Archive for June, 2011

Ryan Academy now on Twitter

The DCU Ryan Academy for Entrepreneurship is now on Twitter, we hope that you will be able to follow us and keep up-to-date with what is hot in innovation and entrepreneurship in less than 140 characters, don’t forget to tweet with what you think!


Ryan Academy Propeller Fund ranked 7th in Europe

June 27, 2011 2 comments

The DCU Ryan Academy’s Propeller Fund has been ranked 7th in Europe in a recent independent study of accelerator programmes. The study was put together by Italy-based venture capitalist Gianluca Dettori and Marco Ciccolini in conjunction with Aziz Gilani from DFJ Mercury. It was commissioned by the Kauffman Fellows Program, working in partnership with Tech Cocktail and the Kellogg School of Management.

Propeller is funded by Irelandia, the investment arm of the Ryan Family and managed by the DCU Ryan Academy, based in Citywest. The programme is mentor-led and offers three months incubation space, a range of free services and €30,000 investment per company in return for a 6.5% equity stake.

The findings showed that three of the top eight funds, NDRC, Propeller and Startupbootcamp, are based in Ireland.

The report was based on a set of scores; incubators could potentially score 25 percentage points if they had qualified financing events (companies that were funded after completing the program), 50 percentage points for successful companies coming out of an accelerator, and 25 points on program characteristics (seed money levels, equity stake for the accelerator, and the size of the alumni base). The rankings were supplemented by interviews with Venture Capital firms, investors and past accelerator participants.

Ann Horan, CEO of the DCU Ryan Academy was delighted with this recognition of its Propeller Fund. “The ranking is an endorsement of the programme itself as well as the excellent work undertaken by our team of expert mentors and programme sponsors. The quality of the companies on our recent programme was confirmed at our Demo Day on 6th May, where investors indicated their intention in investing in at least five of the companies. The application process for our next round of funding will commence in September.”

SFI Researchers Pitch for Success at Demo Day Final

The final day of the Science Foundation Ireland’s TIDA (Technology Innovation Development Awards) took place in the DCU Ryan Academy, with researchers pitching to a panel for the prize of a week in Silicon Valley. This was the culmination of over 2 months of intense training in commercialisation and entrepreneurship for the researchers, as part of the SFI’s TIDA 2010 programme.

The visit to Silicon Valley will be hosted by the Irish Technology Leadership Group (ITLG) and provide an opportunity for the winning researchers to meet members of the venture community and leading technology companies. The panel for the TIDA Demo Day included representatives from the ITLG, Enterprise Ireland, DCU Invent, and Paddy Power.

“All of the presentations were of a very high quality demonstrating a good understanding of business concepts.” said Director of Enterprise and International Affairs at SFI, Dr Ruth Freeman. “In the end it was quite difficult for the panel to decide on a winner so we have awarded not one but two prizes to the researchers” she added.

The winners were announced at the event and were named as Dr Jerry Reen who is based in the BIOMERIT Research Centre in University College Cork (UCC) and Doctor Patricia McGowan who works in the Molecular Therapeutics for Cancer (Ireland) based in St. Vincent’s University Hospital and University College Dublin (UCD).

UCD Researcher Patricia McGowan - one of the winners of the SFI TIDA Demo Day in the DCU Ryan Academy

The BIOMERIT Research Centre was established to promote, co-ordinate and develop key biotechnology research activities in the thematic area of Environment and Health by targeting strategic research funding to sustain and develop research in this area. The Molecular Therapeutics for Cancer, Ireland (MTCI) is a SFI -funded Strategic Research Cluster that aims to discover and develop new anti-cancer drugs.

SFI is facilitating the visit to Silicon Valley, which will be hosted by the ITLG. The visit will be an opportunity for the winning researchers to meet members of the venture community and leading technology companies.

These researchers now have a solid grounding in entrepreneurship that they can bring back to their research centre to examine the potential for commercialisation of their research” said Ann Horan, CEO of the Ryan Academy.

SFI had partnered with the DCU Ryan Academy to provide entrepreneurship training for postdoctoral researchers at research centres in Universities across Ireland. SFI is working in partnership with Enterprise Ireland on TIDA to realise a greater economic impact from the state investment in oriented basic research. The programme aimed to teach business skills to university researchers and scientists.

For further information please contact: Niamh Collins at