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Seven Emerging Start-Ups Set to Pitch at Final of University College Dublin’s 2019 Accelerator Programme

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Seven Emerging Start-Ups Set to Pitch at Final of University College Dublin’s 2019 Accelerator Programme

Seven Emerging Start-Ups Set to Pitch at Final of University College Dublin’s 2019 Accelerator Programme
November 25
09:53 2019

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

Registration via:

The participating start-ups are, BioSimulytics; Branca Bunús; Cara Rehab; iBrux; MiNAN Technologies; PicoGlaze and Zipp Mobility.

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 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 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 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 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.

The main objective of the UCD VentureLaunch Accelerator Programme is to equip participants with the knowledge, skills and understanding that will be required to work as part of a team leading a new commercial venture. On completion of the programme the expectation is that the emerging start-ups will have developed a commercially viable business plan.

At the event the participating founders will deliver elevator pitches to an audience comprising members of Ireland’s venture capital, research, state agencies, industry and business communities.

Following the pitches an overall winner, selected by an external judging panel, will be named and will receive the 2019 UCD VentureLaunch Accelerator Programme Award.

The members of the judging panel are: Dr Helen McBreen, Atlantic Bridge (Chair); Audrey Boyd, AIB; Caroline Gaynor, Lightstone Ventures; Tomás Jones, Elkstone; Dr Sharon O’Kane, LivaNova and a NovaUCD Entrepreneur-in-Residence, and John O’Sullivan, ACT Venture Capital.

Professor Mark Ferguson will be the guest speaker at the event in his role as Chair, European Innovation Council (EIC) Advisory Board. Professor Ferguson is also Director General of Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland.

All are welcome to attend and further information, including registration details, are available via

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