NDRC seeks start-up ideas for next LaunchPad programme

26 Nov 2012

Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Minister Richard Bruton, TD, with NDRC CEO Ben Hurley at the launch of the centre's annual report recently

With start-ups that have passed through programmes at the National Digital Research Centre (NDRC) to date having managed to secure €10m in follow-on investment, the centre is now on the lookout for new start-ups to take part in its next LaunchPad accelerator.

The deadline for applications for the next LaunchPad programme is 14 December, so the NDRC is holding an information night on Wednesday for anyone is interested in setting up a new digital venture.

According to the NDRC, start-ups that have passed through its programmes, including LaunchPad, to date have managed to attract up to €10m in follow-on commercial investment.

There will be spaces for 15 start-ups on the next LaunchPad programme, which will start in early 2013. During the programme, which lasts for three months, the NDRC will provide each project with up to €20,000 in pre-seed investment.

Gary Leyden, the director of LaunchPad, said anyone with an idea for a new venture should come along to the information night on Wednesday to talk to mentors and learn more about the programme.

“LaunchPad’s structured programme provides hands-on mentoring over 12 weeks, which helps the new innovators evolve their businesses. Support is not only from experienced professionals, but also potential investors,” he said.

At the end of each LaunchPad programme, the start-ups also have the opportunity to pitch for follow-on investment.

“Participants will also have the option of a further six to nine months of development time at NDRC in Dublin,” said Leyden.

Start-ups that recently took part in LaunchPad include the cloud-based venture Boxever, which secured €800,000 from a syndicate of investors in October, and the news-tracking service NewsWhip raised in the region of US$1m in angel funding in July.

“This goes to show that the benefits of LaunchPad accrue immediately,” said Leyden.

The information evening will take place from 6.30-8.30pm on Wednesday, 28 November, at the NDRC on Crane Street, Dublin 8.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic