Two fitness focused companies claimed top prizes at this year’s DCU UStart Showcase.
UStart, the first student accelerator programme in Ireland, is a 16 week course in which participants are given 5k seed money and are mentored by entrepreneurs to help develop their venture.
Kiarna Bartley, UStart Manager, says the guidance from experienced mentors is an integral part of the programme.
“You can tell someone something 6 times but when it’s the advice of a dollar billionaire who has been through it all, it resonates more,” she said.
At the showcase each of the 13 companies who participated in the initiative presented their businesses to a panel of judges.
“Twizt Hydration”, a company headed by DCU business students Colin Gargan and Dara Lynch won Ustart Company of the Year.
Their product which is still in developmental stages aims to tackle the problem of carrying liquids while exercising.
“As well as having an innovative product concept and being really dedicated, the judges were impressed with the passion of Colin’s pitch,” Ms Bartley said.
“Funked up fixies” won the Propellor Company of the Year, a prize offered to companies in the later stages of their startup.
This business, headed by Andrew Casey and Olaf O’Moore allows customers to purchase and customise their bikes online.
Ms Bartley said their success is largely down to the visual quality of their product and a lot of hard work.
“The bikes are super high quality and look cool. They have a clear vision and are extremely hard working,” she said.