Seven entrepreneurs graduate from UCC’s Ignite Programme

Ignite nurtures start-ups from an idea to commercial reality
Ignite Programme graduates. Pic: Darragh Kane

23 April 2021

Start-ups ranging from a smart sleeping mask to helping people secure basketball scholarships in the US have graduated from the Ignite programme at UCC. 

Seven entrepreneurs have become the first founders to complete the Ignite programme entirely online this year. Ignite nurtures start-ups from an idea to commercial reality and this is the thirteenth group of graduates to complete the programme. The most recent programme at the award-winning incubation has concluded with the Ignite Awards and Showcase for Spring 2021. The ceremony took place via webinar. 

Among the start-ups showcased were Pitseal Web, an edible biofilm that replaces plastic sheeting on silage bales, and Cardio Flourish, a Web-based platform that provides remote cardiac rehabilitation. 




The winner of the Ignite Award for Best Business was Patrick O’Regan, founder of Reach The Top, a platform to streamline basketball scholarships in the USA. It helps colleges reduce the cost associated with the NCAA recruitment of athletes by eliminating the need to travel extensively.

Niall Crowley, co-founder Basevault, was awarded Best Business Plan, while Eric Teahan, founder of Eclipse Sleep Bliss was received the Best Video Pitch award.

The Ignite Graduate Business Innovation Programme is hosted by University College Cork and is supported by Bank of Ireland, the Local Enterprise Offices of Cork City, South Cork and North and West Cork, Cork City Council and Cork County Council.

“We are proud of the hard work and dedication of all our founders in developing their start-up ideas in what are very challenging times,” said Ignite director Eamon Curtin. “This is the 13th cohort to come through Ignite and those involved join a growing network of successful founders who started their start-up journeys on Ignite. We are always open for expressions of interest from recent graduates from any discipline, from any third-level institution in Ireland with a viable business idea.”

“The Ignite programme is one example of UCC leading in the field of innovation,” said Prof John Cryan, vice president for Research and Innovation at UCC. “The start-ups graduating this evening have diverse academic backgrounds from English and History to Nutrition. I am passionate about bringing together all disciplines making UCC a campus of Creativity, Curiosity and Critical Thinking; the Ignite programme embodies those ideals.” 

“Once again, we at Bank of Ireland are delighted to be part of the Ignite programme,” said Brendan Reddin of Bank of Ireland, who chaired the awards adjudication panel. “It is a fantastic programme that helps to support entrepreneurs. We are always inspired by the founders at IGNITE, their ideas and the quality of their pitches and business plans.”

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