6 start-ups seeking €6.5m funding gear up for UCD pitch competition

16 Nov 2018

From left: Dr Alison Keogh and Dr Cailbhe Doherty of Pace-Man. Image: Nick Bradshaw/Fotonic

Six Irish start-ups seeking €6.5m in funding are hoping to win the grand prize at an upcoming UCD pitch event.

A group of Irish start-ups spun out of University College Dublin (UCD) are set to pitch their business ideas at the 2018 UCD VentureLaunch accelerator programme showcase and awards.

Taking place on Wednesday 21 November at the UCD O’Brien Centre for Science as part of Startup Week Dublin, the event will see the six companies compete for a grand prize of €10,000 and a professional services package to the value of €10,000. The overall winner will also receive incubation space at NovaUCD to the value of €12,000.

However, in the long term, the six start-ups are hoping to secure €6.5m in funding to take their companies to the next stage.

The six companies involved in the pitch competition include: Illumino, Kogii, Naiad, Output Sports, Pace-Man and ProvEye.

Founded by Dr Brendan Rooney, Morteza Matkan and Dr Sadegh Panahiazar, Illumino is developing a novel light therapy and sleep-aid technology in the form of a virtual window.

Kogii is working on a smart bike light designed to reduce cyclist accident rates. The device will use integrated sensors to analyse a cyclist’s dynamic environment and trigger different lighting patterns to maximise visibility and on-bike safety. The start-up’s founders include Callan Eldon and Karl Roe, the latter being a PhD student in the UCD School of Computer Science.

Naiad is developing a novel liquid-based 3D bioprinting technology to help researchers fabricate highly reproducible 3D tissue models that better mimic the rich complexity of human tissues. The company was founded by assistant professor Emmanuel Reynaud from the UCD School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science and Prof Brian Rodriguez of the UCD School of Physics.

Readers of Science Uncovered will be familiar with one of the founders of Output Sports, Dr Martin O’Reilly, who along with Dr Darragh Whelan and Julian Eberle is attempting to test and track multiple components of athlete performance with a single wearable motion sensor.

Pace-Man is start-up founded by Dr Alison Keogh and Dr Cailbhe Doherty. They are developing an adaptive training and racing platform that helps runners prepare for, predict and pace their race.

The final participant is ProvEye, a start-up founded by Prof Nick Holden and Dr Jerome O’Connell, which is developing advanced processing software to derive quantitative data from images collected by drones and other platforms. This data can then be used on farms to make informed, actionable decisions.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic