At NUI Galway we have a thriving ecosystem of student innovation and entrepreneurship supported through Bioinnovate and Blackstone Launchpad, to help foster the development of ecosystems for aspiring entrepreneurs creating the high-growth ventures that are known to spark economic growth. This environment provides students with a very powerful international network, which helps support our students develop their capacity for innovation and become the entrepreneurs of the future.

BioInnovate Ireland:

A unique medical technology innovation programme, celebrating its 5th year in 2015/2016. This 10-month Fellowship programmme combines design thinking and entrepreneurship to develop the next generation of innovators and innovations.  The programme focuses on the identification and validation of unmet clinical needs, the investigation of a market behind these needs, and subsequently the development of novel solutions to address the need. In 2016 BioInnovate successfully secured funding through EIT Health to expand the Fellowship to a pan-European initiative.  BioInnovate has 55 alumni, 12 technologies currently in development, one company spun out and been acquired, another currently recruiting, and a further 3 are fundraising at this time. 

Blackstone Launchpad:

Mary Carty, Executive Director of Blackstone LaunchPad

Launched in 2015, Blackstone Launchpad is a campus based entrepreneurship programme at NUI Galway, designed to support and mentor students, staff and alumni - regardless of their subject, experience or discipline. Blackstone LaunchPad, a multidisciplinary experiential learning programme that supports a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, by providing tools for student entrepreneurs to turn ideas into viable businesses. This is the first Global Launch for the Blackstone programme outside of the US.

Blackstone Launchpad supports student entrepreneurs with individual coaching, seminars and training related to building a business. Students will write business plans, complete financial analyses, and design marketing campaigns. In addition, students will be teamed up with external mentors to launch commercial ventures.

New TechInnovate Programme for ICT Entrepreneurs: 

The TechInnovate programme follows the same principles as the highly successful BioInnovate programme in providing a unique entrepreneurship training programme for ICT entrepreneurs. The 10-month, full-time, programme combines teams of high-calibre Fellows from either an engineering, business or design graduate background that aims to align unmet domain needs with a market opportunity.

NUI Galway Spin Out Success Stories

Westway Health Ltd:  This NUI Galway spin out company were one of the first companies to receive the (phase I) Horizon 2020 SME Instrument grant of €50,000. SME instrument has been designed specifically for single or groups of highly innovative SMEs with international ambitions, determined to turn strong, innovative business ideas into winners on the market.

Channel Mechanics Ltd: An NUI Galway Business Innovation Centre Client Company raised $2.3M in angel funding. Channel Mechanics, developer of the first cloud-based channel enablement SaaS (software as a service solution), channelIT, in 2016 announced a $2.3 million round of angel funding. The funds will be used to expand channelIT to U.S. customers and increase Channel Mechanics’ presence there as well.

Dia Nia Technologies Ltd: a Galway medical devices company was awarded the (phase I) Horizon 2020 SME Instrument grant of €50,000. SME instrument has been designed specifically for single or groups of highly innovative SMEs with international ambitions, determined to turn strong, innovative business ideas into winners on the market.

Aquilla Bioscience Ltd: an NUI Galway spin out company and Innovation Centre client successfully secured a large contract in the security space. Aquila Bioscience is Ireland’s leading company in the space of carbohydrate research and healthcare. Aquila is developing a range of products in the area of security, healthcare and cosmetics. Aquila’s research in the decontamination sector sparked the interest of the European Defence Agency (EDA) resulting in Aquila securing a two year contract worth €229,090, to develop novel decontamination products that are portable, non-toxic and environmentally friendly.

NetFort Technologies Ltd: an NUI Galway client company and developer of the network security monitoring solution LANGuardian, announced it has now secured over 200 global customers worldwide. NetFort Technologies flagship LANGuardian product continuously monitors network traffic and security. LANGuardian is a single software solution that monitors network traffic, users and security. It passively captures the traffic flowing through an organisation’s network switch, analyses it using deep packet inspection techniques, and stores the results in a database.

 The company now has 20 employees working in the areas of Research and Development, Support, Sales, and a number of technology partners.

VETEX Medical Ltd:  This NUI Galway spin out and Innovation centre client was winner of the Innovation in MedTech awards held in Dublin recently. MedTech Innovator is a global Competition held each year to accelerate the development of transformative innovations that benefit patents and deliver improved value to the healthcare system. The company is an early stage medical device company developing a revolutionary thrombectomy catheter to speedily extract thrombus in a single session, from patients who present with Venous Thrombo-Embolism.

Embo Medical Ltd: The company has produced the first one-shot peripheral vascular embolization device called the Caterpillar; a unique platform technology for use in the field of embolization; a minimally invasive procedure to deliberately and permanently stop blood flow in a blood vessel. The Embo platform technology provides a superior solution in shorter procedural times; resulting in safe, cost-effective embolization. 

Emedia Ltd:  won the best ICT award this year at the Sccul Enterprise Awards, an annual Awards ceremony to reward entrepreneurship locally in Galway. The aim of this initiative is to encourage local entrepreneurship by identifying high potential entrepreneurs and helping them accelerate their plans.

EMedia Ltd an NUI Galway Innovation Centre Client have developed a real 3D experience in their product known as Pocket Anatomy. With medically accurate, anatomical content is packed with over 100,000 words of learning content as well as 1000s of award-winning medical animations, the entire human body in the palm of your hand. The product enables you to fly around the human body with a swipe of your finger with Pocket Anatomy for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.