Irish start-up Ayda selected for PCH hardware accelerator

Ayda James Foody
PIctured: Ayda co-founder James Foody

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8 April 2015 | 0

Wearable tech start-up Ayda has been named one of 25 entrants to the Spring round of PCH’s Highway1 hardware accelerator.

Ayda is developing a smart fertility tracking device for women. The company has its roots in Ireland’s first multidisciplinary design and hardware hackathon, hosted by PCH at the DCU Innovation Campus in November 2014. Co-founders James Foody (pictured) and Aoife Crowley were members of the Hackathon’s winning team and at the event, decided to move forward and develop a prototype.

The 11 participating start-ups come from a range of sectors including healthcare, home automation, agriculture, and drone technology, and represent universities ranging from Stanford to Georgia Tech.

Combined, these startups have already raised $4 million in outside funding, making this the best-funded class in the history of the programme.

“We are very excited about this incoming class, which was selected from the most applications we have received – 275 – for any one semester. Many of them come with outside funding which indicates their ability to get market support from the get-go,” said Brady Forrest, VP of Highway1. ”Over the next four months, we will see these teams morph into companies that have working prototypes that they can share with investors.”

Ayda co-founder Aoife Crowley added: “Since we met at the PCH Hackathon last year in DCU we have been working to develop Ayda, a one-of-a-kind product which will help women in Ireland and worldwide to effortlessly manage their fertility cycles and hopefully improve their chances of conceiving. We’re excited to be chosen as part of this Highway1 class and to work with the team in PCH on how best to manufacture, market and ultimately sell our product.”

Since its inception in 2013, Highway1 has accepted 45 hardware which have have raised over $45 million. At the end of the four-month programme, graduates pitch their concepts and show their working prototypes to investors, industry leaders, and media at a special event. Other elements of the programme include $50,000 in seed money in exchange for equity, as well as long-term access to Highway1’s prototyping facilities.

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