Skip to main content

News and Events


8 May 2017
Early stage startups and innovators from business sectors including data analytics, medtech, eHealth, renewable energy and ICT are supported by the SPRINT II Accelerator, which concentrates on commercialisation strategies and routes to market for new companies.

Cork, 5th May 2017:  Innovators and entrepreneurs will benefit from a new phase of the SPRINT accelerator, announced today (Friday) by UCC President, Prof Patrick O’Shea at Gateway UCC.

The SPRINT accelerator, now in its second year, is particularly focused on commercialisation of research and market access for novel solutions.  Leveraging the experience of successful entrepreneurs and mentors, business support agencies and expert business coaching, the SPRINT accelerator provides support to drive commercial success, accelerate route to market and ultimately create jobs from leading edge solutions developed by researchers in UCC.


The accelerator is supported by Gateway UCC, Bank of Ireland, Enterprise Ireland, Cork City LEO (Local Enterprise Office) and Cork City Council.


Speaking at the launch of SPRINT II, UCC President Prof. Patrick O’Shea said, “SPRINT is a true example of the “triple helix” at work; the University’s knowledge and IP based start-ups being supported by government agencies - Enterprise Ireland and LEOs - as well as the local authority, Cork City Council, being mentored by highly experienced business entrepreneurs, all working together to develop sustainable, growth-orientated and scalable IP-based companies.”

SPRINT II has already signed up 12 early-stage startups, including one which offers technologies for constant monitoring of brain health for at-risk newborns and a new diagnostics platform for IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), which is the most common gastrointenstinal disorder affecting over 40 million people in Europe alone. As well as med-tech innovators, SPRINT II participants are also commercialising solutions in renewable energy (both hardware and software), data analytics, emergency management and scientific instrumentation among others.


“Research in our Technology Centres and Institutes is delivering valuable and novel solutions to many of the issues we face today. Supporting innovators from idea generation to startup, with a particular focus on commercialisation of research, has been key to the success of Gateway UCC, now recognised as a leading innovation and incubation centre nationally,” said Myriam Cronin, Manager of Gateway UCC.  “Following the success of SPRINT, we have adapted and grown the accelerator programme this year, and we are delighted to announce a second programme of SPRINT this year.”

“Enterprise Ireland works closely with emerging companies to ensure that they can access global markets, attract investment, create jobs and scale quickly. Increasing the number of high potential startups from 3rd level is a key focus of Enterprise Ireland’s strategy and we are delighted to support the SPRINT Programme which identifies and supports exciting leading edge technologies being developed in UCC,” said Martin Corkery, Regional Director at Enterprise Ireland.

Success stories of 2016 SPRINT programme were recognised at the launch of the next round of the accelerator. UCC President Pat O’ Shea presented the “Sprint’s Most Investible Start Up” Award 2016 to emerging medical device company, Skellig Surgical, which focuses on development of user-centred, minimally invasive technology.  The UCC President also presented the “Sprint’s Most Revenue Generating, Market-Ready Award”  to Food Choice at Work, which delivers the ultimate healthy eating management system in the workplace. Both companies are resident in Gateway UCC and together they employ 12 people currently.


The SPRINT Accelerator is the first structured learning programme from commercialisation in the University covering the A to Z of how research led business are formed and scaled.


The state of the art facility at Gateway UCC provides a unique support ecosystem for start-ups including mentoring and business coaching, access to financial advice and startup funding, specialist seminars, workshops, introduction to venture capital opportunities, business angel networks and access to UCC’s network of researchers and facilities together with excellent support through linkages into academic departments.


Since opening in 2011, GATEWAY UCC Business Incubation & Innovation Centre has supported over 40 start-ups, which between them now employ 250 people and contribute an estimated €15 million in wages and €5 million in tax annually to the local economy.



The GatewayUCC SPRINT 2 programme is designed to assist innovators from the research community in UCC who may be interested in commercialising their research giving them the tools to start up a business from their research activity. The programme, which commenced in January 2016, is designed as an accelerator covering all the pillars of starting and growing a spin-out campus company. 


The SPRINT accelerator modules cover the topics of Business Strategy/Value Proposition; Business Model; Regulatory Requirements; Product and Customer Validation; Market Opportunity; Business Plan development; Brand Creation; Channels to Market; Funding Options and Strategies; Pitching to Investors; Legal Obligations and Requirements and Building a team to scale your business. Each participating company will be assigned a dedicated mentor and at the end of the accelerator participants will have a business plan and road map strategy for their 1st year combined with a network of entrepreneurial supports.


This purpose-built, state-of-the-art Innovation and Incubation Centre based at UCC comprises 21 own door business units ranging in size from 15m² to 67m². Jointly funded by UCC and Enterprise Ireland, GATEWAY UCC’s primary aim is to support and accelerate the development of successful knowledge-intensive start-ups, translating academic research into commercially viable, technology-led, export-focused companies.  More details on:


Since opening in 2011, GATEWAY UCC Business Incubation Centre has supported over 40  start-ups, which between them now employ 250  people and contribute an estimated €13 million in wages and €5 million in tax annually to the local economy.


GATEWAY UCC supports Spin-out start-ups from the University and Spin-in companies, which use the IP generated within the globally recognised Research Institutes such as INFANT, APC Microbiome, ERI, Insight and Tyndall, consequently the majority of GATEWAY supported companies are High Potential Start-Ups (HPSUs).


GATEWAY is UCCs flagship business incubator and is the key element of the infrastructural support to entrepreneurship and innovation in the University and the Region as a whole. The centre is home to a number of Enterprise Ireland-supported high potential start-ups including, Altratech Ltd,  Skellig Surgical Ltd, , Alimentary Health and Food Choice at Work and former home to Metabolomic Diagnostics and recently exited Atlantia Food Trial Ltd, All these companies are UCC spin-outs which were founded on the world class research conducted within the University and are operating in Global markets.


GATEWAY UCC also provides hot desk, co-working spaces for entrepreneurs and emerging start-ups  at the per-start up stage, providing a stimulating environment to nurture and explore the feasibility of their business opportunity, and is fast becoming a hub of knowledge transfer activities in the areas of IT, ICT, Medtech, Food, Pharma, Bio, Wearable technologies  and Renewable Energy.


Close collaboration with it’s strategic partners in the business community in the region, including Enterprise Ireland, Local Enterprise Offices, CorkBIC, Cork Chamber, Business Angel and VC networks, Cork City and County Councils, GATEWAY UCC  works constantly towards creating an eco-system to benefit it’s client companies,.


GATEWAY effectively works with clients from their Idea stage of development right through to the eventual commercialisation of their product or service It is about getting the company from having a viable opportunity it can exploit, all the way to getting that product into the global marketplace.


Many of these companies scale with VC funding and become the acquisition targets for the multi-national community.


The facility actively supports start-ups and entrepreneurs through the development of spin-out and spin-in companies utilising university intellectual property and provides a uniquely supportive ecosystem for start-up through its programme of business supports.


Such supports include mentoring and business coaching, access to financial advice and startup funding, specialist seminars, workshops, introduction to venture-capital opportunities, business angel networks and access to UCC’s network of researchers together with excellent support through linkages into academic departments.


GatewayUCC - Gorlann Ghnó

C/O Office of Technology Transfer, Western Gateway Building, Western Road, Cork, Ireland.,