dr Brian O’Flaherty, of Cork University Business School.

“Through EU-XCEL, we aim to cultivate and nurture Europe’s young entrepreneurial talent in the ICT space. The internationalisation of entrepreneurship is central to the programme and the exchange element, initiated at the start-up scrum, enables cross-fertilisation and the pursuit of new ventures.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years