Wonderful start-ups wanted for Waterford accelerator

2 May 2019

From left: Aidan Shine, South East BIC; Aisling O’Neill, ArcLabs; Minister John Halligan, TD; Brian Fives, Enterprise Ireland; Eugene Crehan, ArcLabs; and Carl Power, NDRC. Image: Pat Moore Photography

Investment worth €75,000 for 8pc equity in each of eight start-ups up for grabs in Waterford.

A few good start-ups are being sought to join the second cohort of the south-east accelerator programme, NDRC at ArcLabs.

Following the success of the first NDRC at ArcLabs programme, which ran during 2018, as well as three other regional programmes in the west of Ireland, there will be up to eight places available for entrepreneurs in the Waterford-based accelerator.

‘There were almost 100 applications in 2018 and, following the success of the programme, we’re sure there will be many more in 2019’

Entry will be through a competitive process designed to find and support those digital companies with the best potential for growth and expansion.

Entrepreneurship in the regions

“Hand in hand with innovation, entrepreneurship is a key driver of regional development,” said John Halligan, TD, Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development. “This is why we are committed to investing in the provision of regionally based accelerator programmes which support the development of new start-ups, thereby stimulating the local and regional entrepreneurial ecosystems and helping innovative entrepreneurs to develop their business plans.”

Each successful applicant will receive an increased level of investment, amounting to €75,000 – of which €50,000 is a cash investment into their company and €25,000 is in programme service costs.

The deadline for applications is 30 June and the 12-week programme will commence on 18 August 2019. For entrepreneurs and individuals interested in finding out more, the NDRC team will be hosting a series of information events over the coming weeks in the south-east region.

The industry standard

“The first time we delivered NDRC at ArcLabs was in 2018 and we were impressed by the standard of ventures to come through that inaugural programme,” said NDRC CEO Ben Hurley.

“Businesses such as Property Bridges and Live Costs show the standard of innovative start-ups bubbling under the surface. We’re keen to find more in the coming weeks.”

The accelerator programme is part of Enterprise Ireland’s overall strategy to increase the number and quality of start-ups that have the potential to employ more than 10 people and achieve €1m in export sales within three years.

“This partnership with NDRC at ArcLabs is a key pillar of our regional supports, and a fundamental programme for innovative, indigenous start-ups,” said Brian Fives from Enterprise Ireland’s regional development division. “I look forward to seeing what the latest cohort of companies will bring to the programme as they take their first steps to becoming investor-ready and making their ideas a business reality.”

Based in ArcLabs in Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT), this initiative aims to drive the growth of digital start-ups nationally.

The investors and supporters of NDRC at ArcLabs, in addition to Enterprise Ireland, include Suir Valley Ventures; Bank of Ireland Seed and Early Stage Equity Fund; South East BIC; Local Authorities of Carlow, Kilkenny, Waterford and Wexford; and Local Enterprise Offices and Enterprise Centres.

“We are so excited to meet this year’s applicants to our NDRC at ArcLabs programme,” said Aisling O’Neill, manager at the ArcLabs research and innovation centre. “There were almost 100 applications in 2018 and, following the success of the programme, we’re sure there will be many more in 2019.

“Given our colocation with the Telecommunications, Software and Systems Group (TSSG), WIT’s internationally renowned ICT research group and Enterprise Ireland Technology Gateway, ArcLabs is the best place to launch and grow your digital technology business.”

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