Startup Stars programme welcomes five new student ventures

UCD Startup Stars 2017

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30 May 2017 | 0

Five early stage student ventures have begun an intensive four-week mentoring programme at NovaUCD, as part of the Startup Stars Programme.

The programme, now in its third year, has been developed by UCD Research and Innovation, the UCD Innovation Academy and UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School, as a framework to support undergraduate and postgraduate students who want to work develop and grow start-up companies.

The programme will culminate with a pitching session in mid-June where the winning team will be be awarded a €3,000 prize.

The five ventures taking part in the programme are Aosta Medical, which aims to prevent falls in older people by combining known risk factors with 3D sensors; MUA, a platform for connecting aspiring makeup artists to clients; snack food O’Kale Krisps; PayPiq, a way for users to access and pay for online news; and UniLYF, an event app that addresses mental health issues by encouraging students to increase their participation in college events.

The 2017 UCD Startup Stars Programme began earlier this year with cross-disciplinary workshops and course modules delivered 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.

Ten student teams pitched their ideas to a panel of judges, of which five were selected for the mentoring phase of the programme consisting of workshops, taught content from industry experts and regular pitching sessions.

“Programmes such as UCD Startup Stars are key to giving UCD students an opportunity to apply what they have learned at UCD in a meaningful way,” said Prof Suzi Jarvis, Founding Director, UCD Innovation Academy.

“Regardless of the success or otherwise of these start-up ventures, what is of most value is that the participants are nurturing an entrepreneurial mindset that will serve them well in their future carers whatever path they follow.”

Majella Murphy, Entrepreneur-in-Residence, UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School, said: “During the next month the UCD Startup Stars experience will push the students beyond their comfort zone to step up to the challenge of being real life entrepreneurs. I hope that the experience gives them the confidence and enthusiasm to pursue their start-up ventures beyond the end of this programme.”

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