Five UCD start-ups will pitch their business plans at the UCD VentureLaunch accelerator programme on Wednesday, competing for seed investment of several million euro.

The programme, run by NovaUCD, aims to support the creation, and launch of new start-ups emerging from the university which are both sustainable and profitable. AquaB Nanobubble Innovations Ltd, epiCaPture, Joyst Instruments Ltd, recsyslabs and seamlessCARE are set to make their pitch at the final, which will take place virtually on December 2.

AquaB Nanobubble Innovations Ltd, founded by Professor Niall English and Dr Mohammad Reza Ghaani, commercialises a breakthrough technology to generate nanobubbles of different gases in aqueous solution. The technology can be used across several industries including wastewater treatment, gas storage, agriculture and food.

In the area of medical testing, epiCaPture is developing a novel urine DNA test for aggressive prostate cancer. The team of Dr Antoinette Perry, Asia Jordan, Adele Connor and Ross Nelson, UCD School of Biology and Environmental Science and Edward Simons, are developing a test that has potential as a non-invasive, early detection and screening test.

UCD VentureLaunch Dr Antoinette Perry
Pictured at the UCD O’Brien Centre for Science is Dr Antoinette Perry, UCD School of Biology and Environmental Science and UCD Conway Institute. Picture Nick Bradshaw

Joyst Instruments Ltd was founded by recent UCD ME graduates Philip Snell, William Langrell and Edward Byrne, who have been joined by Dr Paul Cuffe, UCD School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering. Joyst’s instruments deploy precision analogue joysticks for note activation. This allows for unprecedented pitch-bending and note articulation effects.

To further the development of data protection software, recsyslabs members Dr Ernesto Diaz-Aviles, Dr Claudia Orellana-Rodriguez and Dr Igor Brigadir are developing AI technology to connect readers to personalised content. The technology, which does not require nor collect personal identifiable information, generates a newsletter with different articles, based off the readers’ interests, providing publishers with an alternative revenue stream.

And the team comprising seamlessCARE is developing four application programming interfaces (APIs) to improve life for people with intellectual disability, dementia, and a range of complex needs. The team consists of Dr Aviva Cohen, UCD School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, Ian Kennedy and Dr Çağrı Çubukçu, who have developed applications that promote safety, enhance communications, increase efficiency and improve the delivery of care.

Credit: UCD/EventBrite

The programme aims to give the participating start-ups the knowledge, skills and understanding required to lead a new commercial venture as part of a well-functioning team. Upon completing the programme, the emerging start-ups are expected to have developed a commercially viable business plan. An overall winner will be selected after the pitches are made, selected by an external panel, and awarded the 2020 UCD VentureLaunch Accelerator Programme Award.

Conor Bergin – Business Correspondent