Last call for next phase of LaunchPad start-up boot camp


5 Jul 2010

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Innovative start-ups who could receive financial assistance of up to €20,000 over the course of a three-month incubation project at the National Digital Research Centre have until Sunday, 11 July to get their applications in.

Modelled on the globally-renowned Y-Combinator initiative in Silicon Valley, the LaunchPad programme assists individuals and teams of up to three members to take their idea and technology to the stage where the venture has its first investors and/or first customers.

LaunchPad, the NDRC’s Entrepreneurial Internship Programme, takes place over a three-month period, involving mentoring, weekly workshops, seminars and presentations. Each project can get financial assistance of up to €20,000 for the duration, as well as incubation space.

The deadline for applications is Sunday, 11 July and the applicant pitches begin the week 19 July with the next phase of the programme due to start on Tuesday, 17 August.

NDRC’s purpose

Speaking to Siliconrepublic last week, the chief executive of the NDRC, Ben Hurley, said: “The purpose of the NDRC is about making technology available, working with people, developing people, developing their propositions and making them capable of attracting next stage investment.

“LaunchPad picks those ideas that are nearly ready, driven by the right set of heads, minds and experience who are prepared to work as a team and whose technology is capable of transferring very quickly into a commercial, useful context.

“It’s very much about learning through doing, picking up on the qualities that are required and needed and accelerating their exposure to experience.”

He said that a new programme, called Catalyser, is being readied, which would have a longer-term objective of finding ideas and individuals who have ideas and technologies but are prepared to take a longer view and pitch and repitch their project over a two-year period until the product/service is ready to go to market or seek investment.

“It’s about the right kind of people doing the right kind of things, it’s about finding the appropriate way to develop talent and capability,” Hurley said.

Projects previously supported by the LaunchPad programme include Cloudsplit, Digital Demigods, Glidebooks, Ketchup, Mygoodpoints, Point the Way, Royalty Stream Reporting, LogEntries, Sokohealth and Tapadoo.