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Propeller 3.0 Huge International Interest

December 29, 2012 2 comments

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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.

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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!

Death Buy Fashion Testimonial

October 19, 2012 Leave a comment

Niamh Phelan, CEO, Death Buy Fashion talks about being in the Propeller Venture Accelerator.

Fantom launch new Facebook app

September 28, 2012 Leave a comment

Irish digital media firm and also an Alumni DCU Ryan Academy Propeller Venture Accelerator company, Fantom, has fired a salvo into the US Presidential Campaign with the launch of a new facebook app that pits Barack Obama against Mitt Romney in the form of digital sticker-books. Supporters and political junkies can collect and trade stickers of the candidates, the campaign trail, campaign staff, and policies in the new facebook app.  An infograph (http://election.fantom.tv), charts the popularity of each candidate, tracking the number of books collected and completed and the number of successful trades made by each side.

Can a stickerbook predict the result of the election? “Paul the Octopus did a good job with World Cup results,” claims Fantom CEO Paul Healy, “and this is even more scientific.”

The Fantom swingometer may be just for fun but the serious message behind the digital sticker books is youth engagement in politics. Politicians struggle to engage with young people.  Healy intends the Fantom facebook game to engage younger Americans in the candidates’ issues and policies, in a fun way.  “That’s not to discount the fact that we are looking forward to the competitive nature of the Obama and Romney Fantom users!’ The real US election takes place on November 6th, but Fantom users can cast their vote by playing at http://election.fantom.tv.

Ryan Academy launches third phase of Propeller Venture Accelerator

September 4, 2012 Leave a comment

 Ryan Academy launches third phase of Propeller Venture Accelerator

YOU GET

  • €30,000 Euro investment (approx $37,000 USD)
  • Investor Day (previously investors came from Ireland, England, Italy & the USA)
  • Free Office Space (3 months during & 1 month after)
  • Mentorship (over 80 mentors that can guide, advice and open doors)
  • Introductions to potential clients, partners and investors
  • In total a deal worth €45,000 Euro (approx $55,500 USD) investment & services

WE GET

  • 7.5% equity stake, valuing your company at €600,000 Euro ($740,000 USD)

 

DCU’s Ryan Academy is launching the third phase of its Propeller Venture Accelerator programme for early-stage technology start-ups on Monday 3rd September 2012.  This three-month, award-winning accelerator offers a total package of €45 000 to entrepreneurs with winning ideas:  €30 000 investment, office space, over 80 mentors (technical, specialists and serial entrepreneurs) and a Demo Day pitching session with investors and business angels.

Propeller, voted 7th Best Accelerator in Europe in a study commissioned by the Kauffman Fellows Programme, has adopted and adapted the successful Techstars model for the European market.  It aims to accelerate early-stage technology start-ups with a special focus on software, Web 2.0, informatics, clean-tech and applications.  To date, companies emerging from the Propeller programme now employ 49 personnel and have raised over €1.75 million in investment, with many company-investor discussions still ongoing.

Terence Bowden, Ryan Academy Venture Manager said, “Propeller has a proven track record in helping technology start-ups accelerate to the next phase of their evolution.  We offer to our successful participants a comprehensive package of practical and financial supports and, through our extensive network of contacts in business and enterprise, access to a full suite of mentoring programmes and to further investment possibilities through our Demo Day at the end of the programme.”

Propeller Participant Testimonials

“Winning a place on the inaugural Propeller Venture Accelerator was like being plucked off the bus and placed on the bullet train for our business. We were given access to the most senior Irish business talent and an inside track to the Irish and international investment community”.

Paul Healy, CEO Fantom (online gaming company) and Serial Entrepreneur

“I found the network incredible. The amount of advisors and more importantly investors that I was introduced to was amazing.”John Joyce, CEO & Founder, Seoige Technology (developer of Savvybear.com)

“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, CEO & Founder, HealthComms (homecare technology solutions)

The closing date for applications is 22nd October 2012 but applicants are encouraged to apply early and to engage with the Academy. The accelerator starts with the companies moving to Citywest on the 21st January 2013.

For more information please visit http://ryanacademy.ie/propeller-venture-accelerator

Propeller Venture Accelerator, Application process opens 3rd September

August 21, 2012 Leave a comment

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Once again the application process will open for Propeller Venture Accelerator which is Europe’s 7th Best Accelerator. The date will be the 3rd September.  So what is the deal;

YOU GET

  • €30,000 Euro investment (approx $37,000 USD)
  • Investor Day (previously investors came from Ireland, England, Italy & the USA)
  • Free Office Space (3 months during & 1 month after)
  • Mentorship (over 80 mentors that can guide, advice and open doors)
  • Introductions to potential clients, partners and investors
  • In total a deal worth €45,000 Euro (approx $55,500 USD) investment & services

WE GET

  • 7.5% equity stake, valuing your company at €600,000 Euro ($740,000 USD)

“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, CEO & Founder, HealthComms

“A good Accelerator propels a company to a different place. Sound business advice, alternative perspectives and the very welcome injection of cash allows the founders the space to imagine what their business could be, rather than how do they keep their idea alive until tomorrow.

Propeller did this for us. You go into the process focused on the money, too many dark days staring at unpaid bills makes you hungry, but the nurturing takes the lean look off you! An external eye on your product and your business plan gives a much needed reality check; a network of business contacts who are committed to help gives you a real trading start; and practical things like office space, professional advice and the insight of other founders like you help you believe you can make it. And that belief is the difference between success and failure. I would undoubtedly commend an accelerator program to any start-up business and Propeller is one of the best”.

Paul Healy, CEO & Founder, Fantom & Serial Entrepreneur

For more information visit our website http://ryanacademy.ie/propeller-venture-accelerator

Why Ireland for Entrepreneurs and Start-ups?

August 16, 2012 2 comments

Ireland has a healthy Angel and VC network with over €250 (330 USD) million available in seed funds through organisations such as HBAN and also a healthy VC community such as ACT Venture Capital, Bloom Equity, Kernel Capital, Enterprise Equity but to mention a few.

The government is very much helping start-ups through one of its agencies Enterprise Ireland (EI) with seed funding where they will co-invest with V.C.’s and Angels in Startups. Not bad considering the population of Ireland is only 4.5 million!  Ireland is also one of the best locations in Europe for R&D through tax incentives, grant aid and a corporate tax of only 12.5%

In a report prepared for the Commission’s Directorate General for Economic and Financial Affairs for Europe, it found that Ireland was the top European country which recruiters found were producing the “most Employable” graduates.  The government also wants to double the amount of college graduates in Software, proving Ireland is long term when it comes to R & D software.

With headquarters for some of the internet, software and hardware giants having their European head quarters based in Ireland such as PayPal, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Twitter, Intel, LinkedIn and Dell, Ireland has a great technical, knowledge based community and willing to help start-ups.  This is great if you are planning to use the platforms for your products/services.  No wonder Ireland is one of the largest producers of software in the world.

3 of Europe’s top 8 Accelerators are based in Ireland of which one is the Propeller Venture AcceleratorDogPatchLabs has also set up is first non-US Location, setting up its European lab in Dublin.

As a location Dublin is one of the most cosmopolitan and vibrant cities in the world.  Within 2 hours you can fly to anywhere in Europe and yet we are the closest European country to the U.S.

By Terence Bowden

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How to Entice Startups to Ireland?

October 15, 2010 Leave a comment

One of the key areas of development within the Irish startup landscape is making Ireland, and Dublin in particular, not a good but a great place to do a new venture. We are competing not just with the US here but other locations in Europe. So what makes Ireland such a great place to be an entrepreneur? Well there are the usual suspects, low corporate tax rate, number of incentives for doing a startup, Enterprise Ireland support (despite the somewhat one-sided view given on the Irish television earlier this week) and a highly educated, English-speaking workforce. Not to mention a large non-national population that bring a huge amount of language skills to the city, useful if one is internationalising in Europe.

But one key group that we perhaps haven’t leveraged as much is the presence of so many multinational corporations. Thanks to IDA Ireland, major companies that are based in the City include Intel, Facebook, Yahoo, Merck, Siemens, Microsoft, Pfizer, Apple, Google, Amazon.com, Yahoo, Sage, Adobe and the list goes on. For companies that are in the enterprise space or that need partnerships with corporates, this is a treasure trove. And now we have a generation of corporate leaders who tend to be Irish, a group that has been very ‘entrepreneurial’ in pitching ideas back to their corporate headquarters to bring additional resources, in particular research and development work, to Ireland. Citi, Intel, IBM and Disney all have research projects going on in Ireland at the moment.

One of the key areas of development for the Ryan Academy Seed Accelerator fund will be to harness our corporate connections for the startups that will be on the programme. We see this as a key to developing the next generation of technology companies in Ireland, whether the founders are from Ireland or not. We are not looking for the ‘Irish Google’, instead our war cry is ‘One Hundred Havoks.’ Leveraging this connection in particular and the relative small size of Dublin, makes Ireland a great place in particular to do an enterprise related venture.