Emerging University College Dublin Start-Ups to be Showcased at 2016 VentureLaunch Awards

- 5 new ventures to pitch for a €20,000 prize fund

The latest start-ups emerging from University College Dublin (UCD) will be showcased at the 2016 UCD VentureLaunch Accelerator Programme Showcase and Awards event which takes place next Wednesday evening, 16 November, at the University.

All are welcome to attend and further information, including registration details are available via https://2016ucdventurelaunchaccelerator.eventbrite.ie.

The overall objective of the 3-month UCD VentureLaunch Accelerator Programme, which is held at NovaUCD, the Centre for New Ventures and Entrepreneurs, is to support the creation, and to accelerate the launch, of sustainable and profitable new ventures based on intellectual property emerging from UCD.

Five new high-tech and knowledge-intensive ventures will pitch at the Awards event with the overall winner receiving the 2016 UCD Start-up of the Year Award and a €20,000 prize fund.

VentureLaunch 2016 participants
Pictured outside NovaUCD are participants on the 2016 UCD VentureLaunch Accelerator Programme

The participating ventures are BioPure; Cortex Analytics; DuBrand; EpiCor Therapeutics and Latch Medical.

BioPure has developed a proprietary technology that produces an exceptionally pure (>98%) natural antioxidant known as Hydroxytyrosol. Antioxidants are extremely powerful ingredients for the cosmetic, food and health industries. BioPure can produce Hydroxytyrosol 3 times cheaper and a production rate of 30 times faster than any market competitor.

The founders of BioPure are Professor Kevin O’Connor, Dr Reeta Davis and Caroline Byrne, UCD School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science and UCD Earth Institute.

Cortex Analytics provides the Total Patient Value (TPV) toolkit, a new data-analytics measurement system for pharma/medtech companies. The toolkit will enable these companies to identify key patient outcomes earlier in drug/product development. It identifies key metrics relating to patient adherence and willingness to pay, to enhance decision-making to reduce development costs, as well as facilitating product marketing to improve sales.

The founder of Cortex Analytics is Dr Daniel Regan, UCD School of Psychology.

DuBrand protects medical device brands. DuBrand’s novel technology for applying a bar code provides anti-counterfeit protection and traceability for medical device parts, meeting stringent industry regulations.

The founders of DuBrand are Dr Eamonn Ahearne, Dr Diego Carou and Dr Jinghang Liu, UCD School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering.

EpiCor Therapeutics is developing new disease-modifying treatments that target the mechanisms underlying the development of heart failure. The current focus of EpiCor Therapeutics is to repurpose an existing drug, 5-azacytidine, for the treatment of a devastating orphan designated heart disease called hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy.

The founders of EpiCor Therapeutics are Dr John Baugh, Dr Nadia Glezeva, Dr Chris Watson, Dr Mark Ledwidge and Professor Ken McDonald, UCD School of Medicine.

Latch Medical is developing a revolutionary tissue anchorage system based on microtechnology. Where surgery is necessary, the cutting of skin is mandated, but existing methods of invasive wound closure are meticulous, time-consuming and promote infection risk and scarring. By eliminating the need to penetrate the full-thickness of the skin, Latch Medical’s Relialoc Skin Closure System can decrease infection risk, improve cosmetic outcomes and save operative time.

The founders of Latch Medical are Dr Seamus Morris and Dr Nicky Bertollo, UCD School of Medicine and Dr Eoin O’Cearbhaill, UCD School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering.

The 2016 UCD VentureLaunch Accelerator Showcase and Awards Evening takes place on Wednesday, 16 November, in the UCD O’Brien Centre for Science, UCD, Belfield.

The event commences at 5:15 pm when attendees will have the opportunity to meet with, and talk to, the founders of the new ventures during a showcase event.

During the main awards event, which commences at 6 pm, the founders of each new venture will deliver a pitch to an audience comprising members of Ireland’s venture capital, research, state agencies, industry and business communities.

Dr Chris Horn, Venture Partner, Atlantic Bridge, who was co-founder, CEO and Chairman of IONA Technologies, will be the guest speaker.

An overall winner, selected by the programme evaluation panel, will be presented with the 2016 UCD Start-up of the Year Award. The winner will also receive a cheque for €10,000, and a professional services package to the value of €10,000. The prizes are sponsored by AIB, Bryan Maguire Business Consulting and Deloitte.

The members of the programme evaluation panel are Brendan Cremen, UCD Director of Enterprise and Commercialisation (chair); Dr Sharon O’Kane and Dr Sean Baker, NovaUCD Entrepreneurs in Residence in Life Sciences and ICT respectively and Dr Helen McBreen, Investment Director, Atlantic Bridge.

All are welcome to attend and further information, including registration details are available via https://2016ucdventurelaunchaccelerator.eventbrite.ie

Event hashtag: #VentureLaunch16

11 November 2016

For further information contact Micéal Whelan, Communications Manager (Innovation), University College Dublin, e: miceal.whelan@ucd.ie or t: +353 1 716 3712.

Editors Notes
The annual UCD VentureLaunch Accelerator Programme, which is held at NovaUCD the Centre for New Ventures and Entrepreneurs, uses the Business Model Canvas approach to start-up development. The programme consists of ten 3-hour workshops, mentoring and a series of one-to-one sessions with external experts in areas such as finance, marketing and customer validation. The programme aims is to equip UCD researchers with the knowledge, skills and understanding that is required to work as part of a team successfully leading a new commercial venture. www.ucd.ie/innovation/researchers/venturelaunchaccelerator/ 

At NovaUCD, the hub for new ventures and entrepreneurs at University College Dublin, we nurture and support new high-tech and knowledge-intensive companies as part of UCD’s research and innovation mission. At NovaUCD we provide purpose-built, state-of-the-art incubation facilities alongside a comprehensive business support programme for our client companies along with a series of programmes, such as the VentureLaunch Accelerator, to assist researchers who are commercialising research outputs. NovaUCD has been funded through a unique public-private partnership that includes AIB Bank, Arthur Cox, Deloitte, Enterprise Ireland, Ericsson, Goodbody Stockbrokers, UCD and Xilinx. www.ucd.ie/novaucd