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New Health Food Venture Wins UCD’s 2017 Start-Up Programme for Students

Tuesday, 27 June, 2017 


Pictured at NovaUCD are UCD students, Oisin McElhinney and Jack Parsons, co-founders, O’Kale Krisps, overall winner of the 2017 UCD Start-Up Stars Programme.

Pictured at NovaUCD are UCD students, Oisin McElhinney and Jack Parsons, co-founders, O’Kale Krisps, overall winner of the 2017 UCD Start-Up Stars Programme.

UCD has announced O’Kale Krisps as the overall winner of the 2017 UCD Startup Stars Programme. This year’s programme, the University’s start-up support initiative for student entrepreneurs, has just ended at NovaUCD.

O’Kale Krisps, an early-stage food venture, has developed low-calorie, highly nutritious and air-dried kale crisps to give consumers a unique and healthy snack alternative when they are on the go.

Each tub of O’Kale Krisps contains only 69 calories, is high in iron, calcium, vitamin C, antioxidants and anti-inflammatories. The snacks are currently on sale in three flavours (original, spicy chilli and cheesy) and in 28 stores across Ireland.

The members of the O’Kale Krisps team are UCD undergraduate students, Jack Parsons (Business and Law) and Oisin McElhinney (Arts).

Jack Parsons, O’Kale Krisps, said, “We have thoroughly enjoyed our last four weeks at NovaUCD during which we have further developed our start-up and we are delighted that O’Kale Krisps has won the 2017 UCD Startup Stars Programme.”

He added, “Through our products we want to build a community around healthy food, healthy body and mind to help people live a happier life. We hope to have O’Kale Krisps available in stores in all corners of Ireland by the end of the year. We also have future products in the pipeline and may venture into other areas of healthy living.”

The UCD Start-up Stars entrepreneurship programme, now in its third year, has been developed by UCD Research and Innovation, the UCD Innovation Academy and UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School, to support UCD undergraduate and postgraduate students who want to work together to develop and grow start-up companies.

Professor Orla Feely, UCD Vice-President for Research, Innovation and Impact said, “I would like to congratulate the founders of O’Kale Krisps on winning the 2017 UCD Startup Stars Programme and I would like to applaud all the students who participated in this year’s programme.”

She added, “During the last 4 weeks we leveraged our start-up expertise and experience to support this group of enthusiastic and entrepreneurial students as they developed and refined their start-up ideas. We now look forward to seeing all these early-stage ventures move to the next stage of development and launching into the market.”

Professor Suzi Jarvis, Founding Director, UCD Innovation Academy said, "UCD Start-up Stars is a great collaboration between NovaUCD, the UCD Innovation Academy and the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School.”

The members of the final UCD Startup Stars Programme judging panel were; Anthony Collins, Senior Staff Marketing Engineer, Xilinx; Barbara Diehl, Executive Director, UCD Innovation Academy; Caroline Gill, Innovation Education Manager, UCD Research and Innovation; Gianni Matera, Founder and Partner, Growing Capital and Dr Sharon O’Kane, NovaUCD, Entrepreneur-in-Residence.

The sponsors of UCD Startup Stars Programme are; AIB, Arthur Cox, Ericsson, Growing Capital, Goodbody Stockbrokers and Xilinx.

A total of 17 early-stage ventures and 43 students have now completed the UCD Startup Stars Programme over the last 3 years.