Six new Irish start-ups vying for €3,000 prize

6 May 2015

Six early-stage start-ups have been given a stipend and office space in University College Dublin’s NovaUCD incubator to allow them to hone their business plans, ahead of a competition with a €3,000 prize.

The initiative, called UCD Startup Stars, has been developed to provide a framework and support programme for UCD undergraduates who want to work together to build start-up companies.

An original 13 teams presented their ideas before the final six were selected, each now receiving a four-week mentoring programme, which will include workshops and pitching sessions.

Some of the ideas are pretty cool, too, with Sole Sense developing pressure-sensitive insoles for running shoes that analyse the user’s technique as they run and will provide real-time, easy-to-read information via an app, which can enable the user to prevent injury and improve performance.

Another, Clink, is developing a college course database platform to address the high drop-out rate among first-year college students.

“UCD Startup Stars [provides] UCD students, who have an appetite for entrepreneurial thinking and creative problem solving, the opportunity to work beyond the confines of their subject areas and develop new solutions to problems they care about,” says Professor Suzi Jarvis, UCD Innovation Academy’s founding director.

“Through this programme we are drawing together some of UCD’s most creative undergraduates who have the courage to attempt to solve difficult problems.”

Group photo of start-up founders

Pictured (l-r) at NovaUCD are Constantine Doherty and Colm Moran, founders of Sole Sense, and John Byrne and Anna O’Flynn, founders of Clink the College Link

Start-up presentation image, via Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic