Emerging start-ups compete for UCD VentureLaunch €25k prize

20 Nov 2013

Six start-ups emerging from University College Dublin (UCD) and the National College of Art and Design (NCAD) will be competing today for the inaugural UCD VentureLaunch Accelerator Award, which comes with a €25,000 prize.

Four of the participating ventures, Aficionado, Fondúireacht Bhéaloideas Éireann (National Folklore Foundation), Kinesis Health Technologies Ltd and Nuritas Ltd, are emerging from UCD, while the remaining two, Gazel and Obeo, are emerging from NCAD.

The overall objective of the UCD VentureLaunch Accelerator Programme is to support and accelerate the launch of sustainable and profitable new ventures based on intellectual property emerging from UCD and NCAD research programmes. NCAD is a recognised college of UCD.

The aim of the programme to equip UCD and NCAD researchers with the knowledge, skills and understanding that will be required to work as part of a team leading a new commercial venture.

This new annual accelerator programme has been designed and is managed by UCD’s Office of the Vice-President for Innovation. The first programme took place over the last three months at NovaUCD, the Centre for New Ventures and Entrepreneurs.

The overall winner, to be revealed at 5.30pm today, will be selected by an independent evaluation panel. That winner will be presented with the 2013 UCD VentureLaunch Accelerator Award and a cheque for €10,000 sponsored by AIB. In addition, the winner will also receive a professional services package to the value of €15,000 sponsored by Arthur Cox, Bryan Maguire Business Consulting and Deloitte.

“Innovation is the third pillar of UCD’s core mission and two of UCD’s key innovation themes are putting knowledge to work and growing and supporting new business,”said Prof Peter Clinch, UCD vice-president for Innovation.

“Through the new UCD VentureLaunch Accelerator Programme, held at NovaUCD, we are supporting researchers to accelerate the process of putting their knowledge to work by establishing new ventures which will translate innovative ideas arising from their research programmes into new companies providing value-added products and services,” Clinch said.

Start-up presenter image via Shutterstock

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