11 UCD student entrepreneur start-ups to watch

The 2020 NovaUCD Student Enterprise Competition has kicked off with 11 early-stage ventures and 30 participants.

NovaUCD is the Centre for New Ventures and Entrepreneurs at University College Dublin (UCD).

The intensive four-week mentoring programme for student entrepreneurs – formerly known as the UCD Start-up Stars Programme – is now in its sixth year.

“Our hope is that this programme gives them the knowledge and confidence to build substantial new ventures”

The programme functions as a framework to support undergraduate and postgraduate students who want to work together to develop and grow start-up companies.

“This year given the Covid-19 pandemic we are running the NovaUCD Student Enterprise Competition virtually,” explained Tom Flanagan, director of Enterprise and Commercialisation at UCD.

“Over the next four weeks we will be working with the participating student entrepreneurs to help them to begin to transform their innovative business ideas into early-stage ventures. Our hope is that this programme gives them the knowledge and confidence to build substantial new ventures.”

Lean disruptors

The 4-week mentoring programme, which will use the Lean Startup and Business Model Canvas approach, will include a series of online structured workshops and interactive workshops delivered by Raomal Perera and Rohan Perera of Lean Disruptor, amongst others. Topics such as, customer development; value proposition; working in teams; design thinking; prototyping, environment mapping; financial planning and effective fundraising and pitching, will be covered.

At a final workshop, to be held in mid-June, each start-up will present to a judging panel. Based on evaluation of the presentations an overall winning team will be selected and will awarded a €5,000 cash prize; the second placed team will be awarded a €3,000 cash prize and the third placed team a €2,000 cash prize. The other eight remaining teams will each receive a €1,000 cash prize for completing the programme.

And so, here are the 11 student entrepreneur-led start-ups that are competing for an €18,000 prize fund.

Appointment Pal

Appointment Pal is developing an app to make booking a doctor’s appointment more efficient. The members of the team are; Conor Moloney, Seán Patterson and Katharina Rehbock, who have just completed the MSc in Business Analytics in the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School.

Betterways.co

Betterways.co is creating a platform that helps people find the career opportunities they deserve and guide them through their job search. Mahendra Indukuri, who is studying an MSc in Cognitive Science in the UCD School of Computer Science, is leading the team.

Byowave

Byowave is developing custom controllers for disabled gamers. The members of the team are; Brandon Blacoe, Louis Gunning and Maksimilian Suvajev who have just completed ME degrees in Electronic and Computer Engineering in the UCD College of Engineering and Architecture, and Eibhlin O’Riordan, a game design student at TU Dublin.

Emofit

Emofit is developing a mental health support app. The members of the team are; Qipeng Liu, a PhD student in the UCD School of Chemical and Bioprocessing Engineering and Zhipeng Ni, an undergraduate student in the UCD School of Computer Science.

Joyst

Joyst is developing a new musical instrument deploying precision analogue joysticks for note activation, pitch-bending and note articulation effects, coupled with an intuitive and easy-to-learn note layout. The members of the team are; Philip Snell, William Langrell and Edward Byrne, who have just completed Masters’ degrees in the UCD College of Engineering and Architecture, with ongoing support from Dr Paul Cuffe, UCD School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering.

JustFeedMe

JustFeedMe is developing an app that links takeaways cafes and restaurants with clients enthusiastic to buy unsold food at a lower cost helping to reduce food waste. The members of the team are; Eric Giannitrapani, Joshua Mansfield and Mohamed Ohaida, undergraduate students in the UCD Lochlann Quinn School of Business.

Medsimilars

Medsimilars is developing a platform through which customers can access detailed information on biosimilar medicines approved by the European Medicines Agency and order such medicines. The members of the team are; Aamir Khan, Deepali Ingawale and Shivani Dusane, MSc in Biotherapeutics and Business students in the UCD School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science and the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School.

Tribe

Tribe is developing an app to help people learning a new language to make connections with native speakers to help them learn the language. The members of the team are; Afreen Zaheer, an undergraduate student in the UCD Lochlann Quinn School of Business and the UCD Sutherland School of Law, Maxence Vidal, who has just completed a BComm International in the UCD Lochlann Quinn School of Business and Misan Erewa-Meggison, an undergraduate student in the UCD School of Medicine.

UCD Formula Student

UCD Formula Student (UCDFS) is developing and constructing an electrical race car for amateur drivers to compete in the Formula Student Electric competition. The members of the UCDFS team taking part in this competition are; Peter Gatley, Kelly Kaulsay, and Scott Mulligan, undergraduate students in the UCD School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering. The overall UCDFS team consists of over 50 UCD engineering and business students.

Uni21

Uni21 is developing an app that transforms students’ lecture material into multiple choice questions (MCQs) and allows students to play against their fellow classmates, to promote active learning and enhanced memory retention. The members of the team are; Garreth Byrne, a MSc Biotechnology and Business student in the UCD School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science and the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School, Ashwin Manikandan, a MSc student in the UCD School of Computer Science and Matthew Clarke, a computer applications student in DCU.

Productivity App

Productivity App which is developing a recommender systems-based app to provide people who work remotely with personalised workday schedules, including breaks, taking into consideration their individual work styles and preferences, as well as their weekly workload, while helping them to maintain social connections. The members of the team are, Ciara Feely and Courtney Ford, both PhD students in the UCD School of Computer Science.

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

Published: 28 May, 2020