NCI start-up Codaline comes out tops at Citi upStart battle

4 Apr 2017

From left: Victor del Rosal, NCI; John Fleming, Citi; Deveshi Kumar, NCI Codaline team leader; Anu Sahni, NCI; and Petr Dementi, Citi mentor for Codaline. Image: NCI

An innovative chatbot for cloud computing infrastructure takes home the top prize.

A start-up called Codaline, led by a team of MSc cloud computing students from the National College of Ireland, has won the grand final of the Citi upStart battle.

UpStart is a team-based entrepreneurship programme run by Citi in Ireland, whereby teams of postgraduate students from different universities propose start-up business plans, based on a new IT artefact.

Each idea must be feasible and the teams have to improve their plans together, along with Citi mentors, over a period of six months. The start-up plan is ultimately judged on novelty and marketability.

Chatbots are the future of cloud

Codaline devised an innovative chatbot for cloud computing infrastructure to allow users and system administrators to interact seamlessly with different cloud providers through normal text chat, rather than having to know complex commands.

Victor del Rosal, upStart coordinator at NCI and futurist, asked: “What is the next interface for clouds? The answer is chatbots.”

Headed by Motti Finkelstein, CTO for global strategy, planning and the Americas at Citi, the judging panel included business and technology experts from Microsoft, Dell and Citi itself.

Codaline competed with teams from four other institutions: Trinity College Dublin, Queen’s University Belfast, Ulster University and University of Limerick.

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