Linking Learning beat off seven other businesses to be selected as the most promising start-up at the NDRC’s Swequity Exchange final on Friday. The novel idea from Barry Slattery is an online curriculum planning service that allows primary school teachers to share, in real time, the learning objectives that they are covering in class and associated tips for learning, with the parents of their students.
The idea of the Swequity Exchange launched in May was for business experts to commit their time and expertise to the projects of budding entrepreneurs in a sweat for equity exchange. The eight finalists were chosen a total of 85 business ideas entered in the programme. These eight ideas were then matched with range of qualified voluntary experts and mentors to form teams which worked closely together over a five week concentrated period. The experts pre-signed equity deals with the idea owners at the start of the programme to be invoked if the business is successful.
The finalists included a wide range of ideas from an emergency temp hiring service to a digital lab for small quantity manufacture of prototype products.
“Swequity Exchange proves it’s possible for someone with a really good business idea to get support and back-up from qualified people to bring their project forward”, said NDRC Inventorium director, Mark Kearns. All eight finalists will continue to receive mentoring support through the Inventorium programme. The expert advisers were mostly successful entrepreneurs from the technology sector like Sean Blanchfield of Demonware but also included Chairperson of Ireland US Council and founder of 11890 Nicola Byrne and experts from other start-up incubators.
The eight finalists were as follows:
- Linking Learning – Adjudged to be the most promising start up this online curriculum planning service that allows primary school teachers to share objectives and ideas with the parents of their students.
- Distillr - an open government data management system & tool kit.
- ListenToItLater – allow user to bookmark streaming audio tracks to be listened back later from the users’ device of choice.
- Fab Lab Dublin – this is a lab offering digital fabrication to the public including 3d printing, precision milling and laser cutting. The fab lab programme was started at the Center for Bits and Atoms at MIT.
- Gotcha Ninjas - a web-based social game that teachers use as a classroom behaviour tool to engage with students and parents.
- Rentable - an app and social media platform where renters can rate and evaluates properties and make recommendations to others.
- Stamply – a loyalty scheme with a reward card on your phone carrying stamps from multiple businesses.
- Tempity – an emergency temp hiring service.