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Programme unites business ideas

National Digital Research Centre

National Digital Research Centre

People with clever digital business start-up ideas and people interested in getting involved in developing these start-ups have a golden opportunity to do just that through NDRC’s unique Swequity Exchange programme

NDRC’s Swequity Exchange will bring people with business ideas together, choose the best ones and match them to a team of qualified voluntary experts. The team will get equity in the business if it successfully kicks-off, while the startups get experienced advice and support from the start.

This is the second iteration of NDRC Swequity Exchange which builds on the strong success of its first ‘sweat for equity’ initiative earlier this year.

Swequity Exchange is taking applications now – both from idea holders and from people with tech, creative, business and marketing skills who want to get involved. Teams will then work together at NDRC for a five week concentrated period, culminating in December. The closing date for applications is Monday 5th November 2012.

Promoters of ideas and potential expert supporters can apply through where there are also some brief online videos outlining how the innovative new programme operates.

The programme is also being supported by creative experts from the National College of Ireland and MBAs from UCD Smurfit Graduate School of Business who will join teams.

NDRC Inventorium Director, Mark Kearns, said; “In the NDRC Swequity Exchange, the promoter of a start-up project will be allocated three participants from the Swequity volunteers who then become core team members on the project. If the business project takes off, the promoter is up and running and the supporters get a 7% shareholding in the business to share between them.

“Swequity Exchange creates a win-win scenario which tests ideas and either brings them forward or sends them back to the drawing board, the benefit being that this happens as quickly as possible for the promoter. The value of people’s time and effort is therefore maximised and focused on the ultimate goal of starting a business. We have already seen a number of projects graduate from Swequity into our full-on LaunchPad accelerator programme.”

From 85 ideas to the first Swequity Exchange programme earlier this year, 16 promising projects were selected and this was then narrowed down to eight. The start-up Linking Learning was selected as the most promising project to emerge from the line-up. It is an online curriculum planning service that allows primary school teachers to share, in real time, the learning objectives that they are covering in class and associated tips for learning, with the parents of their students.

Mark Kearns of NDRC Inventorium said; “Swequity matches the best ideas with the best expertise in technology, creative, business and marketing skills. The creator of a business idea can source the management and technical know-how they need to give it a competitive advantage. All an entrepreneur needs is to get access to a forum where they can meet experts and supporters who are most relevant to their idea.  Swequity Exchange does just that by pre-qualifying the initial entrants to the scheme and bringing them into a circle of highly supportive industry high achievers, mentors and gurus.”

About NDRC

NDRC builds high-impact new ventures. By providing the people, time, space and investment needed at the earliest stages of dedicated commercialisation work, NDRC is creating companies worthy of commercial investment and with the ability to scale.

The NDRC team has the breadth of knowledge and expertise in technology and markets. NDRC works side-by-side with researchers, entrepreneurs and venture teams to turn great ideas into successful new ventures.

Since NDRC began investing from a greenfield start four years ago it has applied a variety of approaches, all of which entail a high level of hands-on involvement in emerging science and technology ventures.

Working in collaboration with the research base, industry and a range of investment partners, by August 2012, NDRC had supported new ventures to secure €9.6m in commercial investment, which in turn has created 221 high skilled knowledge jobs. 64% of ventures emerging from NDRC go on to secure commercial follow on investment.

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