The 2023 NovaUCD Student Enterprise Competition, an intensive 4-week mentoring programme for student entrepreneurs, has kicked-off at University College Dublin (UCD) with 9 early-stage ventures and a total of 17 participants.
The participating ventures are focused on a wide range of business ideas from medical devices to sustainable packaging to event management to health and fitness.
The entrepreneurship programme, now in its 9th year, is run by NovaUCD, start-up hub at 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 the participating 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, NovaUCD said, “Over the next month we will be working with the student entrepreneurs as they begin the process of converting their business ideas into start-ups. Our objective with this annual competition is to provide the students with the knowledge, confidence and opportunity to launch and grow their start-ups to compete 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 structured workshops and interactive workshops delivered by Raomal Perera and Caitlin Hafer, 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 be 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.
Over 50 early-stage ventures and nearly 150 students have completed the NovaUCD Student Enterprise Competition to date.
Former competition participants include Charlie Gleeson, who took part in the 2019 competition with an e-scooter business idea which he then developed into Zipp Mobility. The company which he grew to launch e-scooter and e-bike services in locations across Ireland, the UK and Poland was recently acquired by ZEUS Scooters.
Fifteen postgraduate students and two undergraduate students are participating on this year’s programme.
The sponsors of the 2023 NovaUCD Student Enterprise Competition are; AIB, AMD, Arthur Cox, Deloitte, Ericsson and Goodbody.