NovaUCD announces winners of Student Enterprise Competition

23 Jun 2020

The winning team: Peter Gately, Kelly Kaulsay and Scott Mulligan. Image: NovaUCD

The winning start-up was a team building an online platform to support student engineers participating in the annual Formula Student racing event.

Earlier this month, we took a look at 11 start-ups competing in NovaUCD’s Student Enterprise Competition, which was held online this year due to Covid-19 restrictions. The start-ups participated in a four-week online mentorship programme, with workshops and classes led by experts, and the winner of the competition has now been named.

A start-up called Formula Training, which was founded as part of UCD Formula Student project, won the top prize and will be awarded €5,000.

UCD Formula Student is a team of more than 50 University College Dublin engineering and business students who have worked together to build an electric Formula-1 style car to compete in the Formula Student competition, which is held annually at the UK’s Silverstone Circuit.

Formula Student, which celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2018, is organised and run by the Institute of Mechanical Engineers and typically attracts more than 100 university teams from around the world each year.

The winning team

Formula Training was launched by three members of the UCD Formula Student team – Peter Gately, Kelly Kaulsay and Scott Mulligan. All three are undergraduate students in the UCD School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering.

Formula Training is developing an online subscription-based platform for global Formula Student teams to learn the fundamentals they need to contribute to and compete in the Formula Student competition.

Gately commented: “Teams in the Formula Student competition spend thousands upon thousands of hours each year designing, financing and building their race car. Despite this, there is no formally established product or service available to help teams to train new recruits, or to guide new teams taking part in the competition.”

Kaulsay added: “With Formula Training, we are developing a customisable platform for teams taking part in Formula Student. We are creating a platform with a dedicated video lecture bank, articles and advice forums related to the competition.

“Competing teams will be able to privately upload their own content for their own team members, to supplement our content, and thus solidify our platform as the universal learning environment for Formula Student teams.”

While this year’s Formula Student event has been cancelled due to Covid-19, the team said that it is focused on working on next year’s entry.

Mulligan said that the cash prize will enable the Formula Training team to create many hours of video content for the platform.


Two other start-ups took home the second and third place prizes, winning €3,000 and €2,000 in cash, respectively.

In second place was Uni21, which is developing an app that transforms students’ lecture materials into multiple choice questions and allows students to play against their classmates to promote active learning and enhanced memory retention. It was set up by Garreth Byrne, Ashwin Manikandan and Matthew Clarke.

Third place went to Daysier, which is developing a recommender systems-based app to provide remote workers with personalised schedules, including breaks, taking into consideration their individual work styles and preferences as well as their weekly workload. It was set up by Ciara Feeley and Courtney Ford, who are PhD students in the UCD School of Computer Science.

All other participants received a €1,000 cash prize for completing the programme. One of last year’s participants, Charlie Gleeson, recently made headlines after his start-up Zipp Mobility raised €300,000 in seed funding.

Kelly Earley was a journalist with Silicon Republic