Six student ventures selected for UCD’s Start-Up Stars programme
11 May 2016
Pictured (l-r) at NovaUCD are UCD students, Joanna Kelly, Eppie Claffey and Sahar Mohamed-Ali, founders of Step Out
The six early stage student ventures selected for University College Dublin’s (UCD) 2016 Start-up Stars programme have been announced.
This entrepreneurship programme, developed by NovaUCD, provides a framework and support for UCD undergraduate and postgraduate students to work together to develop and grow start-up companies.
UCD Start-up Stars began with cross-disciplinary workshops and course modules delivered earlier this year at UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School and the UCD Innovation Academy. During this period students from across the university explored and evaluated a variety of real world problems before forming teams to develop start-up solutions to address the identified problems.
Thirteen student teams pitched their start-up ideas to a panel of judges who selected six ventures to proceed to the next phase of the programme.
These successful teams, with a total of 15 team members, will now participate in an intensive four-week mentoring programme which starts later this month at NovaUCD, the Centre for New Ventures and Entrepreneurs.
Among those selected are Skillar, Step Out and Medwear.
Skillar is planning to redefine part-time employment in Ireland. With a focus on low-skill, high-turnover recruitment, Skillar aims to streamline the hiring and job-search process via a location-based app. This app will enable employers advertise jobs and subsequently shortlist and talk to locally-available potential staff who apply through the app.
The founders of Skillar are UCD students, Laurence McNally (mechanical engineering), Stephen Jones (chemical engineering) and Andrew Desmond (digital innovation).
Step Out plans to bring high-quality and activity-based workshops to secondary school students around Ireland to supplement the teaching of English literature curriculum in a more engaging and relatable way.
The founders of Step Out are UCD students, Sahar Mohamed-Ali (chemical engineering), Eppie Claffey (English and drama) and Joanna Kelly (English and drama).
Medwear will enable life and health insurance companies to become aware of the ongoing health trends and lifestyle habits of its policy holders and as a result have a more accurate view of the risk involved in their insurance pool. The founders of Medware are UCD students, Sean Barry (commerce), Eoin Durnin (biomedical engineering) and Sean McCarthy (actuarial science).
“During the upcoming four-week mentoring programme at NovaUCD we will leverage our start-up expertise and experience, gained over many years, to support this group of young entrepreneurial students as they develop and refine their start-up ideas,” said Brendan Cremen, UCD director of enterprise and commercialisation.
The mentoring programme, to help the teams to refine their start-up ideas, will consist of a series of structured workshops, taught content from industry experts, interactive workshops as well as regular pitching sessions.
In addition there will be opportunities for the teams to network with the NovaUCD community of entrepreneurs. Each team will also be given a cash stipend and office space at NovaUCD during this phase of the programme.
At the final workshop, to be held in mid-June, each start-up will present to a final judging panel. Based on evaluation of the presentations and submitted business plans one overall winning team will be selected who will be awarded a €3,000 prize to help them on their start-up journey.
The sponsors of the UCD Startup Stars programme are AIB, Arthur Cox, Deloitte, Ericsson, Goodbody Stockbrokers and Xilinx.
The hashtag for this programme is #UCDstartupStars
Find out more about the programme from last year’s participants:http://www.engineersjournal.ie/2016/05/11/six-student-ventures-selected-for-ucds-start-up-stars-programme/http://www.engineersjournal.ie/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/UCD-Start-1024x683.jpghttp://www.engineersjournal.ie/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/UCD-Start-300x300.jpgNewsinnovation,NovaUCD,startups,UCD