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SCSS Masters Students win Dragon's Den final of Citi's upStart Programme2018 April 10

School of Computer Science and Statistics Masters students, Kumar Pranav, Jabez Sam John Samuel, Jude Joseph Arokia and Sujan Kumar Nag (Team Imbibe) won the Dragon's Den final of Citi's upStart Student Entrepreneurship Programme. 

Team Imbibe's start-up idea for Digitized interactive psychotherapies delivered over web and mobile enabled by Amazon-Alexa won out against seven other finalist teams from innovation courses across Ireland.  

upStart is a team-based entrepreneurship programme run by Citi in Ireland. Teams of postgraduate students from different universities propose start-up business plans, based on a new IT artefact. Each plan must be feasible and the teams have to improve their plans, together with Citi mentors, over a period of six months. Each start-up plan is judged on novelty and marketability.

Students were selected based on their performance in challenges within their 'Innovation Module' completed as part of the Master’s programme. Now, they will benefit from advice from top mentors at Citi, increasing their exposure to industry, while emphasising the importance of real-world innovation and product development.

They were one of 21 teams in Trinity's new MSc in Computer Science that were building high-tech start-up ideas seeded from cutting-edge research at the ADAPT and CONNECT SFI Research Centres. Citi worked with Trinity's Professor Dave Lewis to mentor and assess these plans before selecting this team to progress to the Dragon's Den Final against similar teams from across Ireland, North and South.

Professor Dave Lewis stated "I was particularly delighted that the Dragons commended the balance of their excellent commercialisation plan with a real potential for positive social impact. Maintaining an ethical perspective while rapidly developing and commercialising digital innovations is core aspect of our course at Trinity and has never been more relevant in the Tech Sector."

Citi upStart is a collaboration between academia and industry to develop talent and high- tech entrepreneurs. In addition to encouraging the production of commercial ideas, it will help to develop 21st century skills such as creativity, collaboration and leadership, which are essential for future success. In addition, the team will visit various accelerators in London, including Pivotal Labs, Microsoft Accelerator, Wayra Accelerator, and Level39. They also received equipment from Dell, Microsoft and Amazon to further their business development.

 

Posted by: Catherine O'Connor, Head of External Relations, Trinity College Dublin

catherine.oconnor at tcd.ie