Research & Innovation

SPRINT 2020 Launched by Gateway UCC to Support Entrepreneurs and Start-ups

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SPRINT 2020 Launched by Gateway UCC to Support Entrepreneurs and Start-ups

SPRINT 2020 Launched by Gateway UCC to Support Entrepreneurs and Start-ups
February 05
09:57 2020

SPRINT 2020, which is designed to support early stage start-ups, entrepreneurs and UCC-based researchers has been launched. Participants will now benefit from support and knowledge on leading Technology Start-ups, which has been made available through the next phase of Gateway UCC’s Sprint Accelerator Programme. Gateway UCC is part of the UCC Innovation team.

On the day of the launch awards were presented to participants of the Sprint Programme. The awards categories presented to Researcher led technology ventures and winners were:

·       SPRINT Rising Star Award: Niamh Creedon, Tyndall

·       SPRINT Clinical Impact Award: Mark O’Sullivan, INFANT

·       SPRINT Sustainability Award: Dr Linda Higgins, MaREI

·       SPRINT Most Investor Ready Award: Dr Alex Jaskic, Tyndall.

GatewayUCC, which supports researcher led start-ups and spin out companies has announced that the companies it has worked with have created 370 jobs since 2012. In that time these GatewayUCC supported companies have raised over €40 million of public and private investment, supporting 60 start-ups. These IP based companies have contributed more than €22 million a year in salaries to the local economy.

On the programme, pre- and early-stage start-ups will be working with successful business mentors who will help to bring their business from idea stage through to the eventual commercialisation of the product or service. SPRINT has been developed to help companies overcome challenges they may encounter when starting their businesses.

UCC President, Prof Patrick O’Shea said: “At UCC, our mission is threefold. We create knowledge, we call that research. We pass that knowledge on to the students, we call that learning. But the most important thing is to combine all of that knowledge from that research and the learning into practice. That is where SPRINT programme comes in, because it helps entrepreneurs develop their businesses into great successes by building on the creative research and learning, all of the knowledge we have here in this great city and great university. We want to bring that knowledge to the surface and that is what we do in the SPRINT programme by helping these entrepreneurs develop successful businesses, so they can go on and do great things for society.”

The SPRINT programme is sponsored by Enterprise Ireland, Bank of Ireland and Cork City LEO.

Manager of GATEWAY UCC, Myriam Cronin said: “We are very excited to launch the SPRINT 2020 Programme. The Programme now in its fourth year has proved to be a huge success for UCC and we are looking forward to building and growing the next wave of Intellectual Property based companies. We envisage ten participants on each course and projects nearest to market readiness will be chosen. Each participant will be assigned a mentor with start up experience in their areas.”

Vice President for Research and Innovation at UCC, Anita R Maguire said: “Sprint is focused on getting new technologies out of the University’s research labs and into practical commercial application, for example bringing new medical device technology into clinician’s hands, improving the outcome for patients. This initiative also facilitates network-building for our researchers to support them in successfully executing the opportunities their discoveries create. Today you see just a sample of what is happening here in UCC Research – exciting developments in disruptive technologies resulting in potentially game changing impacts.”

The state-of-the-art facility at Gateway UCC provides a uniquely supportive ecosystem for start-ups through its programme of business supports. Such supports include mentoring and business coaching, access to financial advice and startup funding, specialist seminars, workshops, introduction to venture-capital opportunities, business angel networks and access to UCC’s network of researchers together with excellent support through linkages into academic departments.


Award winners Linda O’Higgins, Sustainable Tech Award from  Systems Engineering for micro algae Omega-3s – SyMO3; Alaksdar Jaksic, Sprint Near Market Award from Vardis; Mark O’Sullivan, Near Clinical Impact Award from Neurobell; and Niamh Creedon, Sprint Rising Star Award from MCCI Tyndall National Institute  at the launch of SPRINT 2020.

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