GradHow, an early stage company that wants to help graduates find jobs, has won the inaugural UCD Startup Stars Programme.
GradHow is developing an online platform to help college students reduce the uncertainty they encounter when they graduate. It wants to help them understand the job opportunities that are relevant to them and challenge the way employers recruit.
“By improving connections between employers and universities, GradHow aims to improve the graduate employment process,” says the company.
The founders of GradHow are Ben Chadwick and Alan John Browne, who both recently completed 3rd year commerce at UCD and Stephen Duffy who has recently completed 1st year commerce (international) at UCD.
The UCD Startup Stars programme was developed by NovaUCD and the UCD Innovation Academy to allow UCD undergraduate students, who want to work together, to build start-up companies.
GradHow was selected as the overall winner as it was judged to have the most commercial potential and the founders received a cash prize of €3,000 sponsored by Xilinx.
There were five runner-up start-ups who received a cash prize of €500 each, also sponsored by Xilinx.
“UCD Startup Stars was devised to combine the Innovation Academy’s skills in creative problem solving with NovaUCD’s experience in commercialisation and we have brought about a programme that offers UCD students a launching pad and testing ground for the initiatives that they are passionate about,” says Suzi Jarvis, founding director, UCD Innovation Academy.
The five runner-up UCD Startup Stars participants
CarGo is developing a carpooling app for the student community. The founders of CarGo are UCD students Andrew Costello, who has completed 3rd year politics and international relations, information and social computing and Hugh Fitzpatrick who has completed 3rd year archaeology and geology.
Clink is creating an online community to connect prospective third level students with current undergraduates and graduates to help them to select their college courses. The founders of Clink are UCD students Anna O’Flynn, who has completed 2nd year economics, and John Byrne, who has completed 4th year commerce (international).
Meep aims to make 18-25 year olds feel great about themselves by creating a social, fun-filled and esteem-building matching app. The founders of Meep are UCD students Gary Melican, Andy Lyne and Cian Ó Faoláin who have completed 4th year commerce (international) and who just want everyone to be happy.
NootroLife aims to create a smart coffee, by combining Nootropic (cognitive enhancing) ingredients with coffee. NootroLife plans to give consumers a way of increasing their memory, focus, motivation and therefore overall productivity. The founders of NootroLife are UCD students Conor Corroon, who has completed 2nd year science, Sarah Shanahan, who has completed pre-medicine and Enes Gahbiche who has completed 2nd year civil engineering.
SoleSense is a start-up which is designing pressure-sensitive insoles for running shoes to measure the impact force and power generation during a runner’s stride. The founders are UCD students Constantine Doherty, who has completed 1st year science, Colm Moran, who has completed 3rd year engineering, and Paul McDonagh, who has completed 2nd year engineering.