Cybersecurity and EdTech Start-ups Join the NovaUCD Ecosystem

Pictured at NovaUCD are; Tom Flanagan, UCD Director of Enterprise and Commercialisation, Shane Curran, founder, Evervault and Mark Nealon, founder, myStudyPal.

Cybersecurity and EdTech Start-ups Join the NovaUCD Ecosystem

 - Founders of Evervault and myStudyPal are UCD undergraduate students

NovaUCD, the Centre for New Ventures and Entrepreneurs at University College Dublin (UCD), today welcomed Evervault, a cybersecurity start-up, and myStudyPal, an edtech start-up, the latest companies to join its entrepreneurial ecosystem.

The founders of both companies are currently undergraduate students at the University.

Current approaches by companies, large corporations and research organisations to manage vulnerable, centralised databases are no longer fit for purpose. To address this issue Evervault has developed and provides a software platform which allows these organisations to process personal data without seeing, storing or handling it.

Evervault’s software ensures that encrypted data is separated from any potential attackers through novel hardware and encryption approaches. This means that even if a network is compromised the encryption key remains completely hidden preventing unauthorised access to the encrypted data.

The founder of Evervault is Shane Curran, currently a 1st year Business and Law undergraduate student at UCD. In 2017 Shane was the overall winner of the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition, for a project entitled ‘qCrypt’ which forms the basis of Evervault.

Shane Curran, founder, Evervault said, “Recent high profile data breaches, new and emerging regulations, and the cost of privacy breaches means that companies and organisations around the world are now looking for new and secure ways to protect their data. Evervault has developed the world's first end-to-end, turnkey, secure processing solution to prevent an organisation’s data from being stolen.”

“We have already secured a number of enterprise customers in the technology sector and are currently finalising our seed investment round. We plan to significantly ramp up our team during 2019 to support R&D, some of which I hope we can do here at UCD, and also grow our sales team.”

“I am delighted to be based at NovaUCD and to access the facilities, supports and services provided to an early-stage start-up such as Evervault. Being based there is also helping me to combine my undergraduate studies at the University with building and scaling a start-up company.” 

myStudyPal is a web and mobile app that provides second level students with a simple, fast and effective way to create an accurate and fully changeable study timetable. myStudyPal negates the need for stressful late-night cramming, promotes student wellbeing and ensures a healthy work-life balance. 

Missed study sessions can be rescheduled at the click of a button and social plans can be added to ensure they never clash with study. Push notifications about upcoming study sessions are also sent straight to students’ mobiles in an effort to combat procrastination.

The founder of myStudyPal is Mark Nealon, currently a 1st year Biomedical, Health and Life Sciences undergraduate student at UCD.

Mark Nealon, founder, myStudyPal said, “When I was studying for my Leaving Certificate in 2017, I experienced first-hand how exams take over a student’s life. So I decided to defer going to university for a year to develop a solution which enables students to structure their study around their personal lives through a flexible, cloud based study timetable.”

“Since launching in September 2018, we have been working closely with users to continuously improve our platform. Our initial target market are the more than 100,000 students in Ireland who will be sitting their Leaving and Junior exams in just over 4 months’ time. Obviously we would expect more traction with those who are immediately facing the State exams but we are also finding strong demand for myStudyPal among 2020 exam candidates.”

“Our immediate goal is to make myStudyPal successful in its target market in Ireland. However, myStudyPal could be easily adapted to other markets outside Ireland. Given the larger market size of such countries, the ultimate longer term goal is to make myStudyPal available to students outside of Ireland.”

“I am thrilled to be based at NovaUCD, and to be surrounded by a community of like-minded entrepreneurs and to avail of the facilities and mentor programmes which will assist me in developing and growing myStudyPal as well as balancing my undergraduate studies at UCD.”

NovaUCD is a purpose-built, state-of-the-art facility for high-tech and knowledge-intensive start-ups which provides a comprehensive business support programme for client companies. This programme comprises advice, seminars and workshops as well as facilitated access to the NovaUCD network of researchers, business leaders and investors.

Last August UCD announced a €6.5 million development project to renovate and extend NovaUCD’s east courtyard. When completed later this year NovaUCD’s capacity to support start-ups, such as Evervault and myStudyPal, will increase by over 50%.

Tom Flanagan, Director of Enterprise and Commercialisation, UCD, said, “I would like to take this opportunity of welcoming Shane and Mark to our community of entrepreneurs at NovaUCD. It is fantastic to see these two young and talented entrepreneurs combining their undergraduate studies with developing and scaling their start-ups. Both of their start-ups, Evervault and myStudyPal, are ones to watch in the years ahead.”

During the last 4 years, NovaUCD, together with the UCD Innovation Academy and UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School, has run the annual UCD Start-up Stars Programme to specifically support UCD undergraduate and postgraduate students who want to work together to develop and grow start-up companies.


23 January 2019

For further information contact Micéal Whelan, Communications Manager, UCD Research and Innovation, e:, t: + 353 1 716 3712.

Editors Notes

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 mission. At NovaUCD we provide purpose-built, state-of-the-art incubation facilities alongside a comprehensive business support programme for client companies, such as Evervault and myStudyPal. 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.