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Posted 08 June 2009

Innovators ready for final stage of entrepreneurship competition

In the hope of turning their business ideas into full-blown business plans and commercial enterprises, six teams of UCD students and early-stage researchers are set to battle it out in the final stage of the NovaUCD SUSSED! Entrepreneurship Competition. The teams, who made it through the open competition stage of the contest, will pitch their ideas in front of an expert judging panel in a “Dragons’ Den” type scenario later this month.

The victorious team will receive €10,000, six months free incubation space, and professional support in forming their new venture. They will also go forward to represent UCD in the Europe-wide UNICA Entrepreneurship Competition for Students and Young Researchers.

The expert judging panel will include: Eamonn Fallon, Managing Director and Co-Founder of; Dan Maher, Founder of Nua Venture; Nicola Mitchell, Managing Director and Founder of Life Scientific; Dr Brian Kelly, CEO and Co-Founder of Celtic Catalysts; and Dr Pat Frain, Director of NovaUCD.

The six hopeful teams are:

The Coast2Coast Coaching team is running soccer camps for children in partnership with city and school districts in southern California. It is the first and only day camp provider in the US to use Irish coaches. The team leader is Chris Murphy, an MBA student in UCD’s Michael Smurfit Graduate School of Business.

The FlyFit team aims to provide fully equipped exercise gym and relaxation facilities operating out of large international airport terminals. The team leader is Matthew Gleeson, an undergraduate student in UCD’s Quinn School of Business.

The HeyStaks Technologies team is developing a software application that makes it easier for users to organise and share their internet search experiences.  The team leader is Dr Maurice Coyle, an early-stage researcher in UCD’s School of Computer Science and Informatics.

The OlympOzone team is developing a system which uses ozone technologies to disinfect and treat swimming pools more cost efficiently and more environmentally friendly than chlorine and without the negative health side-effects associated with chlorine by-products. The team leader is Sinead Quinn, an undergraduate student in UCD’s School of Biology and Environmental Science.

The Sustainable Meter team aims to provide water consumers with a low cost, user friendly, real-time, web-enabled digital water flow measurement system. The team leader is Dr Tom Curran, an early-stage researcher in UCD’s School of Agriculture, Food Science and Veterinary Medicine.

The XIT team is developing a travel planning software application that allows users to plan and make holiday reservations sourcing information from multiple websites, friends’ emails, and social networks.  It produces a neat hard copy of the final itinerary or one that can be downloaded to a hand-held electronic device. The team leader is Kevin O'Shaughnessy, a postgraduate student in UCD’s National Institute of Technology Management.


NovaUCD is University College Dublin’s Innovation and Technology Transfer Centre.  NovaUCD is responsible for the commercialisation of intellectual property arising from UCD research and for the development of co-operation with industry and business. 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. 

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Innovators compete in final for €10,000 prize fund