Incubator Opening Night

BY CALLUM Mc DONNELL

This year, the Trinity Entrepreneurial Society kicked off the commencement of Incubator Cell by hosting a pitching session in the Bank of Ireland Workbench in Trinity. The 13 hopeful start-ups pitched their ideas to an illustrious panel of judges for a spot in this year’s Incubator. We were pleasantly surprised to see very high levels of creativity and innovation in all the pitches. 

The first start up to present in the night was Conecto. Their platform looks to solve the problem of making friends in a professional environment by matching together employees of large companies on basis of their hobbies and interests.

Next pitch was from  Daniel Twomey of DTW (Depression to Wellbeing). Daniel leverages his experience as a PE and Sports Studies teacher along with his ongoing studies towards a doctorate in physical activity and positive mental health. He aims to provide his clients with an overall health and wellbeing programme that focuses as much on mental health as the physical well being. 

Keeping up with the theme of coaching and tutoring, the ExamLearn.ie team were next up to present their new platform: Tutorello. This online tutorial platform will match students in need of grinds together with tutors for online video-chat grinds. Jack Manning, Founder of Tutorello said that he is going to provide an ‘AirBnB-style’ approach to grinds.

Next up were Student+; an online marketplace that is looking to connect students together to create a second hand market . Their founders, Abdul Abshir and Jaime Castellanos have big sights in mind. They pitched confidently stating that they plan to taking on DoneDeal.ie and Adverts.ie by targeting the student niche.

Speaking of student niches, the next team to pitch was Puzzle. They are hoping to make use of the unique position of students in the job market. Puzzle has come up with a solution to hotel understaffing issues; matching hotels to staff for once-off shifts. Alex, Angelica and Ciarán of Puzzle explained the mutually beneficial theory behind their idea. To plug the hotels’ staffing shortages, Puzzle matches hotels to staff so that the students don’t have to commit long-term to the job. They described it as the Tinder of hotel staffing - let’s see if it catches fire! 

The last presentation before the interval was from Sourced. Their aim is to tackle fake news and to remove the echo chamber effect by allowing their users to find and read news stories based on their topic rather than the virality or their source. Their algorithms will ‘boost’ stories that appear in multiple sources and are correctly sourced to the top of the webpage, while stories that are likely to be ‘fake news’ will be demoted to the bottom of the page, making them much less likely to spread.

Mark Byrne of Gach Construction welcomed us back after the interval with his plans to build a single platform for every aspect of the construction industry. He believes that Gach Construction can match companies involved in every aspect of a construction project to help deliver cost- and time-effective builds. From project managers to plumbers and electricians to builders, everyone involved in any stage of construction will be able to find each other easily through the platform.

From construction to medicine, next up were DocScanner. Their aim is to be ‘the Skycanner of doctors’ with their online patient-to-doctor matching service. It will allow people - mainly tourists and short-term residents - to find their local GP service. The aim is to reduce the rates of no-shows in GP offices and to reduce the overcrowding in hospitals.

Next up was another consumer platform: Swiftly. Their on-demand delivery service hopes to be able to deliver anything in half an hour or less. There are three target markets that they will initially cater for before branching out: businesses, disabled and/or elderly people and the lazy. Look out for their pilot launch in Trinity Halls in March 2019!

From mass-market to niche-market, next up to present were Talka. Talka is a tool that can be used by speech therapists to keep track and monitor the progress of their patients. The platform provides an electronic version of traditional speech therapist tools, such as flashcards, and uses voice recognition technology to gamify the experience for the users. They feel that this is particularly useful for children who may otherwise be hesitant to keep up-to-date with their speech therapy exercises.

Next pitch was the most unique of the night. Caballis sells pic’n’mix-style horse treats. The idea has already proven to be a success - the 100% natural treats have gone down well at horse shows in Ireland and the UK. They are now hoping to start selling online to grow the business beyond the niche horse show markets.

Next up were Herbivore, who are looking to further the veganism movement by creating Ireland and the UK’s first vegan delivery restaurant. Their unique approach seeks to partner with existing restaurants to use a small portion of their kitchen space in order to provide a nationwide delivery service.

Capping off a fantastic evening of presentations were Flow. They aim to reduce the reliance on paper receipts by introducing digital alternatives. The idea came to founders Ross Kelly and Celeste Dougherty when they grew frustrated at the sheer amount of paper receipts they had to trawl through during their recent internships. Their hope is that Flow will provide the solution to this problem faced by businesses and consumers alike.

After the pitches were finished, the teams, judges and audience members headed to the Pav for some networking and a few drinks.

We are delighted to announce that the teams taking part in this year’s Incubator are: Swiftly, Puzzles, ExamLearn.ie, DTW, Sourced, Caballis Horse Treats, Talka and DocScanner.

Keep an eye on our blogs to stay up to date with how all of the teams are getting on!