Gateway UCC launches SPRINT Accelerator Programme

25th February, 2016

SPRINT

(L to R) Ruth Patel, Respiro Research and Development, Julie Sinnamon CEO Enterprise Ireland, David Merriman, Bank of Ireland and Simon Smith, Respiro Research and Development.

New Accelerator Programme “SPRINT” to support startups and researchers at Gateway UCC

Cork, 25 February 2016: A new accelerator programme, called SPRINT, was launched today (Thursday) at Gateway UCC by Julie Sinnamon, CEO Enterprise Ireland and UCC VP for Research & Innovation Anita Maguire.  Designed to support early stage start-ups, entrepreneurs and UCC-based researchers, the SPRINT Accelerator will focus on commercialisation strategies and routes to market. 

“Using our extensive experience in the area of commercialising research, early stage companies and spin outs, SPRINT has been developed to increase the number and the success rate of knowledge based start-up companies, utilising intellectual property from UCC,” said Prof. Anita Maguire, VP Innovation and Research at University College Cork.

The first 10 participants in the SPRINT accelerator programme are from diverse areas such as bioinformatics, digital mobile, medtech, eHealth, nutrition and food health as well as ICT.  These pre- and early stage startups will be working with seasoned and successful business mentors, as well as being coached in business development, scaling and growth internationally.  The SPRINT programme is sponsored by Enterprise Ireland, Bank of Ireland and Cork City LEO.

Speaking at the launch, Julie Sinnamon, CEO of Enterprise Ireland said, “The SPRINT Accelerator programme contributes positively to the target outlined in The Action Plan for Jobs National Entrepreneurship Policy, to double the jobs impact of start-ups in Ireland in the next 5 years.  This programme is yet another example of how the Government’s investment in research programmes under Enterprise Ireland and SFI can translate into commercially successful, global focused companies that create jobs and enhance all our lives.”

“The pre and early stage start ups, joining SPRINT, are all in the HPSU (High Potential Start Up) space, are IP based and have the potential to create up to 100 new innovation based jobs in the next 3 years,” said Myriam Cronin, Manager of GATEWAY UCC.

Gateway UCC works with clients from their idea stage of development right through to the eventual commercialisation of the product or service.  From having a viable commercial opportunity to getting that product or solution into the global marketplace, Gateway UCC activity supports start-ups and entrepreneurs at every step along the journey.  

The state of the art facility and infrastructure 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.

Since opening in 2011, GATEWAY UCC Business Incubation & Innovation Centre has supported over 30 start-ups, which between them now employ 180 people and contribute an estimated €13 million in wages and €4 million in tax annually to the local economy.

ENDS

About the SPRINT Accelerator

The Launch of the GATEWAY SPRINT program is another support for the Research community in UCC. SPRINT, an Accelerator is designed by GATEWAY to assist Researchers who may be interested in Commercialising their research giving them the tools to start up a business from their research activity.

The programme, which commenced in January, is designed as a pre start-up accelerator covering all the pillars of starting and growing a spin out campus company. SPRINT is being delivered by experienced Serial Entrepreneurs and Business Practitioners, and takes place over a 4 month period – comprising 8 sessions of 6 hours duration each, usually on a Monday morning from 8.30 am to 2.30 pm, fitting in with participant’s busy schedules.

The SPRINT accelerator modules cover the topics of Business Strategy/Value Proposition; Business Model; Regulatory Requirements; Product and Customer Validation; Market Opportunity; Business Plan development; Brand Creation; Channels to Market; Funding Options and Strategies; Pitching to Investors; Legal  Obligations and Requirements and Building a team to scale your business. Each participating company will be assigned a dedicated mentor and at the end of the accelerator participants will have a business plan and road map strategy for their 1st year combined with a network of entrepreneurial supports.

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

 

About GATEWAY UCC

This purpose-built, state-of-the-art Innovation and Incubation Centre based at UCC comprises 21 own door business units ranging in size from 15m² to 67m². Jointly funded by UCC and Enterprise Ireland, GATEWAY UCC’s primary aim is to support and accelerate the development of successful knowledge-intensive start-ups, translating academic research into commercially viable, technology-led, export-focused companies.  Find out more: www.ucc.ie/en/gateway/

Since opening in 2011, GATEWAY UCC Business Incubation Centre has supported over 30 start-ups, which between them now employ 180 people and contribute an estimated €13 million in wages and €4 million in tax annually to the local economy.

GATEWAY UCC supports Spin-out start-ups from the University and Spin-in companies, which use the IP generated within the globally recognised Research Institutes such as INFANT, APC Microbiome, ERI, Insight and Tyndall, consequently the majority of GATEWAY supported companies are High Potential Start-Ups (HPSUs).

GATEWAY is UCCs flagship business incubator and is the key element of the infrastructural support to entrepreneurship and innovation in the University and the Region as a whole. The centre is home to a number of Enterprise Ireland-supported high potential start-ups including, Luxcel Biosciences, Alimentary Health and Food Choice at Work and former home to Metabolomic Diagnostics and recently exited Atlantia Food Trial Ltd, who after just two years in GATEWAY now employ 20 people. All these companies are UCC spin-outs which were founded on the world class research conducted within the University and are operating in Global markets.

GATEWAY UCC also provides hot desk, co-working spaces for entrepreneurs and emerging start-ups  at the per-start up stage, providing a stimulating environment to nurture and explore the feasibility of their business opportunity, and is fast becoming a hub of knowledge transfer activities in the areas of IT, ICT, Medtech, Food, Pharma, Bio, Wearable technologies  and Renewable Energy.

Close collaboration with it’s strategic partners in the business community in the region, including Enterprise Ireland, Local Enterprise Offices, CorkBIC, Cork Chamber, Business Angel and VC networks, Cork City and County Councils, GATEWAY UCC  works constantly towards creating an eco-system to benefit it’s client companies,.

GATEWAY effectively works with clients from their Idea stage of development right through to the eventual commercialisation of their product or service It is about getting the company from having a viable opportunity it can exploit, all the way to getting that product into the global marketplace.

Many of these companies scale with VC funding and become the acquisition targets for the multi-national community.

The facility actively supports start-ups and entrepreneurs through the development of spin-out and spin-in companies utilising university intellectual property and provides a uniquely supportive ecosystem for start-up 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.

 

Contact

For further press information, please contact:

Renate Murphy

CAMEO Communications

+353 86 8145462

+353 21 4943939