Archive for November, 2011

Propeller on Dublin City FM – 103.2 fm

November 30, 2011 Leave a comment

Terence Bowden, Propeller Coordinator, will be interviewed on Dublin City FM on Friday the 2nd of December.  Terence will be  talking about the DCU Ryan Academy and Propeller. He will be joined by Don Corbett who is the CEO of mm Technologies and will talk about his product ‘Mobile Minder’.


Dublin City FM – 103.2 fm

Show: Good Morning Dublin

Date: 02/12/11

Time: 10-11am


Propeller Venture Accelerator features on Nationwide Friday 25th of November!

November 25, 2011 Leave a comment

On Friday the 25TH of November, DCU Ryan Academy’s inaugural Propeller Venture Accelerator Demo Day presented on RTE One’s Nationwide at 7.00pm.  The show will also be streamed live on RTE Player.  Programme Enquiries to:

The Propeller Venture Accelerator aims to accelerate early development stage of technology start-up companies, both Irish and international, in Dublin. The Propeller Accelerator has taken the successful US accelerator model and adapted it to the Irish context. In early 2011 the Propeller Venture Accelerator became a charter member of the Techstars Network, only one of five outside of the US and only one of three in Europe.

The Propeller Venture Accelerator has an emphasis on software, Web 2.0, applications, informatics and cleantech start-ups. The accelerator programme is a mentor-led, three months incubation with free space and services and an additional €30,000 cash investment in each company.  This is in return for 6.5% equity stake.

The first Propeller Programme which started in February 2011 had an initial six companies – who were:

This year the programme has received a total of 135 applications.  Aside from a healthy number of Irish start-ups, the programme has also received applications from 20 countries, including Germany, Finland, the US, Australia, Iran, India, Israel, South Africa, Brazil, Rwanda and China. It is no surprise that people from all around the globe are showing a huge interest in participating in this award winning accelerator, recently ranked 7th in Europe.

The chosen companies will enter the Propeller offices in January 2012 in Citywest, Dublin.  Waiting are over 60 mentors with a formidable amount of experience to help the companies on a path to success.

“The Propeller Venture Accelerator has been a great experience one that has truly accelerated our company by at least 2 years if not more in only 3 months.  With easy access to a number of experienced mentors we were able to achieve results so much faster.”

Tom Byrne, CTO & Founder, HealthComms

The application process will open again for Propeller 3.0 in the Spring of 2012.  Keep an eye on the Ryan Academy’s website.  

Propeller start-ups have access to and advice from mentors, which is a key part of the programme; the mentors are senior corporate executives as well as seasoned entrepreneurs in the technology area. Another benefit of the programme is the package of corporate and service support including marketing, accounting, legal and intellectual property advice.  Companies such as Sage, Arthur Cox (largest law firm in Ireland), Tomkins IP (intellectual Firm of the Year in 2010), Enterprise Ireland, Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association (ISME), the HALO Business Angels Network, the Irish Technology Leadership Group and Arizona State University in the US have agreed to partner on the programme.

Minister Richard Bruton launches second year of DCU Ryan Academy‘s Business Innovation Programme

November 15, 2011 Leave a comment

On Monday the 24th of October Minister for Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation Richard Bruton  launched the second year of the DCU Ryan Academy’s Business Innovation Programme (BIP), with a total of 126 unemployed professionals signed up participate on this year’s course.

 The programme will last for nine months with people securing on-the-job work placements with some of Ireland’s leading employers, while also gaining a recognised qualification in the process.

 Of the 122 participants who took part in the inaugural year of the programme last year, over 55 per cent are now in fulltime employment.

 During the launch, Minister Bruton welcomed the work of the DCU Ryan Academy and met past and present course participants.

 Minister Bruton said:

 “The people I met today in many ways reflect the experiences of so many people across the country in recent years – well qualified, hard-working people who have been unfortunate enough to lose their jobs due to the collapse in the economy.

 “My hope is that the success of this Programme can be reflected across the country in the coming years. Through a combination of government support, the private sector, our educational institutions and above all the hard work and commitment of individuals, a large number of people in a short period of time have found employment again. There are many lessons for all of us here – for my part I am determined that government will keep its end of the bargain and work hard to get people into employment again”.

 Speaking about their expectations for the course, BIP participant Tom Cavanagh from Shankill Co Dublin said, “I am delighted to have obtained a place on the course. I feel like I am taking control of my situation and it’s a great feeling to be in a room with dozens of other people with the same goals for the future.

 I am looking forward to building on my own expertise, expanding my networks and giving myself an edge in a difficult job market, while gaining the confidence to change my career path and obtain a recognised qualification in the process.”

 Ann Horan, Chief Executive of the Academy, said, “We are delighted to have such a diverse group of participants with a wide range of skills and experience.

 Our aim over the next nine months is to work with this talented group of professionals and entrepreneurs to support them in unlocking their potential and ultimately, help them succeed in getting back into the workforce.” said Horan.

 The BIP nine-month programme is part of the Higher Education Authority’s Springboard Initiative and incorporates academic classes with an innovation team placement with one of 40 host companies. Following the huge success of the first year of the BIP, this year saw the course oversubscribed by over 100 per cent.

 Of the 126 current participants, 84 are men and 42 are women and while the majority are Irish, participants hail from all over the world, from as far away as Malawi and the United States.

 Collectively, the 126 participants in the course this year have 2,184 years of work experience.

 Over a third of participants, with an average age of 35-55, have been unemployed for over two years. Fifty four per cent of participants have been unemployed between 6 months and 2 years.

€10m international start-up fund to attract entrepreneurs into Ireland

November 8, 2011 Leave a comment

A €10m international start-up fund, aimed at encouraging overseas entrepreneurs to locate their businesses in Ireland, was launched today by Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton.

While the fund will be open to company promoters all over the world, the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation said it “will be targeted particularly at the Irish diaspora, international expatriates, the ‘new diaspora’ (people from overseas who have previously worked or studied in Ireland), as well as serial and mobile entrepreneurs”.

The fund, which will be administered by Enterprise Ireland, will target investor-ready projects seeking between €200,000 and €500,000. Its target geographies will include North America, the UK, Europe and Australia, while sectors will include internet, games, cloud computing, medtech and financial services.

Funding will be in the form of an equity stake taken by the State in the company.

The Department said Enterprise Ireland will be appointing a number of high profile, successful Irish entrepreneurs to act as international start-up ambassadors to help market the fund overseas.  Dylan Collins, who has founded a number of online gaming companies, is one of the first to accept the role of fund ambassador.

Collins described the fund as an excellent way to build on Ireland’s position as one of the leading start-up hubs in Europe. “If you’re in a start-up anywhere in the world which has international ambition, you need to come and talk to us right now,” he said.
“One key strand of our new industrial strategy will be to create a genuine indigenous engine of growth,” said Minister Bruton.

“As I have said before, our ambition must not only be to attract the next Google or Microsoft to Ireland, but we must also seek to grow the next Google or Microsoft in Ireland. Indigenous companies provide proportionally more than three times more benefit to the Irish economy than multinational companies.

“Today’s announcement is a direct intervention by government to create more start-up companies here. Across the world, many of the start-up companies which go on to succeed and create jobs are driven by people within a small class of mobile, innovative, serial entrepreneurs. What the Irish Government is saying very clearly today to the international technology community gathered in Dublin is – come and start your company in Ireland, we are open for business, and we will support you”.
‘The addition of the €10m fund provides a core offering around which the rest of our overseas entrepreneurship marketing and promotion efforts will be centred,” said Frank Ryan, Enterprise Ireland chief executive. “The attraction of overseas entrepreneurs to Ireland is an important opportunity to expand our start up activity and they will significantly add to the diversity and skill-base of the Irish start up community’.

Growth in Technology Start-ups Continues as Applications Double for DCU Ryan Academy Propeller Venture Accelerator Programme

November 3, 2011 Leave a comment

The second year of the DCU Ryan Academy’s Propeller Venture Accelerator Programme for technology start-ups has been vastly oversubscribed, with applications outstripping places available by almost 95 per cent.  Applications to the Fund, which provides capital investment and a three month intensive mentoring programme for entrepreneurs, were received from over 20 countries including Ireland, Germany, Finland, USA, Australia, Iran, India, Israel, South Africa, Brazil, Rwanda and China. The interest shown is a clear indication that Ireland is seen as a hub for entrepreneurship and innovation both at home and abroad.

The Propeller Venture Accelerator Programme, which has been ranked 7th best in Europe in an independent study of accelerator programmes commissioned by the Kauffman Fellows Program, was established in 2010 with the aim of fast-tracking early stage Irish and international technology start-up companies in Dublin.  Each of the chosen companies receives €30,000 seed fund injection, tailored and targeted mentoring and training, as well as three months incubation with free space and services.

The chosen companies will enter the Propeller Venture Accelerator offices on 2 January 2012, and will be met by over 60 mentors whose invaluable experience will be used to advise and lead these companies on a path of success.

While recruitment of mentors continues, many well-known businesspeople are already involved, including Frank Hannigan – Chairman – Goshido, John Canacott – Serial Entrepreneur, Maurice Mason – Partner Irelandia Aviation and Liam Mullaney – Managing Director Sage. At the end of the three month programme, each company will pitch their business and products to potential investors from around the globe at a special ‘Demo Day’.

Terence Bowden, Venture Manager of the Programme said, “We are delighted with the huge level of interest shown from Ireland and all over the world because it highlights just how much this programme has to offer start-up companies and it’s a clear sign of the appetite for entrepreneurism and innovation in Ireland’.

Our aim here at the DCU Ryan Academy is to find good people with good ideas, and give them all the tools and support they need to take their ideas to market. Ireland is awash with entrepreneurs and we seek to help nurture and foster innovation.’

The first year of the programme, which finished in April 2011, brought huge success for the six companies that took part. Operating in technology areas ranging from mobile applications to clean tech, online gaming, health informatics and internet applications, the start-ups are now in the process of closing seed funding deals totally over €1 million. The companies, who include Associate Mobile, Fantom, GreenEgg Technologies, Healthcomms, Simple Lifeforms and VendorShopSocial, each employed two people when starting the programme, have now created an additional 18 jobs since finishing the programme.

Speaking about his experience, Tom Byrne, CEO and Founder of HealthComms said, The Propeller Venture Accelerator has been a great experience and one that has truly accelerated our company by at least 2 years, if not more, in just 3 months. With easy access to a number of experienced mentors we were able to achieve results so much faster than if we had been on our own.”