NDRC LaunchPad for start-ups chooses next participants

18 Feb 2014

Ten lucky digital start-ups have been announced to take part in the National Digital Research Centre (NDRC)’s LaunchPad 12-week programme in Dublin to give them a boost.

Along with the programme, the 10 companies will receive €20,000 each in microseed investment.

Now in its ninth year, LaunchPad has established itself as one of the most widely accredited and regarded start-up funds of its kind and was named ‘Top IT University Business Incubator for 2013’ in the world by UBI Index in the first ever global index for business incubators.

NDRC’s LaunchPad ventures will now begin an intensive three-month programme, where they will benefit from hands-on mentoring and access to expertise.

They will also receive the opportunity to participate in weekly workshops and networking with some of the sector’s most knowledgeable advisers.

During the closing stages of the LaunchPad programme, each start-up will have the opportunity to pitch to investors at the Lift Off event.

In its nine years, the programme has led to some of Ireland’s biggest digital success stories, like Soundwave, NewsWhip and PropertyGate, all of which have gone on to bigger and better things with this funding and advice.

Speaking as NDRC LaunchPad 9 began, director Gary Leyden said, “NDRC LaunchPad 9 participants were chosen from a field of over 100 applicants and there are a wide variety of exciting business propositions, from an app that provides for online betting on YouTube videos to an analytics tool that will slash legal costs for firms, to an online instrument that will help local store owners and consumers communicate and find out what’s open and when.”

The 10 finalists

1.      Local Mint

Local Mint is a resource for people looking to find local store opening hours. The website has over one million visitors each month and hopes to attract businesses to feature on their website.

2.      Adyuka

Adyuka allows users to organise their web searchesby enabling them to save any items that are found online and keep them for future decision making in a bid to do away with multiple tabs while searching for the right hotel.

3.      Tubett

Tubett is an online game for betting on YouTube videos by buying and selling virtual video stocks. Price of the video stock increases in proportion to the increase in number of views of the video on YouTube.

4.      Journ.ie

Journ.ie analyses online conversations for brands, filtering out the most relevant. With early and succinct notification of the developing conversations, brands can take action to engage with their key audience. Interactions can be recorded and key business metrics measured.

5.      BookieWookie

BookieWookie is an exciting, dynamic, fun filled, safe and educational online environment for children. It will translate that environment and experience into real world physical product for retail and create global licensing and merchandising opportunities.

6.      Legal Shine

A legal bill analytic tool for large organisations, Legal Shine software reduces legal costs and helps firms get better value from their spending.

7.      Akita

Akita is a sales tool that helps companies develop and execute customised, data-driven sales processes. Akita import data from a growing number of sources within organisations including emails, telephone calls, accounting packages, email marketing tools, live chats, and help desk systems. Akita’s innovative solution stands apart by analysing this incoming data in real-time and executing automated actions or providing actionable recommendations to salespeople based on data from these systems.

8.      Zilta

Zilta removes many of the tricky things that make smart devices hard to use and focused on what makes them more accessible. It provides smartphones and tablet computers with larger icons, simpler backgrounds and less clutter.

9.      GoBramble

GoBramble is a programme that allows users to take a picture of any plant they see and find out all the information about it to discover facts, history and uses for plants or help others identify their plant spotting. Follow trails around streets, parks and gardens, discover secret hidden green spaces and get involved with guided tours.

10.  Meebler

Meebler is an omnichannel communications tool that allows a user to create and send a message in a single format once and have that message delivered consistently to recipients across a range of different media channels, tools and formats.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic