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Online service for students building Formula-1 style cars wins 2020 NovaUCD Student Enterprise Competition

Posted 23 June, 2020

The winning team of Peter Gately, Kelly Kaulsay, and Scott Mulligan receiving the  news that Formula Training had won the 2020 NovaUCD Student Enterprise Competition

An online subscription service that teaches the fundamentals needed to compete in Europe's most established educational engineering event, the Formula Student challenge, has won this year's NovaUCD Student Enterprise Competition.

The winning team of Peter Gately, Kelly Kaulsay, and Scott Mulligan claimed their €5,000 cash prize for their early-stage start-up Formula Training.

The trio from the UCD School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering are part of UCD Formula Student (UCDFS) - a team of over 50 students at University College Dublin working to build an electric Formula-1 style car to compete at the Formula Student challenge at the Silverstone Circuit in the UK.

Two other participating start-ups, Uni21 and Daysier, were announced as second and third place winners and receive €3,000 and €2,000 cash prizes respectively.

Formula Training is an online subscription-based platform for university students eager to compete in competition. The service helps teams train new recruits, work together, and hosts a dedicated video lecture bank, articles and advice forums related to the event.

Each year over 100 university teams travel to Silverstone to take part in the Formula Student competition.

“Teams in the Formula Student competition spend thousands upon thousands of hours each year designing, financing and building their race car,” said Peter Gately.

“Despite this, there is no formally established product or service available to help teams to train new recruits, or to guide new teams taking part in the competition.”

Kelly Kaulsay said: “With Formula Training we are developing a customisable platform for teams taking part in Formula Student.

“Competing teams will be able to privately upload their own content, for their own team members, to supplement our content, and thus solidify our platform as the universal learning environment for Formula Student teams.”

“Our goal is simply to provide an educational platform for students who are as passionate about cars as we are and who want to take part in Formula Student competition,” added Scott Mulligan.

This year’s live Formula Student event, scheduled to take place next month, has been cancelled due to COVID-19.

“We in the wider UCD Formula Student team are now focused on working on our entry for next year’s competition,” said Peter.

The NovaUCD Student Enterprise Competition is an intensive 4-week mentoring programme for student entrepreneurs. The programme is now in its 6th year and is run by NovaUCD as a framework to support undergraduate and postgraduate students who want to work together to develop and grow start-up companies.

In 2020 12 early-stage students ventures took part in the competition, which was held virtually, and the participating students were located across Ireland, China, France, India, Italy and the USA.

Tom Flanagan, UCD Director of Enterprise and Commercialisation, NovaUCD said: “During the last 4 weeks this group of talented and entrepreneurial students came together virtually to further develop and refine their start-up ideas. I now look forward to seeing many of these early-stage ventures move forward to successful market launch.

"I would like to congratulate the UCD Formula Student team on winning the 2020 NovaUCD Student Enterprise Competition and I would like to commend all the students who participated in the programme.”

The sponsors of the 2020 NovaUCD Student Enterprise Competition were; AIB, Arthur Cox, Deloitte, Ericsson, Goodbody Stockbrokers and Xilinx.

Over 40 early-stage ventures and over 100 students have now completed the NovaUCD Student Enterprise Competition over the last six years.

By: David Kearns, Digital Journalist / Media Officer, UCD University Relations (with materials from Micéal Whelan, UCD Research and Innovation)