11 start-ups competing in NovaUCD’s Student Enterprise Competition

4 Jun 2020

Some of the student start-up team members participating in the NovaUCD competition. Image: UCD

As part of the competition, 11 student start-ups will participate in a four-week mentorship programme, with workshops and classes led by industry experts.

Over the past six years, NovaUCD at University College Dublin (UCD) has hosted many student start-ups as they take the first steps in their entrepreneurial journeys.

At the end of May, NovaUCD’s 2020 Student Enterprise Competition kicked off, offering 11 early-stage student ventures a four-week mentoring programme and a chance at winning part of an €18,000 prize fund.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic and distancing restrictions, this year’s competition will be held virtually, with mentors assisting students in refining their start-up ideas through structured online workshops, regular pitching sessions and classes taught by industry experts.

The 11 start-ups involved in the four-week programme this year are focused a variety of different issues and topics, from mental health and job hunting to building race cars.

“Our hope is that this programme gives them the knowledge and confidence to build substantial new ventures,” said Tom Flanagan, director of enterprise and commercialisation at UCD.

Appointment Pal

Appointment Pal is a project by Conor Moloney, Seán Patterson and Katharina Rehbock, who have just completed the MSc in business analytics at the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School.

The team has developed an app that aims to make it easier for patients to book healthcare appointments with GPs and other health professionals.


Betterways is a team led by UCD School of Computer Science student Mahendra Indukuri. The company has created a platform to help people find career opportunities based on their skills and experience, while guiding them through their job search.

If users are seeking a promotion or want to go for a managerial role without any prior experience, for example, the platform will help them find the skillset and certifications they might need to accomplish that.


ByoWave has set out to develop custom games console controllers for disabled gamers.

The team was founded by Brandon Blacoe, Louis Gunning and Maksimilian Suvajev from the UCD School College of Engineering and Architecture, as well as game design student at TU Dublin, Eibhlin O’Riordan.


Founded by Qipeng Liu, a PhD student at the UCD School of Chemical and Bioprocessing Engineering, and Zhipeng Ni from the UCD School of Computer Science, Emofit is an app that aims to help users in need of supports for mental health.


Founded by UCD College of Engineering and Architecture students Philip Snell, William Langrell and Edward Byrne, with support from Dr Paul Cuffe of UCD School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Joyst is looking to develop a new musical instrument.

The group aims to create this instrument by deploying precision analogue joysticks for note activation, pitch bending and note articulation effects, while providing an intuitive and easy-to-learn note layout.


This project was set up by Eric Giannitrapani, Joshua Mansfield and Mohamed Ohaida from UCD’s Quinn School of Business.

JustFeedMe is developing an app that would link takeaways, cafés and restaurants with clients who are interested in buying unsold food at a lower cost to help reduce food waste.


Medsimilars is developing a platform that customers can use to access detailed information on biosimilar medicines approved by the European Medicines Agency and order such medicines.

The team members are Aamir Khan, Deepali Ingawale and Shivani Dusane, who studied biotherapeutics and business at UCD.

Productivity App

Founded by Ciara Feely and Courtney Ford, two PhD students at the UCD School of Computer Science, Productivity App is aimed at remote workers. The platform was developed with a recommender systems-based app to provide remote workers with personalised workday schedules.

These schedules include breaks, taking into consideration each user’s individual work style and preferences, as well as their weekly workload, while helping them to maintain social connections.


Tribe is a project set up by students Afreen Zaheer and Maxence Vidal from the Quinn School of Business at UCD, as well as UCD School of Medicine student Misan Erewa-Meggison.

The start-up’s idea is an app that would help people learning a new language to make connections with native speakers who help them to learn the language.

UCD Formula Student

The UCD Formula Student team is developing and constructing an electrical race car for amateur drivers to compete in the Formula Student Electric competition.

The team behind this project consists of more than 50 UCD business and engineering students. The members taking part in the NovaUCD competition are Peter Gatley, Kelly Kaulsay and Scott Mulligan, who are undergraduate students from the UCD School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering.


Uni21 aims to transform students’ lecture material into multiple choice questions, allowing students to compete against their classmates and encouraging active learning and enhanced memory retention.

The team behind the project are UCD biotechnology and business student Garreth Byrne, DCU computer applications student Matthew Clarke, and Ashwin Manikandan from the UCD School of Computer Science.

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Kelly Earley was a journalist with Silicon Republic