Waterford welcomes launch of NDRC@ArcLabs accelerator programme

1 Dec 2017

New start-up opportunities spring up in Waterford. Image: Paul Briden

The NDRC@ArcLabs accelerator programme is seeking applicants from teams and individuals alike.

Minister for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development John Halligan, TD, today (1 December) announced the establishment of the NDRC@ArcLabs Start-up accelerator programme in Waterford, supported by Enterprise Ireland.

The accelerator is based in ArcLabs at Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT), and is open to applications from teams or individuals, both in Ireland or overseas, in all technology sectors.

Waterford is fast becoming a tech hub

There are 10 places available within the programme, with the first cohort to commence in early 2018. If successful, applicants will receive membership and a place within NDRC@ArcLabs for 100 days, where teams will be able to build and commercially validate their technologies by working with mentors and existing entrepreneurial networks.

Kevin Sherry, executive director of global business development at Enterprise Ireland, said: “A priority for Enterprise Ireland is to encourage and support entrepreneurs across all regions to start new companies with the ambition to scale in global markets.

“This new accelerator programme, a partnership between Enterprise Ireland, NDRC and ArcLabs, strengthens the start-up support infrastructure in the south-east region.”

NDRC CEO Ben Hurley said: “World-leading companies are already emerging from the south-east in areas such as digital animation and software development, and the potential for more growth is clear.”

High-potential start-ups emerging

Prof Willie Donnelly, WIT president, said: “The institute has been at the forefront in the development of a high-potential start-up cluster, which is beginning to transform the profile of indigenous industry in the region.”

He added that the accelerator would be a vital part of developing High Potential Start-Ups (HPSUs) in the region: “The accelerator programme is an important next phase in the development of the HPSU platform centred around our ArcLabs incubation and innovation platform.

“The accelerator programme will focus on ICT, AR, VR  and agricultural technology companies, ensuring that the funded companies continue to develop within the region.”

Minister Halligan said the accelerator would form a vital part of the Government’s overall employment creation strategy. “A key part of the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs is targeting sectors where we have established strengths, and supporting growth and expansion in those areas to create jobs.

“The establishment of the NDRC@ArcLabs start-up accelerator in Waterford, where there is a strong tradition of entrepreneurship, is timely and very welcome.”

The investors and supporters of NDRC@ArcLabs, in addition to Enterprise Ireland, include: Suir Valley Ventures; Bank of Ireland Seed and Early-Stage Equity Fund; South East BIC; local authorities of Carlow, Kilkenny, Waterford and Wexford; Local Enterprise Offices; and enterprise centres.

Ellen Tannam was a journalist with Silicon Republic, covering all manner of business and tech subjects