14 start-up ideas join NovaUCD Student Enterprise Competition

28 May 2024

The students who are participating in the 2024 NovaUCD Student Enterprise Competition. Image: Nick Bradshaw/Fotonic

Now in it’s 10th year, the four-week accelerator will help the students to refine their start-up ideas through a series of workshops.

A fresh batch of young entrepreneurs are trying to make their business ideas a reality with a NovaUCD accelerator.

The 14 early-stage start-up ventures are taking in part in the 10th NovaUCD Student Enterprise Competition, a four-week programme that helps undergraduate and postgraduate students develop their business ideas.

This year’s participating ventures include a wide range of ideas, including aircraft maintenance, sustainable fashion, digital health and legal services. There are 27 students participating in this year’s competition.

The accelerator will help the participants to refine their start-up ideas through a series of workshops. This includes feedback from industry experts, interactive workshops, regular mentoring and pitching sessions.

At the end of the programme, two participants will win the Tech Sustainability Prize sponsored by Terra Solar and a NovaUCD One to Watch Prize. Both of these awards come with a prize of €3,000.

“Over the next few weeks, we will be supporting the participating student entrepreneurs as they begin the process of accelerating the translation of their business ideas and concepts into start-ups,” said Tom Flanagan, NovaUCD director of enterprise and commercialisation.

“A key objective of this annual competition is to provide students with the skills, the confidence and the opportunity to further develop their ideas and to hopefully in time launch their start-ups on a national and even an international stage.”

Two new components have been introduced to the programme this year. These are a section relating to how the students can use AI in their business ideas and a section on how they can align their start-ups with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

The competition will end with a final workshop towards the end of June, where the participating ventures will pitch to a judging panel. More than 70 early-stage ventures and roughly 170 students have completed the NovaUCD Student Enterprise Competition to date.

Among the entrepreneurs who previously took part in the competition is Charlie Gleeson, who completed the competition in 2019 with an e-scooter business idea that eventually became Zipp Mobility. This start-up was acquired by Zeus Scooters last year.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic