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Incubators

23 November 2017

UCD spinouts gear up for showcase

Five spinouts will pitch at the conclusion of UCD’s VentureLaunch accelerator on November 29, with one business set to receive $11,800 in cash.

Author: Callum Cyrus, reporter

Five Ireland-based spinouts are preparing for a presentation and awards ceremony on November 29 to mark the conclusion of University College Dublin's (UCD's) three-month VentureLaunch Accelerator Programme.

VentureLaunch is run from the unversity’s commercialisation arm NovaUCD. It was launched to generate sustainable, cash-generating businesses based on UCD intellectual property.

Graduates attend 10 workshops with entrepreneurial input and mentoring on issues such as marketing, sales and pitching.

The winner will be crowned 2017 UCD Startup of the Year and will receive €10,000 ($11,800) in seed capital, professional services worth €10,000 and one year's access to incubator space at NovaUCD.

UCD named the five contenders as:

  • En-Perium, a cleantech spinout developing 3D modelling software with an embedded climate and physics simulator to forecast energy efficiency. The tool, aimed at architects and engineers, is the brainchild of Michael Mescal from UCD's School of Architecture, Planning and Environmental Policy.
  • Picoworx, whose technology allows the comprehensive placement of carbon nanotubes, a superior alternative to the polycrystalline silicon currently used to make solar power panels. The spinout was co-founded by three professors from UCD's School of Physics – Dominic Zerulla, Pratheesh Nair and Inbarasan Muniraj.
  • Prolego Scientific, which aims to improve the food chain with a data analytics-based platform that genetically tests pedigree animals on health, performance and breeding value. The spinout, backed by Irish enterprise support agency Enterprise Ireland and the EU's European Regional Development Fund, was co-founded by Belinda Hernández, Andrew Parnell and Mahdi Amina from the School of Mathematics and Statistics.
  • Trustalink, which helps banks identify trustworthy fintech firms by using artificial intelligence to collect, verify, link and explore social data in addition to typical financial data. The company’s team are Elie Abi-Lahoud, Paul-Emmanuel Raoul and Cal Muckley from UCD's School of Business.
  • PlasmaBound, a producer of boltless adhesives to ease difficulties in manufacturing large structures such as marine vessels. The spinout was founded by James Barry, a commercialisation engineer from UCD's School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, and the School of Chemical and Bioprocess Engineering. 

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