2015 Press Releases

EU-XCEL creates 50 start-ups

4 Aug 2015
Pictured at the initial launch L-R: Professor Michael Ward (Deputy Head of the Business School, UCC), Dr Joe Bogue (Co-Director), Dr Siobhan Bradley (Project Co-ordinator), Dr Damien Organ (Post-Doc), Dr Brian O’Flaherty (Co-Director) and Professor Ciaran Murphy (Head of the Business School, UCC). (Photo by Tomas Tyner, UCC)

Emerging entrepreneurs from 25 European nations have just completed the first phase of the UCC-led EU-XCEL European Virtual Accelerator programme and now intend to conquer an array of ICT fields globally.

Following a highly competitive selection process by EU-XCEL earlier this year, 250 of Europe’s best tech entrepreneurs have successfully completed week-long mentored start-up scrums in Athens, with 50 international start-ups emerging from the six scrums. They will now commence a 14-week virtual accelerator process to further develop their novel businesses, which focus on technology, engineering, industrial design, business development, finance and marketing.

EU-XCEL is a two-year Horizon 2020 project and part of Start-Up Europe. It is co-ordinated by Cork University Business School with partners from five leading European organisations in Denmark, Greece, Spain, Germany and Poland, all with proven track records in successful incubation.

The best of the EU-XCEL start-ups will then be short-listed to pitch to an international team of judges at the EU-XCEL Challenge Final in Cork, Ireland on 2 and 3 November 2015, which coincides with UCC’s George Boole bi-centennial celebrations. The timing is particularly apt as the start-ups are all targeting the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) domain, the origins of which lies in George Boole’s mathematical discoveries. Boole was UCC’s first professor of mathematics and is often called the forefather of the information age.

Ultimately, the project aims to provide a premium virtual and physical platform for young tech entrepreneurs to found and grow new ICT businesses across Europe simultaneously. Since its launch in January 2015, EU-XCEL has attracted considerable international attention, receiving upwards of 600 applications in its first year of operation alone.

All eyes on Athens

At the close-out of the final scrum in Athens, EU-XCEL Project Director, Dr Brian O’Flaherty of Cork University Business School, commented:

“Under the umbrella of Start-up Europe, the goal is to develop a new European entrepreneurship culture. Through EU-XCEL, we aim to cultivate and nurture Europe’s young entrepreneurial talent in the ICT space. The internationalisation of entrepreneurship is central to the programme and the exchange element, initiated at the start-up scrum, enables cross-fertilisation and the pursuit of new ventures.”

EU-XCEL start-ups are supported by upwards of 30 mentors who provide a comprehensive suite of business development, technical and management start-up supports throughout the virtual acceleration phase.  

For further information, please see http://euxcel.eu/ or contact Siobhan Bradley, EU-XCEL Project Co-ordinator, Department of Business & Information Systems, UCC on euxcel@ucc.ie or T: +0035321 490 3404.

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