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NDRC targets investment into 6 new science inspired startups

NDRC VentureLab enables technology intensive startups in healthcare, e-commerce, energy efficiency, functional foods, carbon reduction and image recognition.

DUBLIN –– 9th April, 2014  NDRC has announced the start of the NDRC VentureLab programme, bringing 6 innovative new startups into the intensive development programme which will also see each new business receive investment of up to € 100,000.

NDRC VentureLab is targeted at enabling ventures that are commercialising science, tech or intellectual property with high potential for success.  www.ndrc.ie/venturelab

The science inspired startups are bringing technology to market that was developed in, or in partnership with, Ireland’s higher level research institutions, including TCD, DIT, DCU, Queens Belfast, & UCD.  The startup founders are entering the NDRC VentureLab programme following a competitive evaluation process and a period of due diligence.  Each will now take part in the six month intensive accelerator programme which is deeply experiential and focused on a strategic approach to market entry.  NDRC VentureLab will provide mentoring, business insight and senior commercialisation expertise to create investor-ready businesses with investments of up to €100,000.

The startups entering the NDRC VentureLab programme this week include:

Artomatix is developing the next generation of art tools which will automate digital media creation. Ballooning costs for art development is the number one pain for both video game and animation industries. Artomatix solves this problem by applying machine learning and big data concepts to art creation, enabling the computer to take over many tedious and time consuming aspects of art creation.

DIGIFEYE has developed an advanced image recognition technology which turns digital imagery into online shoppable content. The company is currently targeting the fast growing e-commerce fashion retail market and the technology has other applications including entertainment.  If a shopper likes they style of something they see online, or takes a picture of something they see out and about, the system creates that look for them while merchandising easily buyable products.  Digifeye’s discovery and sales platform is can be used across any digital media – web, mobile, social or video – to enhance and monetise content.  Digifeye is a spin out company from DCU.

EndoDex has invented an automated system which monitors and improves the quality of colonoscopy procedures and which can be used in real time or for retrospective analysis by medical professionals.  It includes computing software and hardware elements as well as a disposable medical device.  The intellectual property is a result of 6 years of research at TCD.  An expert in robotics and computer vision, Peter Redmond, co-founder and CTO, has led software development and simulator studies of EndoDex for the last four years.  Katrina Bradley is co- founder and CEO with extensive experience devising and implementing commercial strategies for a number of companies in the medtech sector.

Exergyn is developing technology with the potential to significantly reduce fuel bills and carbon emissions across multiple industries worldwide.  It converts low-grade waste heat (less than 120°C) into power and is particularly suited to industrial waste heat applications (e.g. Combined Heat & Power (CHP), Geothermal, Power Plants, Cargo Shipping, and Nuclear).  It may also have applications in vehicles.  The founders, Alan Healy, Barry Cullen and Kevin O’Toole, have an impressive track record which includes thermodynamics and material science.

Low Carbon Technology, LCT Ltd has developed a battery management technology which can make all forms of battery (from Lead Acid to Lithium), work better in array (e.g., from managing the performance of a bank of batteries in electric vehicles or in a massive storage system connected to the electricity grid).  LCT’s Battery Array Management System delivers longer life, lower costs and improved capacity. It was established by John D. Byrne and Patrick Leonard. John Byrne is a serial innovator with two previous successful manufacturing startups within the Energy Conservation sector. Patrick Leonard is an Engineer with extensive large scale project work as well as smaller scale IT focused startups.

Nuritas Ltd is a bioinformatics technology company specialising in the discovery of peptides (chains of amino acids) with functional health or therapeutical benefits in nutrition and cosmetics.  Typical applications might include their use in foods which could help regulate sugar or fat delivery in the body, or a face cream that helps collagen regeneration to visibly reduce aging.   Peptides are entirely natural and life changing ingredients. Nuritas Ltd uses smart bioinformatics technology to identify new beneficial, natural peptides allowing companies to bring scientifically proven products to market, faster and more affordably. Nuritas is founded by Dr. Nora Khaldi, a world expert in the area of food informatics.

NDRC VentureLab Director, Dan Crowley, said: “These are very promising companies underpinned by a solid basis of scientific research and experience among their founders. With our specialist and tailored approach to innovation in this sector, NDRC VentureLab has a unique capacity to support these ventures at this critical stage in their development.  We are focussed on the conversion of these projects from a solid research platform into commercially successfully enterprises which address new market opportunities and are investor-ready in terms of the ability to attract the funds they will need to grow their businesses and create value.”

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