HydraSure wins UStart company of the year for 2016

Emer Cooney, HydraSure
Emer Cooney, HydraSure



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21 October 2016 | 0

Two start-ups were awarded prestigious titles to mark the end of Dublin City University’s UStart accelerator programme.

The UStart company of the year award went to HydraSure, founded by Emer Cooney, a DCU MSc Science Communication graduate. Aimed at horse owners, vets and trainers, HydraSure is a drinking system that captures data relating to animal water intake, ultimately saving on labour, reducing veterinary costs and ensuring equine athletes are hydrated for optimal performance.

Luke Scales and Shane Carter picked up the most innovative company award for Hitch, a carpool app that connects commuters with drivers who are undertaking the same journey. The app is aimed at students and commuting professionals, saving money and time for the commuter and cutting costs for the driver.

Ten companies took part in the DCU UStart programme this year. The four-month accelerator is open to profit and non-for-profit ventures from all Dublin City University students, giving them the opportunity to develop innovative ideas and launch viable start-up companies.

Run by DCU’s Ryan Academy for Entrepreneurs, the participants pitched to a panel of judges and potential investors including Eamonn Quinn, entrepreneur and Irish dragon, Dragon’s Den; Pat McDonagh, founder of Riverdeep; Joe Hogan, founder of Opennet; David Bowles, parter, Delta Partners; Ginani Matter, partner, Growing Capital.

Eoghan Stack, CEO of DCU’s Ryan Academy, said: “I’d like to congratulate all of the teams who took part in this year’s programme, particularly our winners today who have demonstrated true entrepreneurial flair. Staff at the DCU Ryan Academy, the extensive network of mentors and investors have all thoroughly enjoyed working with you to bring you innovative ideas to market and we wish you every success in the next stage of your business journey.”

HydraSure will receive €2,000 prize money and Hitch will receive €1,000.

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