DCU Ryan Academy Propeller 5 wants a few good start-ups with the right stuff

11 Feb 2015

The DCU Ryan Academy Propeller programme – named one of the best accelerators in Europe – is seeking applications for its fifth intake.

Start-ups that qualify for the programme receive €30,000 cash up-front and €15,000 to cover service costs in return for 7.5pc in ordinary shares.

The programme is made particularly distinctive due to the fact that its key investors are successful entrepreneurs.

Investors including individuals like Declan Ryan, Arekibo CEO Martin Casey, 2013 EY Entrepreneur of the Year Patrick Joy and Ronan MacNioclais from PricewaterhouseCoopers.

As well as the investment start-ups get access to 100 entrepreneurial mentors, experienced investors, constructive workshops and much more.

So far over 24 alumni companies have raised €8m between them, on average raising €330,000 each.

Companies from the 2014 programme have so far raised €1.3m between them.

A pure angel-funded accelerator

Propeller director Drew O’Sullivan explained that the Propeller programme is the only angel-funded accelerator on the island.

Kauffman Fellows selected Propeller as the 7th best accelerator in Europe.

“It was originally established four years ago by the Ryan family to foster entrepreneurship.

“It was set up in partnership with angel investors. There is no other institutional capital involved while at the same time we have excellent working relationships with the banks and Enterprise Ireland.”

O’Sullivan said that the angels involved in the Propeller funding operate as part of a nominee structure but perform as a syndicate from the point of view of investing together in the companies in the programme.

“We will select five or six companies that we believe have what it takes to build scalable companies.

Propeller 5 is now open for applications from high growth potential start-ups – closing date for applications is 28 February 2015.

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