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Propeller 3.0 Huge International Interest

December 29, 2012 2 comments


By Terence Bowden

Once again DCU Ryan Academy’s, Propeller Venture Accelerator, ranked 7th in Europe, is off to a flying start.  Over 140 companies applied from around the world,  An amazing 47% of them are internationally based including 8 from India and 3 from New York, other countries include Togo (which is always interesting), Nigeria, Israel, New Zealand and Malta but to name a few.  The map below gives a good illustration.


So far we held over 115 meetings including a lot of Skype calls around the world. Discussing items such as their business model, pricing structure, team development,  lowest hanging fruit and gaining traction with the market.

One of the goals I wanted to achieve this year was to help the general start-up eco system. While space is limited on the accelerator, the decision was taken to invite the mentors to get involved in two ways;

  1. By reviewing the applications and completing feedback forms.
  2. Providing feedback during the company presentations.

We had an amazing number of mentors volunteer to help and I would like to thank them for their time in doing so.  This feedback will be given to the companies in the New Year.

Presently Propeller has been nominated for a Europa award.  Over €3.2 million euro has been raised by the 12 Propeller companies. In addition, during Christmas week alone, over €1 million ($1.32 Million USD) has been secured in funding, a sign of the momentum Propeller is gathering!


Dublin Ranked Number 1. in Cities ‘Destroyed’ by Recession

December 2, 2010 Leave a comment

The Brookings Institute has published a list of Cities (MetroMonitor) that are worst effected by the recession, and unfortunately (possibly due to recent dire media coverage) Dublin comes out worst, ranking number one on the list. The Global MetroMonitor examines data on economic output and employment in 150 of the world’s largest metropolitan economies, located in 53 countries, from 1993 to 2010.

It shows that though European metros on average weathered the recession slightly better than U.S. metros, they are struggling in the recovery, with metros such as Dublin, Athens, and Riga still losing employment and income from 2009 to 2010.

Aggregate views of the global economy, however, mask the distinct experiences of its real hubs—major metropolitan areas. Metro areas, which are economically integrated collections of cities, suburbs, and often surrounding rural areas, are centers of high-value economic activity in their respective nations and worldwide. And because metros form the fundamental bases for national and international economies, understanding their relative positioning before,during, and after the Great Recession provides important evidence on emerging shifts in the location of global economic resilience and future growth.

These kind of reports though mask the underlying jump in Entrepreneurship activity. The Ryan Academy for Entrepreneurship is seeing a growth in the number of young entrepreneurs that are approaching us, and in this effort we are planning an event on the 9th of December for recent graduates from all colleges and universities, in association with the Lord Mayors Office and the Union of Students in Ireland, in the Mansion House – for free!

Irish Company Develops Parental Protection App Against Cyberbullying

November 29, 2010 Leave a comment

More and more parents are purchasing phones for their children and with Christmas approaching lots of children are asking for phones from santa. However there are potential dangers for children with mobiles and with the growing numbers of cases of cyber bullying, grooming and sexting how do parents really know that their children are safe on their mobiles.

An Irish company has developed a parental supervision platform for mobiles called mobile minder. The mobileminder application gives parents peace of mind when it comes to their children and their mobile phones. It allows a parent to supervise remotely, their children’s mobile activities including calls and texts.

It even goes further by providing a system that will notify parents to texts with specific words. This covers any signs of cyber bullying, sexting or unusual behaviour.

Mobileminder’s location system allows parents to know where their children are at any time. So now parents, no longer must rely on a call or text to know if they have arrived at their destination. Currently this app is running on Google Android phones but other versions of the application are being developed.

The developers of this app are Associate Mobile, a mobile apps company that the Ryan Academy has been doing some mentoring with and we love their product! With a rise in these issues with younger children, we believe this is a useful application that can be downloaded for a 14 day free use before deciding to buy the app.

Think you are talking to an Investor? Think again

November 29, 2010 Leave a comment

Due to the fact that the Ryan Academy works with lots of early stage companies, we hear lots of stories. The well-worn one is ‘We are talking to a potential investor.’ Indeed.

For some reason, due to ego or hubris or just plain weirdness, there are a lot of people around this town that claim to be investors. I know some of them and have heard or met many others. They raise hopes and often string startups along for months on ends (I heard of one that had been ‘negotiating’ with one such phantom investor for over six months). But these Phantom Investors turn out not to actually have any money and it all ends up in unreturned emails and phone calls.

So how do you check to see if these investors are real or not? Here are some questions you need to ask in that first meeting (remember the deal goes both ways, you have to be happy with them and they have to be happy with you, so asking questions is not a sin):

– When was the last investor deal they did?

– Who was it with?

– How much was it for?

– What sectors do they invest in? (Most investors have a comfort zone of areas they like and/or understand, like gaming or mobile or enterprise software)

Real investors should be able to give you these answers, and even if they are shy of publicity the real ones will give you enough information to check out the facts. Organisations like the HALO business angel network are helping to shine a light in this sector now, even if their investors want to stay below the radar they should be able to clarify if there a bona fide or not. Do your homework.

Social Enterprise Module This Week

November 29, 2010 Leave a comment

Workshop: Social Enterprise Development’ – Module

Duration: 2 Day Workshop

Date: Friday 3rd & Saturday 4th December 2010

Time: 9.30 am – 4.30 pm

Venue: DCU Ryan Academy, 3013 Lake Drive,

Citywest Business Campus

Cost: €100 to Skillnet Members €200 to non-Members (per day)

To book a place:

E: niamh.collins@ryanacademy.dcu.ieCall (01) 700 6762


Breakfast Briefing with GM of Hewlett Packard

November 29, 2010 Leave a comment

There are places available to attend the following breakfast briefing with Lionel Alexander, VP and GM of Hewlett Packard (Manufacturing) Ltd on 1st December.

Workshop: Breakfast Briefing’

Speaker:     Lionel Alexander, Vice President & General Manager

Hewlett Packard (Manufacturing) Ltd

Date: Wednesday 1st December 2010

Time: 8.30 am – 10.30 am

Venue: DCU Ryan Academy, 3013 Lake Drive, Citywest Business Campus

Cost: 25 to Skillnet Members €50 to non-Members

Topic: “The importance of multinationals and foreign direct business for our economy and how Small businesses and multinationals can work together to achieve business growth”.

To book a place:

E: – Call (01) 700 6762.


'Green Way' Green Economic Zone Unveiled in Dublin

November 24, 2010 Leave a comment

Industry, academic institutions and local authorities have joined forces to develop Ireland’s first Green Economic Zone, An tSlí Ghlas- The Green Way, launched today by the European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn at a reception hosted by Professor Brian MacCraith, President of Dublin City University.

An tSlí Ghlas -The Green Way – which already has a number of enterprises and projects established – has been initiated by a powerful alliance of businesses, academic institutions and local authorities including Ballymun Regeneration, Dublin Airport Authority, Dublin City University, Dublin Institute of Technology, Fingal County Council, Dublin City Council and North Dublin Chamber.

The goal of An tSlí Ghlas-The Green Way is to position Ireland as a centre of Cleantech innovation and enterprise which will link business to investors and develop trade partnerships with other major international green corridors such as the US East Bay Green Corridor Partnership and Lahti Cleantech Science Park in Finland.

Speaking at the event, the Commissioner said, “We are ambitious – we need innovation in every walk of life, not just in the laboratory or the factory. Not just in the most prosperous regions, but in cities and rural areas across the whole Euorpean Union. Not just research-driven innovation, but innovation in business models, management structures and processes, design and marketing”.

An tSlí Ghlas- The Green Way was conceived in response to the 2009 Report of the Government’s High-Level Action Group on Green Enterprise which stated that “Ireland needs to develop one or more green zones in order to create an environment that can support the development of green enterprise and be used to market Ireland overseas”.

Speaking at the launch, Dublin City University President, Professor Brian MacCraith said, “We are very confident about the success of this exciting venture for many reasons. In particular our real point of difference is that the key constituents and assets are already in place, and we are ready to do business with a team of partners all sharing a common goal and vision.

“DCU and DIT have a long and established tradition of engagement with industry and our links with business are well regarded both in Ireland and overseas. An tSlí Ghlas – The Green Way, drawing on our collective research expertise, will become a focused, internationally recognised hub for Cleantech businesses.”MacCraith said.