Students Complete UCD’s 2019 Start-Up Programme for Young Entrepreneurs
The fifth annual UCD Start-up Stars programme, which provides a framework to support UCD undergraduate and postgraduate students who want to work together to develop and grow start-up companies, has now concluded. The programme has been developed by NovaUCD, with the support of the UCD Innovation Academy and UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School.
Over the last 4-weeks a total of seven early stage projects participated in an intensive mentoring programme which took place at NovaUCD.
The aim of this mentoring programme was to assist the students in refining their start-up ideas through a series of structured workshops, including taught content from industry experts, interactive workshops and regular pitching sessions. In addition each team also received a cash stipend and office space at NovaUCD.
MLN (pronounced ‘Melon’), an early-stage University College Dublin (UCD) student project, was declared overall winner of the 2019 UCD Start-up Stars Programme. The winning project has proposed creating a secure and real-time in-house carpooling app for medium-to-large organisations.
The winners of this year’s programme are; Manal Mukhtar, an undergraduate student in the UCD Lochlann Quinn School of Business and UCD Sutherland School of Law, Ellen Le Bas, who has just completed a postgraduate degree in the UCD School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering and Conrad Schaefer, an undergraduate student in the UCD School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering. The early-stage idea was introduced by Peter Hoy, an undergraduate student in the UCD Lochlann Quinn School of Business and UCD Sutherland School of Law.
Tom Flanagan, UCD Director of Enterprise and Commercialisation said, “I would like to commend all the students who participated in the programme. During the last 4 weeks at NovaUCD this group of talented and entrepreneurial students leveraged our start-up expertise and network to further develop and refine their start-up ideas.”
The winners received a cash prize of €3,000 sponsored by Xilinx with the six runner-up projects (profiled below), also receiving a cash prize of €500 each sponsored by Xilinx.
Professor Suzi Jarvis, Founding Director, UCD Innovation Academy said, “The students have worked very hard over these past few weeks on venture ideas they are passionate about. The final pitches are a testament to the work that is being undertaken at UCD to foster entrepreneurial mind sets and the ambition of our students to tackle big problems. This programme is a fantastic opportunity for them to develop an idea and explore its viability in the real world."
Majella Murphy, Entrepreneur-in-Residence, UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School said, "There was a great mix of students from multiple disciplines on the 2019 programme who brought with them diverse ideas and perspectives which are very beneficial to early stage start-ups.”
The members of the 2019 UCD Start-up Stars Programme judging panel were; Kevin Cooney, Senior Vice-President and Managing Director, EMEA, Xilinx; Dr Eimear Gleeson, Investment Associate, Atlantic Bridge; Bryan O’Higgins, Manager, AIB Branch, UCD and Tom Flanagan, Director of Enterprise and Commercialisation, UCD.
The sponsors of UCD Start-up Stars Programme are; AIB, Arthur Cox, Goodbody Stockbrokers and Xilinx.
A total of 30 early-stage ventures and over 75 students have now completed the UCD Start-up Stars Programme over the last 5 years.
The hashtag for this programme is #UCDstartupStars.
24 June 2019
For further information contact Micéal Whelan, Communications and Media Relations Manager, UCD Research and Innovation, t: + 353 1 716 3712, e: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Profiles of the other 2019 UCD Start-up Stars Participating Ventures
Blue is planning to launch a dockless scooter-sharing service in Dublin city centre in 2020. The founders are Charlie Gleeson and Ian Kinsley, who have both just completed commerce undergraduate degrees in the UCD Lochlann Quinn School of Business.
Find-A-Side is developing an app to connect footballers locally based on age, skill and fitness level and lets them join or create games at the touch of a button. The founders are brothers and football-fanatics Sean and Ryan Lucas. Sean is a recent graduate of business and management in DIT, and Ryan is currently studying economics and finance in the UCD Lochlann Quinn School of Business.
Flux Renewables (www.FluxRenewables.com) is developing a new solar power installation service for SMEs, with no upfront costs, to help them reduce their electricity bills while making green power more widespread and accessible. The founder is Hugh Irving, who recently completed a postgraduate degree in the UCD School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering who will shortly begin a Masters in Material Science Engineering at the university.
MedBell is developing a mobile application to tackle the growing problem of medication non-adherence. The founders are; Conor Lawlor, a registered pharmacist, who has recently completed a postgraduate degree in the UCD School of Computer Science and Thomas Fitzpatrick who has recently completed an undergraduate degree in the UCD School of Computer Science where he is now undertaking a PhD in the area of Decision Support Services.
PodMaster is developing a mobile phone solution that empowers everyone to have their voice heard by tackling the challenge of successfully and timely editing and producing a high-quality podcast. The founders are; Pheobe Sun, a PhD student in UCD School of Computer Science, and fellow music and sound enthusiasts, Shirley Sheek Ling Fan and Michael Riordan.
UCD Formula Student (UCDFS) (www.ucdfs.ie/) is developing and constructing an electrical race car for amateur drivers to compete in the Formula Student Electric competition. The overall UCDFS team consists of over 70 UCD engineering and business students with engineering students, Adam Durning, Meg Brennan, Cathal Molloy Killeen and Daire McGrath took part in the 2019 UCD Start-Up Stars Programme.
For more information about UCD Start-Up Stars visit www.ucd.ie/innovation/researchers-and-students/ucd-startup-stars/
For further information about NovaUCD visit www.novaucd.ie
For further information about the UCD Innovation Academy visit www.innovators.ie
For further information about the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School visit www.smurfitschool.ie