SPRINT Accelerator Programme
What is the SPRINT Accelerator Programme?
The SPRINT Accelerator Programme was developed by GatewayUCC Business Incubator Manager, Myriam Cronin, as a support for the pipeline of Spin-Out and Researcher-Led start-ups seeking accommodation in the GatewayUCC Incubation Centre.
Designed to support early-stage start-ups, entrepreneurs and UCC-based researchers, SPRINT focuses on the commercialisation of UCC-generated technologies and routes to market. SPRINT delivers all the information these companies need, giving them the correct information at the correct time, so that they can make better business decisions and avoid the pitfalls many fledgeling companies fall into due to lack of knowledge and experience.
- Business Strategy / Value Proposition
- Regulatory Requirements
- Legal and IP Issues
- Business Plan Development
- Channels to Market
- Funding Options
- Equity and Strategies
- Crafting your Elevator Pitch
- Pitching to Investors
- Building a Team to Scale Your Business.
Each participating company is assigned a dedicated mentor and at the end of the accelerator, participants have a business plan and road map strategy for their 1st year, combined with a network of entrepreneurial supports.
Sponsorship of the SPRINT Accelerator has been secured from Enterprise Ireland, Bank of Ireland, Cork City Council and Cork City LEO.
What is involved in the SPRINT Accelerator Programme?
Each SPRINT programme takes 10 researchers and early-stage companies, from cross-campus disciplines for 10 modules and workshops, over a 3-month period and develops them from proof of concept to pitching for investment. The programme is designed around the busy schedule of the researcher, but is delivered in a 3-month timeframe to keep the momentum going throughout the programme.
There were 10 early-stage company participants in the first SPRINT accelerator, from diverse areas such as Bioinformatics, Digital mobile, Medtech, eHealth, Nutrition and Food Health and ICT. These pre- and early-stage start-ups have been working with seasoned and successful business mentors, as well as being coached in business development, scaling and growth internationally.
Participants are assigned an experienced entrepreneur as mentor to work with business plan scoping and delivery. The SPRINT Programme is delivered by Serial Entrepreneurs and Business Practitioners. These presenters are all entrepreneurs, having started up, scaled, raised finance and, in many cases, sold their businesses.
Throughout the 10 Modules, the participants cover all the areas on the start-up journey, from Idea Stage to Customer and Product Validation, from Legal and Regulatory Requirements right through to Development of Business Plan, Sales Plan, Route to Market, Funding Strategy, Pitching to Investors and Raising Capital, culminating with Building the Right Team to Support a Successful Start-Up. Early intervention in these matters can be the catalyst for success.
What makes SPRINT different to other Accelerator Programmes?
SPRINT is a true example of the “triple helix” at work with the university’s knowledge / IP based start-ups being supported by government agencies (Enterprise Ireland, Local Enterprise Offices), mentored by highly experienced business entrepreneurs, all brought together to develop sustainable growth oriented knowledge companies.
SPRINT is a unique accelerator as it reaches back into the Research Centres such as APC Microbiome Institute, Tyndall National Institute, INFANT, INSIGHT etc. of the university, identifies these pre- and early-stage companies and researchers working on cutting edge technologies and platforms, giving them the tools and assistance they need, prior to spinning out, for the development of their businesses, navigating the business landscape and introducing them to the networks and connections that can help them succeed.
Participants of the SPRINT Accelerator are usually developing business ideas that have been predicated on years of research culminating in IP that has global reach if channelled correctly. SPRINT has been developed to overcome the challenges they will encounter while starting up their businesses. Through its marrying together of seasoned entrepreneurs and mentors with novice researchers / budding entrepreneurs, SPRINT is designed to smooth the pathway and help them succeed. The Peer-to-Peer learning for the companies is also invaluable and is building its own network of start-up companies from the university that can help each other going forward.