7 UCD start-ups aim to raise several million euros

Seven emerging University College Dublin (UCD) start-ups are set to pitch their business plans at the final of the University’s annual accelerator programme.

The participating start-ups are seeking to raise seed investment ranging from €250k to several million euro in funding.

The 2019 UCD VentureLaunch Accelerator Programme Showcase and Awards event takes place next Wednesday, 27 November (evening), at the UCD O’Brien Centre for Science.

The aim of the annual UCD VentureLaunch Accelerator Programme, which is held at NovaUCD, is to support the creation and launch of sustainable and profitable new start-ups emerging from the university.

The 7 start-ups to watch are:


BioSimulytics is developing a software solution which uses a powerful combination of molecular chemistry, quantum physics, artificial intelligence and high-performance computing to quickly and efficiently predict the most stable polymorph for a given molecule from its basic structure. The BioSimulytics technology brings much greater speed, certainty and product data quality to a critical part of the drug development process. The BioSimulytics team includes, Professor Niall English, Dr Christian Burnham, Dr Pralok Samanta, UCD School of Chemical and Bioprocess Engineering and Peter Doyle.

Branca Bunús

Branca Bunús is developing a technology to help cure Epidermolysis bullosa (EB) which affects half a million people worldwide. EB is a devastating genetic disorder that makes the skin as fragile as butterfly wings and for which there is currently no cure. Branca Bunús is developing a technology which targets the ‘wrong’ part of the diseased skin cells to correct them and help cure the disease. The Branca Bunús team includes, Professor Wenxin Wang, Dr Irene Lara Sáez, Dr Qian Xu, Dr Jonathan O’Keeffe Ahern, Dr Sigen A, UCD School of Medicine and Dr Hungyun Tai and Dr Dezhong Zhou.

Cara Rehab

Cara Rehab is developing a technology to improve the physical rehabilitation experience using sensor guided exercise. The technology helps make exercise more effective, educates patients and provides progress monitoring for physiotherapists. The Cara Rehab team includes, Dr Rob Argent, UCD School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sports Science and Gerry Conheady.


iBrux is developing a smart mouthguard and mobile app to help dentists and patients to manage Bruxism more effectively. Bruxism is the involuntary clenching and grinding of teeth and dentists and patients currently have no practical way of measuring and managing this condition. The iBrux team includes, Dr Eoin O’Cearbhaill, Dr John A. Cogan, Frank Dillon and Emer O’Hare, UCD School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering.

MiNAN Technologies

MiNAN Technologies provides a full manufacturing process chain to design, rapidly prototype and produce customised precision plastic components and polymeric functional devices. The MiNAN team includes Professor Michael Gilchrist and Dr Nan Zhang, UCD School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering and Professor Wenxin Wang, UCD School of Medicine.


PicoGlaze has developed a technology that works with nature to actively manage the flow of heat through glazing, allowing heat in and out as required by the occupant. An electronically switchable nano-system, inserted between two glass panes, enables the modulation of thermal conductivity and emissivity. The PicoGlaze team includes, Associate Professor Dominic Zerulla, UCD School of Physics and Simon Forsyth.

Zipp Mobility

Zipp Mobility is an e-scooter rental company which plans to launch in Ireland and beyond in 2020. Zipp offers a quick and convenient way for people to travel to and from public transport links without the burden of their own vehicle. The Zipp Mobility team includes, Charlie Gleeson, a recent graduate of the UCD Lochlann Quinn School of Business and Cormac Cullinane.

Main image: Nick Bradshaw

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Written by John Kennedy (john.kennedy3@boi.com)

Published: 21 November, 2019