GATEWAY UCC LAUNCHES NEW ACCELERATOR PROGRAMME

Ruth Patel and Simon Smith of Respiro Research and Development check out a venipuncture sleeve with Julie Sinnamon, CEO, Enterprise Ireland and David Merriman, Head of Enterprise Development, Bank of Ireland

Ruth Patel and Simon Smith of Respiro Research and Development check out a venipuncture sleeve with Julie Sinnamon, CEO, Enterprise Ireland and David Merriman, Head of Enterprise Development, Bank of Ireland

A new accelerator programme called SPRINT has been launched 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.
Speaking at the launch, Prof Maguire said: “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.”

The first ten participants in the SPRINT accelerator are already signed up from diverse areas such as bioinformatics, digital mobile, medtech, e-Health, nutrition and food health as well as ICT. These pre- and early stage start-ups 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.

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“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 five years,” said Julie Sinnamon, CEO of Enterprise Ireland. “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.”

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.

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.