NovaUCD’s 2022 Start-up Programme for Student Entrepreneurs

Nova UCD

The 2022 NovaUCD Student Enterprise Competition, an intensive 4-week mentoring programme for student entrepreneurs, has kicked-off recently with ten (10) early-stage ventures and a total of 23 participants.

This year’s participants are focused on a wide range of business ideas in sectors such as, sustainable fashion, event management, household services, circular economy, human resources and hospitality.

The entrepreneurship programme, now in its 8th year, is run by NovaUCD, the Centre for New Ventures and Entrepreneurs at University College Dublin (UCD), as a framework to support undergraduate and postgraduate students who want to work together to develop and grow start-up companies.

The aim of the competition is to assist entrepreneurial students in refining their start-up ideas through a series of structured workshops, including taught content from industry experts, interactive workshops, regular mentoring and pitching sessions.

Tom Flanagan, Director of Enterprise and Commercialisation, UCD said, “Over the next four weeks we will be supporting the student entrepreneurs as they begin the process of converting their innovative business ideas into early-stage ventures. Our objective with the NovaUCD Student Enterprise Competition is to give the students the knowledge and confidence to continue to develop and grow their ventures into start-ups competing on a national and international stage.”

The 4-week mentoring programme, which uses the Lean Startup and Business Model Canvas approach, includes a series of online structured workshops and interactive workshops delivered by Rohan Perera and Raomal Perera, Lean Disruptor. Topics such as, customer development; value proposition; working in teams; design thinking; prototyping, environment mapping; financial planning and effective fundraising and pitching, will be covered.

At a final workshop, to be held in mid-June, each participating venture will pitch to a judging panel. Based on evaluation of the presentations an overall winning team will be selected and will awarded a €5,000 cash prize; the second placed team will be awarded a €3,000 cash prize and the third placed team a €2,000 cash prize. The remaining 7 teams will each receive a €1,000 cash prize for completing the programme.

Over 120 students and over 50 early-stage ventures have completed the NovaUCD Student Enterprise Competition to date.

Former participants include Charlie Gleeson, who took part in the 2019 competition with an e-scooter business idea, which he has since developed into Zipp Mobility, Ireland’s leading micromobility operator. Zipp Mobility, an Enterprise Ireland high-potential start-up, which has raised €2.1 million in funding, has already become a significant player in the European e-scooter sharing market, with operations in multiple cities in the UK and Poland. The company also recently announced the launch of a new shared e-bike service in Dublin in partnership with Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council.

Students participating on this year’s programme are from the UCD School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, UCD School of Mathematics and Statistics, UCD Lochlann Quinn School of Business, UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School and the UCD Innovation Academy, and 50% of the participants are international students.

The sponsors of the 2022 NovaUCD Student Enterprise Competition are, AIB, Arthur Cox, Deloitte, Ericsson, Goodbody Stockbrokers and Xilinx.

Pic Credit: Nick Bradshaw

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