Myriam Cronin manager, Gateway UCC; Ruth Patel, Respiro Research and Development; Marcus Claesson, Microbio Solutions; Audrey Michael, Agatha Services and Julie Sinnamon, CEO Enterprise Ireland, pictured at the launch of the new Gateway UCC programme, SPRINT. (Gerard McCarthy)

A new accelerator programme, called SPRINT, was launched last Thursday at Gateway UCC by Julie Sinnamon, CEO Enterprise Ireland and UCC VP for Research & Innovation, Anita Maguire.

Designed to support early stage start-ups, entrepreneurs and UCC-based researchers, the SPRINT Accelerator will focus on commercialisation strategies and routes to market.

The first 10 participants in the SPRINT accelerator are already signed up from diverse areas such as bioinformatics, digital mobile, medtech, eHealth, nutrition and food health as well as ICT.

These pre- and early stage start-ups will be working with seasoned and successful business mentors, as well as being coached in business development, scaling and growth internationally. The SPRINT programme is sponsored by Enterprise Ireland, Bank of Ireland and Cork City LEO.

Gateway UCC works with clients from their idea stage of development right through to the eventual commercialisation of the product or service. From having a viable commercial opportunity to getting that product or solution into the global marketplace, Gateway UCC actively supports start-ups and entrepreneurs at every step along the journey.

The state-of-the-art facility and infrastructure at Gateway UCC provides a uniquely supportive ecosystem for start-ups through its programme of business supports. Such supports include mentoring and business coaching, access to financial advice and start-up funding, specialist seminars, workshops, introduction to venture-capital opportunities, business angel networks and access to UCC’s network of researchers, together with excellent support through linkages into academic departments.