Industry & Business

Three Early-Stage Start-ups Spin-in to NovaUCD

 Breaking News
  • Aramark’s Frank Gleeson Named European Industry Leader of the Year Frank Gleeson, president of Aramark Northern Europe, has been named the 2018 NACS European Industry Leader of the Year. The award, sponsored by Mondelēz International, was presented during the recent NACS Convenience Summit Europe in London. “I cannot think of a better leader to be recognised for this prestigious award. He has been one of the industry’s strongest advocates for [...]...
  • McAleer & Rushe Recognised at the Irish Construction Industry Awards Gala Northern Ireland-based developer and contractor McAleer & Rushe has been awarded the prize for ‘International Project of the Year’ at the Irish Construction Industry Awards for Global Student Accommodation’s 1000-bed Catherine House scheme in Portsmouth. The awards, now in their fifth year, recognise companies which demonstrate excellence and innovation in Ireland’s construction industry. McAleer & [...]...
  • Bord Bia’s 2018 Brexit Barometer Results The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed TD has launched the Bord Bia 2018 Brexit Barometer, a comprehensive survey of 117 Irish food, drink and horticulture companies, representing 48% of the sector’s exporters to the United Kingdom. Over 100 senior industry representatives attended the launch in Bord Bia to hear the report findings. The purpose [...]...
  • College Group to Construct New €10 Million Biofuel Facility in County Meath College Group is to invest €10 million in building a new renewable energy facility producing biofuel from used cooking oil and animal fats in north County Meath. The investment is supported by the Irish government through Enterprise Ireland. The new 25 million litre purpose-built plant will be set on a 47.5 acre site and will [...]...
  • Irish Global Packaging Solutions Company Announces €27 Million Investment Zeus, the Irish-owned global packaging solutions company, has announced a €27 million investment in new premises in Dublin and the UK. The investment will also lead to the creation of 80 jobs. An investment of €15 million will see Zeus’ Dublin presence double in size to 250,000 sq ft, with the creation of 50 new jobs. Zeus [...]...

Three Early-Stage Start-ups Spin-in to NovaUCD

Three Early-Stage Start-ups Spin-in to NovaUCD
May 23
11:58 2018

Three early-stage start-ups have become the latest companies to spin-in to NovaUCD and join the community of entrepreneurs at University College Dublin’s (UCD) Centre for New Ventures and Entrepreneurs. Over 25 companies, employing some 200 people, are currently located at NovaUCD.

The three companies, EPIC Conjoint, This is Seaweed and Travacoin, have located to NovaUCD in order to collaborate with and benefit from engagement with the University.

EPIC Conjoint, established by Matt Johnston in 2016, has developed an enterprise software-as-a-service platform that enables companies of any size to rapidly conduct powerful market research globally, delivering customer insights on products, pricing and perceived value in the market.

This is Seaweed is building a global organic food brand and aims to encourage consumers to engage with seaweeds and to understand the benefits they possess with regards to nutrition and taste. Each seaweed in the company’s product range has its own suite of beneficial vitamins and minerals that make them ‘superfoods’. This is Seaweed was established in 2015 by Paul O’Connor, a marine biologist and a seafood enthusiast.

Travacoin is developing an application to enable airlines to use Blockchain-based coins, rather than fiat currency, to refund and compensate passengers in the event of flight disruption. Travacoin was established in 2016 by Brian Whelan who has extensive experience in the area of air passenger rights and advocacy, both in the public and private sectors.

Between them the three companies are planning to create up to 30 new jobs and raise up to €7.5 million in funding over the next 2-years.

Matt Johnston, founder, EPIC Conjoint, said: “Many businesses of all shapes and sizes squander significant profits by either undercharging or overcharging for their products and services without realising it. Through our innovative platform we are helping blue-chip brands and SME companies inject certainty and success into their product and pricing decisions, giving insightful data.”

He added: “We are delighted to locate at NovaUCD, Ireland’s premier start-up hub and to avail of its fantastic facilities, mentor programmes and access to its ecosystem, investors, talent and advice. During 2018, in addition to helping companies across EMEA, EPIC Conjoint is looking forward to collaborating with leading business schools in Ireland, including UCD, and in the UK and in the US, to equip their MBA graduates with access to our powerful customer insight software.”

Paul O’Connor, founder, This is Seaweed, said: “The company is committed to producing great tasting foods that are both on-trend and support good healthy living. Our ethos is to promote sustainable agriculture and provide economic stability for producer communities.”

He added: “NovaUCD offers a great location and supports and access to research opportunities with UCD. The company recently secured an Enterprise Ireland innovation voucher for a research project to develop seaweed blends for the nutraceutical market both at home and abroad. The nutraceutical market is expanding rapidly as consumers look for more sustainable, natural products for health and well-being.”

Brian Whelan, founder, Travacoin, said: “We have been examining the development of a new application which would enable airlines to proactively offer tokens or vouchers instead of cash, when refunding or compensating passengers, for some time. When Blockchain technology came along such an application suddenly began receiving a lot of interest from the airline industry and our task now is to turn that interest into commitments.”

“We are currently developing a Minimum Viable Product and have conducted an economic feasibility study with support from Enterprise Ireland.  In the coming months, we expect to launch a prototype to industry and to engage them in some further testing before a phased product roll-out in late 2019 or early 2020.”

He added: “Blockchain is a new and very immature technology and it is important for us to be in the heart of a learning environment when we start to build applications for industry. NovaUCD is an exceptional environment where innovation and academia meet and we are very excited to be a part of the community here.”

NovaUCD is a purpose-built, state-of-the-art facility for high-tech and knowledge-intensive start-ups, which have either spun-out of UCD research programmes or which spin-in to locate on campus to collaborate with the university.

Tom Flanagan, Director of Enterprise and Commercialisation, UCD, said: “I would like to take this opportunity to welcome EPIC Conjoint, This is Seaweed and Travacoin, the latest companies who have spun-in to NovaUCD. The founders of these companies are experienced entrepreneurs who will be a great addition to our community and we look forward to working with them to facilitate access to UCD’s world-class research expertise and talent.”

He added: “These companies have global ambition and significant plans for job creation and fund raising over the next few years and we look forward to assisting them to achieve these goals.”

To date NovaUCD has supported the launch of over 200 successful high-tech companies which have attracted over €200 million in equity investment. Successes include companies such as BiancaMed acquired by ResMed; Equinome acquired by Plusvital and Logentries acquired by Rapid7.


Pictured at NovaUCD were: Tom Flanagan, Director of Enterprise and Commercialisation, UCD; Matt Johnson, founder, EPIC Conjoint; Paul O’Connor, founder, This is Seaweed; and Brian Whelan, founder, Travacoin. (Image: Nick Bradshaw, Fotonic).

About Author



Related Articles

New Subscriber

Subscribe Here


National Manufacturing Conference & Exhibition 2018

NIBRT Springboard Success Stories

Upcoming Events

  • No upcoming events
AEC v1.0.4