Data skills e-learning platform takes top prize at UCC Ignite awardsLeigh Mc Gowranon April 29, 2022 at 12:47 Silicon RepublicSilicon Republic


E-learning data skills platform Sunny Numbers has won the top prize at the University College Cork (UCC) Ignite programme showcase.

Sunny Numbers founder Cleidi Hearn claimed the prize for best business at the one-hour event yesterday (28 April), where attendees heard pitches from the start-ups who just completed the programme. Her platform is powered by peer support to build data skills for people working with statistics.

Hearn was one of twenty Ignite start-up founders at the event, who are all at different stages of their company’s journey.

Ignite is an incubator programme based at UCC that helps graduates turn their ideas into fully fledged businesses. It is a joint initiative by Cork City Council, Cork County Council, the Local Enterprise Offices in Cork and UCC to encourage student entrepreneurship.

The programme is open to recent graduates from all third-level institutions in Ireland to work full-time on a scalable start-up idea with potential for commercial or social impact.

Since its founding in 2011, Ignite has worked with around 150 start-ups including AnaBio TechnologiesApisProtect, Ecanvasser, LegitFitEziVein, QuickMinutes, Talivest, Traxsit, Trustap and UrAbility.

“We’re delighted to have this opportunity to showcase the founders who are working full-time on their start-up ideas with the support of Ignite.” Ignite director Eamon Curtin said.

Other graduates who took prizes at the event include Monika Wojtek, who won the best pitch award for her start-up called Buildzon.

Buildzon is an online building materials platform that helps buyers access a network of established suppliers. The company offers services such as real-time access to prices from multiple vendors, volume discount transparency and a tracking system.

Luke Murphy received the best business plan award for his start-up Training Reels. This is a self-service video studio located in enterprise centres which describes itself as a “photo booth for marketing videos”. The company aims to help marketing professionals and founders create inexpensive, weekly marketing videos.

Bank of Ireland manager Pat Healy chaired the adjudication panel and announced the award winners at the event.

“It is an honour to be a part of the Ignite programme and we love hearing from Ireland’s future entrepreneurs,” Healy said. “The Ignite programme at UCC is a fantastic opportunity for those who want to establish their own business, and we are proud to be a part of it.”

Along with the start-ups that won awards, other participants at the event include:

Nathan Kirwan, Chariot

Chariot is an Irish-owned brand of Lifestyle Apparel, designing quality sustainable and ethical clothing. The company aims to make clothes that are inclusive and “eco-conscious by nature”.

Louis Walsh, FemToFire

FemToFire is a Forest Fire System that helps professionals in the forestry industry locate and identify fire risks within forests.

Paddy O’Toole, Nternz

Nternz is a freelance internship marketplace designed to connect students to short and medium term business projects relevant to their career, so they can “earn while they learn”.

Stephen MacCarthy, RecruitRoo

RecruitRoo helps companies hire globally through the use of virtual assessments and digitises the entire immigration process.

Niall Brennan, SimpleScents

SimpleScents is a perfume and cologne subscription service. Users receive a monthly supply of their choice of designer scents so they can test a new designer scent each month without having to commit to the purchase of a full bottle.

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