Lean Launch accelerator programme concludes with pitching event in Dublin

10 University teams conclude their seven–week global discovery journeys in Dublin today to pitch their latest deep tech ventures to an experienced panel of funders and stakeholders.

Lord Mayor with cohort
Lord Mayor with cohort

The Lord Mayor of Dublin, Tom Brabazon, welcomed the cohort of teams, from across the UK and Ireland, hoping to turn their research into commercial success.

The teams completed the novel Lean Launch pre–accelerator programme, a north/south collaboration between Dublin City University (DCU) and Queen’s University Belfast, who lead the North–by–Northwest (NxNW) consortium of Universities. 

Through this unique seven–week programme, teams from leading Universities across the UK and Ireland participated in a rigorous customer discovery journey conducting over 200 engagements with businesses worldwide to test their value propositions and determine whether there is a market for products or services that utilise outcomes from their research. 

Today’s event was an opportunity for the teams to pitch their commercially promising ideas to an invited audience of funders, investors and entrepreneurs.  This event was also a unique opportunity for early–stage investors and entrepreneurs to engage with many of the best commercial opportunities from the UK and Ireland. 

The winner of today’s event was Hala Dhowre from the University of Liverpool with her pitch ‘Chemical cross–linker’ for the treatment of Keratoconus. The feedback she received from one big pharma for her idea included organisation included ‘Game–changing, exciting tech. Especially for those who can’t afford treatment.’

Hala winner
Hala winner

          Today’s winner Hala Dhowre from the University of Liverpool 

The event which took place in the Spencer Hotel, Dublin, was attended by the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Tom Brabazon, who commented “ I am delighted to see our local University partners working collaboratively to bring this cohort of teams representing Universities from across the UK and Ireland, to Dublin today. In the council we believe that strategies to successfully support regional economic growth, increasingly rely on building a knowledge based economy in partnership with universities and research partners  The Lean Launch Programme exemplifies this model of business/academia collaboration.” 

Led by Queen’s, NxNW partners is an expanding community of innovators, entrepreneurs and investors to help accelerate the commercialisation of University research in the north of England, Scotland and Ireland. Since formed in 2018, the consortium has created 15 high–tech University spin–out companies securing in excess of £3.9m of seed funding investment. 

Brian McCaul, CEO, QUBIS, said: “Queen’s has a strong track–record of generating economic impact from its research – and this programme is partly behind this success.   The other factor is our strong collaborations with other universities. So as we continue to expand our NxNW consortium, hosting this event in Dublin today, marks a significant step for us in bringing the  Lean Launch Programme to a wider community”

 Richard Stokes, Director of Commercialisation at DCU, said: “We are delighted to be collaborating with Queen’s and NxNW partners on this innovative programme to help our staff and students accelerate economic impact and commercialisation from their research at DCU.”

Previous successful spinouts of the programme include Causeway Sensors, Green Lizard Technologies, and Phion Therapeutics who have gone on to secure further funding and achieve success in their respective markets.