NDRC at ArcLabs Accelerator Programme launched by Enterprise Ireland

A new NDRC accelerator programme in the south east of Ireland has been launched, supported by Enterprise Ireland, with applications open from entrepreneurs and teams across all technology sectors

Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research & Development, John Halligan TD, today announced the establishment of the NDRC at ArcLabs Start-up Accelerator programme, supported by Enterprise Ireland, to further enhance the start-up ecosystem within Ireland.

The accelerator, which is based in ArcLabs at Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT), is open to applications from potential teams or individuals both in Ireland or overseas, in all technology sectors.

The investors and supporters of NDRC at ArcLabs, in addition to Enterprise Ireland, include Suir Valley Ventures, Bank of Ireland Seed and Early Stage Equity Fund, South East BIC, and Local Authorities of Carlow, Kilkenny, Waterford and Wexford, Local Enterprise Offices and Enterprise Centres.

There are 10 slots available within the ‘NDRC at ArcLabs’ Accelerator Programme with the first cohort to commence in early 2018. Successful applicants of the Enterprise Ireland supported accelerator programme will receive membership and a place within ‘NDRC at ArcLabs’ for a period of 100 days, where teams will be able to build and commercially validate their technologies by working with existing entrepreneurial networks and mentors.

The Accelerator programme is part of Enterprise Ireland’s overall strategy to increase the number and quality of start-ups that have the potential to employ more than 10 persons and achieve €1 million in export sales within three years.

NDRC CEO, Ben Hurley said: “World leading companies are already emerging from the South East in areas such as digital animation and software development and the potential for more growth is clear. We are delighted to be able to bring our accelerator investment experience and expertise to the South East and look forward to supporting the development of new digital enterprises rooted in the area.”

Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research & Development, John Halligan TD said: “I’m delighted to welcome the establishment of this new accelerator programme in my own constituency. Ireland is recognised as a key hub for technology and innovation and this accelerator programme, supported by my Department through Enterprise Ireland, will make a real contribution to supporting more start-ups and ultimately more jobs in the South East of Ireland.

A key part of the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs is targeting sectors where we have established strengths, and supporting growth and expansion in those areas to create jobs. The establishment of the NDRC at ArcLabs start-up accelerator in Waterford, where there is a strong tradition of entrepreneurship, is timely and very welcome.”

We are delighted to be able to bring our accelerator investment experience to the south-east

- Ben Hurley, NDRC CEO

Welcoming the announcement, Kevin Sherry, Executive Director, Global Business Development Enterprise Ireland said: “A priority for Enterprise Ireland is to encourage and support entrepreneurs across all regions to start new companies with the ambition to scale in global markets. This new accelerator programme, a partnership between Enterprise Ireland, NDRC and ArcLabs strengthens the start – up support infrastructure in the South-East region. The accelerator leverages Ireland’s international reputation as a technology hub with a world-class start-up ecosystem supporting ambitious entrepreneurs to start, and build new companies that will create highly skilled jobs in the South-East region.”

Welcoming the support of Enterprise Ireland, Professor Willie Donnelly, President of Waterford Institute of Technology outlined, "The institute has been at the forefront in the development of a High Potential Start-up Cluster which is beginning to transform the profile of indigenous industry in the region. The Accelerator Programme is an important next phase in the development of the HPSU platform centred around our ArcLabs incubation and innovation platform. The Accelerator programme will focus on ICT, AR/VR and Agricultural Technology companies ensuring that the funded companies continue to develop within the region.”

About NDRC

NDRC sources and builds young digital companies to invest in. NDRC has a mandate from the State to make these investments, ensuring digital entrepreneurship is at the centre of Ireland’s economic agenda. 

About Enterprise Ireland

Enterprise Ireland is the Irish State agency that works with Irish enterprises to help them start, grow, innovate and win export sales in global markets. Enterprise Ireland partners with entrepreneurs, Irish businesses, and the research and investment communities to develop Ireland’s international trade, innovation, leadership and competitiveness. In this way, we support sustainable economic growth and regional development, and help create and sustain employment in Ireland. 

About ArcLabs

ArcLabs, as the centre of WIT’s knowledge and innovation community, funded through combined investment of Enterprise Ireland, the HEA and private investment, opened its doors in 2005; since then, it has housed up to 50 companies over the 12-year period. At any one time, there are approximately 15-18 companies on site in Waterford, accommodating over 100 employees. Successful companies that have graduated from ArcLabs include Feed Henry, Nearform, Stitcherads, Emagine and GIY.

A planned extension, funded by Enterprise Ireland, which is due to commence in 2017, will double the capacity for enterprise development on the site, to 250 staff.

The concept of co-location of Research, Industry and Academia which at the time of its inception was a novel and fresh approach, has proved very successful. Arclabs currently accommodates half of WIT’s internationally accredited TSSG, the other half of which is based in the neighbouring NetLabs building; it is also a base for New Frontiers, Enterprise Ireland’s national entrepreneur development programme for early-stage start-ups, WIT’s ArcAcademy which is the entrepreneur development programme for aspiring entrepreneurs who are, or have recently been, WIT students.

About Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT)

WIT has more than 8,000 students across five campuses in Waterford city, with education delivered from higher certificate to doctoral level. The Institute has continued to make a huge contribution to the educational, societal, and economic health of the region.

Over the last 10 years, the Institute has been granted in excess of €150 million in external research funding, leading the field of research in the institute of technology sector, and similar to some smaller universities.

About the Bank of Ireland Seed and Early Stage Equity Fund

Bank of Ireland Seed and Early Stage Equity Fund is a €32m Fund that invests in start-up and early stage companies, with a focus on export orientated high potential start-up companies that operate in the technology (including green technology), food and financial services sectors, in addition to supporting patent and patent pending projects within Irish universities. It is managed on behalf of Bank of Ireland and the other partners by Kernel Capital. This fund comprises of investment by Bank of Ireland, Enterprise Ireland, The University of Limerick Foundation and Galway University Foundation Limited.

About Suir Valley Ventures

Suir Valley Ventures is an entrepreneur led Venture Capital Fund that invests in early stage software companies. It specialises in investing in Augmented Reality (‘AR’) and Virtual Reality (‘VR’), Financial Technology (‘FinTech’), and the Internet of Things (‘IoT’) Sectors. Suir Valley Ventures works in partnership with Shard Capital, which is London based independent financial services company offering a full range of broking, asset management and corporate capital services.