Start-up of the Year

The UCC Start-Up of the Year Award is awarded to an enterprise that best demonstrates the potential for significant economic, social or environmental impact through innovative thinking and entrepreneurial endeavour. At least one of the founders or promoters must be a UCC student, graduate, staff member and/or have been supported by a UCC start-up programme.The start-up can be a sole trader or incorporated entity that is not exploiting intellectual property rights developed at UCC or any other third level institution.The start-up does not yet need to be incorporated/trading, but will have first validated the potential for impact in 2021. Nominations can be made by any UCC staff member.

Nomination Procedure

  • Nominations for this award category will be submitted by the UCC Innovation team based on achieved metrics.

Evaluation Criteria





  • Innovative or creative thinking.
  • Potential to make major technological progress and show a high degree of inventiveness.
  • Demonstration of technology application with strong commercial potential, rather than purely scientific or technological achievement.
  • Priorities are focussed on innovations that deliver commercial outcomes.
  • Active engagement with business and/or private investment to see research applied and taken to market.



  • Demonstrate achieved, or potential to achieve, economic, social or environmental impact of the innovation.
  • National and/or International recognition of excellence.


Judging Panel

Name Position / Company
Siobhan Jordan Teagasc
Sally Cudmore Director of Innovation, UCC
Michael Lucey Purdy Lucey
Conor O’Sullivan Atlantic Bridge

Previous Winners

Year Awardee Company
2022 Mr Stephen MacCarthy Recruitroo
2021 Ms Clare Meskill Teleatherapy

Research Awards

Gradaim Taighde

Office of Vice President for Research & Innovation 4th Floor Block E, Food Science Building UCC