UCD Startup Stars 2016

UCD Startup Stars picks six ventures for mentoring programme

Pictured: Joanna Kelly, Eppie Claffey and Sahar Mohamed-Ali, Step Out

10 May 2016

The six early-stage student ventures selected for University College Dublin’s 2016 Startup Stars Programme have been announced.

This entrepreneurship programme, developed by NovaUCD, the UCD Innovation Academy and UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School, provides a framework and support for UCD undergraduate and postgraduate students to work together to develop and grow start-up companies.

UCD Startup 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.

These successful teams will participate in an intensive four-week mentoring programme which starts later this month at NovaUCD.

Among those selected are Skillar, a location-based app employers advertise jobs and subsequently shortlist and talk to local job applicants, and Step Out plans to deliver activity-based workshops to secondary school students to supplement the teaching of English literature curriculum.

Also selected were lifestyle tracking analytics company Medwear; energy manager SME Affinity; social enterprise The Little Things; and Whooozin a platform that makes group food ordering easy for working professionals and restaurant owners.

“Building on the successful pilot of UCD Startup Stars last year in partnership with NovaUCD we are delighted to be expanding the competition this year to include UCD postgraduate students and their wealth of research based innovation, in partnership with the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School,” said Prof Suzi Jarvis, founding director, UCD Innovation Academy.

“UCD Startup Stars now provides both undergraduate and postgraduate students, who have an appetite for entrepreneurial thinking and creative problem solving, the opportunity to work beyond the confines of their subject areas and develop new solutions to problems they care about. Through this programme we are drawing together some of UCD’s most creative students who have the courage to attempt to solve difficult problems.”

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.

TechCentral Reporters

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