EOFIS memory app emerges as NovaUCD Student Enterprise winner

25 Jun 2021

Winners Marysol Angeloni and Tiarnach Ó Riada. Image: Nick Bradshaw/Fotonic

The AI-assisted platform helps users retain important information from the web by turning it into an interspersed flashcard quiz.

NovaUCD announced yesterday (24 June) that EOFIS, an early-stage student venture, will receive a €5,000 cash prize as the winner of its Student Enterprise Competition.

The team presented against 10 other start-ups in the four-week competition.

The NovaUCD programme is based in University College Dublin (UCD) and assisted the participating students in refining their start-up ideas through a series of structured workshops, including taught content from industry experts, interactive workshops, regular pitching sessions and mentoring.

The EOFIS application helps users retain important information and statistics that they have found online. While there is a vast network of knowledge at our fingertips, the EOFIS team recognised the difficulty in remembering these often-valuable insights.

Users of their app record and send information to the EOFIS platform, where an AI program will turn the details into flashcards. Drawing on bodies of research that have highlighted the benefits of interspersed learning, the application will optimally time daily quizzes on the user’s phone to teach the inputted data.

Each quiz question is then automatically connected to all of the other quiz questions in a user’s library in an interactive, configurable concept map.

The members of the EOFIS team are Marysol Angeloni, who is completing an MSc in management at the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School, and Tiarnach Ó Riada, who has just completed his BEng degree at the UCD School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering.

“We believe that two large markets, online news and casual learning software, can be joined together by EOFIS which combines a high-technology approach with the proven benefits of spaced repetition and interactive, self-directed learning,” Ó Riada said.

Angeloni added: “We have ambitious plans for the future, including a business-to-business (B2B) proposition for companies whose workers need to stay abreast of fast-evolving fields such as finance and law.”

The EOFIS team now intend to apply for a place on a New Frontiers programme to further develop their business proposition and marketing strategy, while also applying for tech-related awards. “Thereafter, we will be exploring an application for Enterprise Ireland Competitive Start Funding to accelerate the growth of EOFIS which we believe has global market potential,” said Angeloni.

EOFIS was declared the overall winner of the competition following final pitches to an external judging panel. Two other participating ventures, RespTech and FlowMo, were announced as second and third place winners and receive €3,000 and €2,000 cash prizes respectively.

RespTech is designing Bronchophone, a smartphone attachment compatible with fibre-optic bronchoscopes. This makes for a versatile, inexpensive product to enable bronchoscopies in low and middle-income countries as well as providing a portable alternative to hospitals and training centres.

FlowMo is developing a web-based flow-driven generative design tool to streamline the design process of fluidic devices. Fluidics is the technology of using the flow characteristics of liquid or gas to operate a control system.

The eight other early-stage ventures taking part in this year’s competition each received a €1,000 cash prize for completing the programme.

More than 50 early-stage ventures and over 120 students have now completed the NovaUCD Student Enterprise Competition over the last seven years.

“During the last four weeks this fantastic group of entrepreneurial students came together virtually to develop and refine their start-up ideas. I look forward to seeing several of these early-stage student ventures move forward and successfully launch on the market,” said Tom Flanagan, UCD Director of Enterprise and Commercialisation, NovaUCD.

“I would especially like to congratulate the EOFIS team, the overall winner of this year’s NovaUCD Student Enterprise Competition.”

The sponsors of the 2021 NovaUCD Student Enterprise Competition were AIB, Arthur Cox, Deloitte, Ericsson, Goodbody Stockbrokers and Xilinx.

Sam Cox was a journalist at Silicon Republic covering sci-tech news