WELCOME is working hard to break down the barriers between 5 different major EU startups ecosystems (Berlin, Dublin, Milan, Madrid and Salamanca). Teaming up with local partners present in these ecosystems to identify and engage the most relevant players of the tech entrepreneurial world (e.g. investors, mentors, media, corporates, successful entrepreneurs, etc.) and connect them with prospective, emerging and successful tech startups. In addition WELCOME also aims to bridge the divide between the tech entrepreneurial world and policy makers.

WELCOME is realising its objectives through the execution of a large set of activities aimed at the different stages of the startup lifecycle. The project was inspired by the change in mentality suggested by the Startup Manifesto.

The final goal is to create a Pan-European startup ecosystem in which every entrepreneur in each of the local ecosystems feels at home and interconnected.

Furthermore, WELCOME is connecting Europe with Silicon Valley and thus offering more opportunities for tech startups to truly go global.

WELCOME also runs:

  • Accelerator Assembly, an innovative network to support and promote web-friendly accelerators in Europe, delivering an industry-led forum with maximum pan-European reach and impact.
  • Unicorns Forum, to gather a European community of “Billion-Euro” startups (SE Unicorn Forum) and bring them together to share best practices, understand global web entrepreneurship trends and reflect on future models for supporting entrepreneurs.
  • Startup Europe University Network, a European community of universities and business/scientific parks with an entrepreneurial perspective.
  • Startup Europe Nations High Level Group, a forum for Member-States to discuss and share best practices for supporting tech entrepreneurship across Europe.
  • Business and Angels, Pan-European network of Crowdfunding Platforms.
  • Startup Europe Summit, the pop-up conference for European startups in Berlin.
  • Startup Ole, the biggest entrepreneurial event connecting Salamanca, Spain, to the rest of Europe.

STARTUP SCALEUP    startup_scaleup 

STARTUP SCALEUP, we’ve all been committed start-up supporters for years. We truly believe that everyone deserves a chance to build a company on from the basic blocks of passion, skills, hard-work and instinct. But we also know that scaling up an initial idea to a market to build a long-term value- based company is where many entrepreneurs fail.
So when we saw an opportunity to come together and give our entrepreneurs access to a European market from day 1, we jumped at it. Our start-ups can access physical resources based in Cartagena (Spain), Dublin (Ireland), Vilnius (Lithuania) and Zoetermeer (The Netherlands). But more importantly, they can access venture capital and specialised mentors throughout Europe.
Our focus is on the Internet of Things. Why? Because the market potential for developing new products and services is huge: in 2020, IoT product and service suppliers are predicted to generate incremental revenue in excess of € 240 billion. Because we have the technological infrastructure that can help entrepreneurs to test their ideas in near market conditions. Because we can provide the technical and business training that is necessary to take the venture to the real world and help it grow.
Over the next 24 months we will support over 120 start-ups achieve second round funding and create a mentor network that can help them access the EU 500 million-strong customer base.



2.1        Programme on Entrepreneurship


DCU Business School Centre for Executive Programmes launched a Programme on Entrepreneurship after being retained by the Malaysian Ministry for Higher Education to design and deliver a unique programme to 10 lecturers from Malaysian Polytechnics. Starting Monday, 22nd Nov. the three month residential programme, which was helped launched by Jim Dowling, Deputy President of DCU and Dr Anne Sinnott, Executive Dean, DCU Business School, will see the group receive tailored entrepreneurial lectures led by Prof. Colm O’Gorman, DCU Business School and delivered both in the Business School and DCU Ryan Academy. Representatives from Enterprise Ireland, Department of Education and Skills, and Embassy of Malaysia in Ireland were also in attendance to support the new programme.

Dr. John McMackin, Director of Executive & International Education, DCU Business School, said “It is an honour to have been retained by the Malaysian Ministry for Higher Education to design and deliver a Programme on Entrepreneurship for a pilot group of lecturers from Malaysian Polytechnics. The initiative is part of a Malaysian government policy to encourage entrepreneurship by providing relevant skills throughout their third level education system.  Significant support for this initiative was provided by the Irish Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, and by Enterprise Ireland.  For DCU, this international validation of our role as Ireland’s University of Enterprise is most welcome.  We hope that this is just the beginning of a long and mutually beneficial relationship with the Malaysian Government.”

Along with organised digital marketing training held in DCU Business School, the Malaysian lecturers will be involved in a team based consulting engagement with Enterprise Ireland who want to develop a market entry strategy for Malaysia, along with a series of planned site visits to companies throughout Ireland and engagements with bodies such as DCU Invent and County Enterprise Boards.


2.2        BSc in Marketing, Innovation and Technology

The course is run by DCU Business School, together with the Faculties of Engineering & Computing, Science & Health, and Humanities & Social Sciences. It is the only course of its kind in Ireland, offering a solid foundation in marketing while incorporating cutting edge technology and design in answer to the growing demand for expertise in all these areas.
You will be introduced to a range of technologies, from information and communication technology to emerging life sciences and biotechnology. You will also study creativity, discovery and innovation.
By the end of your four years you will have gained:

  • an in-depth understanding of marketing techniques;
  • a core grounding in science and technology;
  • knowledge of web design, communications and industrial design;
  • an entrepreneurial outlook;
  • an understanding of the processes involved in new product development.

You will learn through lectures, case studies, research projects and from the vast knowledge of visiting practitioners. In some projects you will work in multidisciplinary teams, alongside engineers, scientists and biotechnology students, reflecting real life scenarios.
Your one-year INTRA work placement is in Year Three, giving you a unique and valuable opportunity to appreciate the relevance of your study to the real business world. Our experience has been that students who have been on INTRA have a significant competitive edge when seeking employment after graduation.


3.  DCU Ryan Academy for Entrepreneurship

DCU Ryan Academy operates as a partnership between the Ryan Family (Ryanair) and Dublin City University – Ireland’s University of Enterprise. The Academy exists to support national economic and social policy through the design, delivery, and coordination of programmes to develop the entrepreneurial capabilities of companies and individuals. The Ryan Academy aims to bridge the gap between academia and entrepreneurial practice.

DCU Ryan Academy supports entrepreneurs through a number of programmes and initiatives including a number of accelerators, entrepreneurial education and EU funded projects including WELCOME.


4.  Propeller Venture Accelerator

Propeller is Ireland’s most successful privately funded accelerator.
Kauffman Fellows selected Propeller as the 7th best accelerator in Europe.

Our alumni companies have to date raised over €8 million between them – on average raising €330k each. Our 2014 alumni –  5 companies – have raised €1.3 million between them so farThe only angel funded accelerator on the island, our funding comes solely from successful entrepreneurs. Not only do they invest during the accelerator, but several of our Propeller investors have followed their money and invested in subsequent rounds. The accelerator is delivered in partnership between the angel investors and DCU Ryan Academy. We invest in strong ambitious teams pursuing high growth potential international business opportunities which can grow the value of their business during the course of the accelerator.

Propeller 6 will open in early 2016 for applications from high growth potential startups.  Closing date for applications is 28 February 2016. We invest in strong ambitious teams pursuing high growth potential international business opportunities which can grow the value of their business during the course of the accelerator. We are sector agnostic.


5.  Female High Fliers Accelerator

Why female entrepreneurs?

We understand the specific challenges facing female-led startups in Ireland today and  recognise the huge under- supported opportunity they present.

Female led technology companies achieve a return on investment that is more than one-third GREATER than their male-run competitors. Yet new US and UK research suggests they are  60% LESS likely to get a bank loan approved. Perhaps more worryingly, females also continue to be more risk averse than their male counterparts.You will be taken on a 13 week journey of discovery – equipping you with the information, guidance and tools you need to turn your great idea into a profitable and scaleable business. Throughout the programme you will be supported by expert business mentors as well as gaining access to the Academy’s unrivalled network of  alumni and investors.

Each programme is designed to propel the startup towards an Academy Demo Day where participants pitch to an invited audience of investors, corporates and mentors – all focused on attracting follow on funding, future customers and potential partners.

We are keen to hear from businesses in every market sector.  Participants of previous programmes have created products and services for industries as wide ranging as agriculture to design.

The programme also creates powerful and long lasting relationships. Alumni from 2015’s programme still meet regularly to share each other’s valuable lessons and learn from their ongoing startup journey.
All we require are ambitious female founders with great ideas that have potential to break through to success.


6.  DCU Ustart Accelerator

If you are a DCU student with a great business or social enterprise idea but don’t know what to do next – apply today and make it happen. The DCU UStart student programme will accelerate your entrepreneurial and business development, from great idea to great product. This is a FREE programme which runs part-time during the summer months June – September, allowing you to build your business while still pursuing other summer priorities. The value of this programme is worth over €10,000 per participant/team. FREE flexible office & hot-desking space available

Business development funding support available and allocated based on progress throughout the programme. Throughout the summer, you will be supported by world-class startup experts to produce a minimal viable product, validate with customers and refine with mentor guidance. Full-time support available throughout from DCU UStart Manager. Culminating in a ‘Demo Day’ when you will get to showcase your product to the key players from the Dublin StartUp eco-system

Be part of the next amazing DCU UStart programme


7.  DCU Invent

Invent is DCU’s Innovation and Enterprise Centre based on the main DCU campus. Our mission is to work with both external companies and our researchers to promote innovation, knowledge transfer and commercialisation of DCU innovations through licensing and start-up companies. The team at Invent provide the critical link between the university and business and help entrepreneurs to identify suitable translational research opportunities, consultancy expertise and contract research options.

A vital part of our work is to identify opportunities for partnership between DCU and industry through state funded innovation partnerships.Invent promotes and encourages industry sponsored PhD programmes, student placements and industry sponsored post-doctoral fellowships availing of financial incentives from Science Foundation Ireland and the Irish Research Council. Invent also provides business incubation facilities, entrepreneurship training programmes and a range of supports for start-up technology businesses.


7.1        Overview of Support for Start-ups

Access DCU’s Rich Research Environement

DCU has placed a high value on quality research activity. It promotes world class excellence in research and innovation. It focuses on activities that can make a difference to problems that matter to industry and society. It has a business-friendly attitude to foster external collaborations. The primary reason to locate your business in our centre is to gain access to this valuable research environment.

At Invent DCU, we are committed to creating and growing new businesses, whether they are based on DCU technology or from the wider community. Invent invests significant resources in helping budding entrepreneurs navigate the challenges of early-stage innovation and growth. The suite of services and facilities offered allows entrepreneurs to maintain their focus and concentrate on their core business opportunity. Since our centre opened in 2001, over 150 entrepreneurs have based their companies at Invent DCU and hundreds more have benefitted from our programmes.

For more information, contact maria.johnston@invent.dcu.ie Phone: 00 353 1 700 7597


7.2        Get Space in our Incubation Centre

Invent DCU offers a variety of occupancy options to assist those in the process of starting up a business. These options include, office space, laboratory space, hot-desking and virtual occupancy. At various stages of the start up phase, the needs of an entrepreneur change and we offer the flexibility to accommodate these changes.

Resident Client Option

Clients can locate in our modern and well equipped office units. The range of units vary in size from 10 – 100 square metres.

Hot-desking Option

Clients can work in this shared space on short term projects. An ideal opportunity for companies to network and exchange information in this very collaborative setting!

Virtual Ocuppancy Option

Clients can avail of all the facilities without actually being based in the centre. This is particularly attractive when entrepreneurs work from home and use the centre as their business address and to hold their business meetings. To locate in Invent DCU, there is a flat rate depending on the space required and this rate includes light, heat, cleaning and wifi. We aim to look after all your start-up needs so that you can focus on getting your business up and running!


8.  DCU Alpha: Dublin City University Innovation Campus

Co-located with Dublin City University, DCU ALPHA is a commercial innovation campus that promotes the growth of research-intensive businesses that are creating the technologies and services of tomorrow. Occupying a city-central 9 acre site, the campus has played a pivotal role in innovation and scientific research in Ireland, serving as headquarters for Enterprise Ireland, then NSAI and SEAI over its 70 year history. The NSAI Metrology Lab continues to operate onsite.

Repurposed by DCU and reopened in early 2014 DCU ALPHA has quickly attracted a community of like-minded innovative companies. 35 companies employing 350 staff currently operate across the 200,000 sq. ft campus of mixed office, industrial and research space, developing ground-breaking products in connected health, clean energy and IoT technology. Here, indigenous SMEs and start-ups innovate alongside multinationals like Fujitsu, Siemens and Veolia in a collaborative hub, in partnership with a visionary university. For innovative companies that are looking to scale and leverage DCU’s research, graduate talent and commercial network, this is the place to be.

A city at the forefront of the digital revolution, Dublin is ideally positioned to become a global IoT capital. DCU ALPHA provides optimum conditions for firms involved in bridging the physical and digital worlds. Here, hardware prototyping spaces operate alongside bio labs and contemporary offices; entrepreneurs socialise with lab technicians and engineers; breakout conversations spawn exciting ideas and creative collaborations.

DCU ALPHA is rapidly building an advanced cluster of companies to which every new tenant adds value. Our vision goes beyond providing physical workspace: as a partner tenant you get access to world-class research facilities, impressive shared amenities (Auditorium, Cafe, Ideas/Meeting Rooms, DCU Sports Campus) and an inspirational collaborative culture. This is no traditional business park, this is an innovation ecosystem that is designed to propel your business growth.




9.  Startup Europe Week 2016


9.1        Startup Europe Week DUBLIN 2016 #SEWDublin16

1-5th February 2016, 40+ COUNTRIES, 200+ CITIES, Thousands of real opportunities and resources, available for you and your business.

Startup Europe Week is a massive series of meetups happening in over 250 regions with the support of more than 400 organizers happening from 1-5 February 2016.

The purpose of this initiative is to make founders and prospective entrepreneurs aware of the existing resources available in their region and at the European level.

StartUp Europe script 390x200

The event which is happening simultaneously in 40 Countries and over 220 Cities simultaneously is an initiative of Startup Europe and the European Commission with the support of the EU Committee of the regions

Startup Europe is an initiative of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Communication Networks, Content and Technology [DG -CONNECT] that aims to strengthen the business environment for tech entrepreneurs, so that their ideas and business can start and grow in the EU.


9.2        Startup Europe Week #SEWeek2016

The Startup Europe Week Dublin co-organizers are Ray Walshe (Insight@DCU), Jenny  Bjorklof (Entrepreneurs Anonymous), Catriona Lawlor (DCU Ryan Academy for Entrepreneurship), Amr Dawood (Enactus TCD) and Tom Doyle (eBIZireland).



9.2        Startup Europe Week Dublin Event List

DATE ITEM Location Description
Monday Feb 1st Launch Event DCU Alpha Startup Europe Intro || Startup Europe Week 2016 Info || Presentation about Main Events
Get Started with Research Centres DCU Alpha Bridging the GAP – Startups and Universities
Knowledge Bombs DCU Alpha Knowledge Bombs – Condensed Startup Advice from a community of experts
Apprentice Reloaded BoI Canal Docks A panel discussion Exploring an apprenticeship program for entreperneurs
Tuesday Feb 2nd New Frontiers and High Potential StartUps NDRC Entreprise Ireland Session outlining the New Frontiers and HPSU Programs
Co-Founder Dating Trinity College Dublin Co-Founder dating: A startup doesn’t only need funding, to succeed but a great team too!
Wednesday Feb 3rd Success STORIES DCU Alpha Great talks with local entrepreneurs and investors on how they smartly used the resources provided by the local authority to create or improve their businesses.
LIVE SKYPE FROM EU DCU Alpha LIVE TALK European Commision Bogdan Ceobanu
Social Entrepreneurship Trinity College Dublin Just because it has a social cause doesnt mean it isnt a business. social entrepreurship event
Marketing Tactics 4DameLane Dublin City Centre Marketing tactics for startups
Thursday Feb 4th Local & Regional Enterprise Support Ecosystem. Synergy Centre, IT Tallaght Focus on Greater Dublin Area Ecosystem of Supports for Startups and Developing Businesses
FACE and South Summit Guinness Enterprise Centre What experts and entrepreneurs faced when they decided to leave their stable jobs and embark on the entrepreneurship path.
Friday Feb 5th First Friday Breakfast DDDA Building, Custom House Quay Informal networking event for startups of any shape or size
SEUN , SEED DCU Alpha SEUN, Sustainable Ecosystem for European Startups
After Party TBA Networking Event


10.  Startup Europe University Network

Startup Europe Universities Network (SEUN) is an initiative supported by the European Commission which aims to create a European community of universities and business/scientific parks with an entrepreneurship perspective by establishing an active and collaborative forum for exchanging information and operationalize above mentioned support measures.

The SEUN is dedicated to:

  • increasing awareness about tech entrepreneurship
  • better understanding of global tech entrepreneurship trends
  • sharing new policy ideas and regulatory changes
  • sharing best practices among different
  • exploring synergies and collaboration opportunities

DCU is a founding member of SEUN


11.  EU Makers Week 2016

Ray.Walshe@DCU.ie is the Ireland Ambassador EU Makers Week 2016. The European Maker Week Is an initiative promoted by European Commission and implemented by Maker Faire Rome in collaboration with Startup Europe, aim to draw European citizens to the “Maker world” and the FabLab, Makerspaces, Hackersapce and the Hardware Startups Environment.

The aims of European Maker Week are two folds:

  1. To create awareness about the importance of the maker culture to foster an education of creativity and innovation in all schools across Europe.
  2. To build bridges between local authorities and media and the main players of their own local makers ecosystems.

We particularly want to reach out to new players (e.g. Schools) who have never organized a maker event before.

What is the “Maker Movement”?

The “Maker Movement” is the name given to the increasing number of people coming from different backgrounds, who are employing do-it-yourself (DIY) and do-it-with-other (DIWO) techniques and processes to develop unique technologies and products as well innovative solutions.

Over the last decade the Maker Movement has constantly grown thanks to the development of the DIY culture among the society, facilitated by Internet, where anyone can experiment and create innovative solutions by virtue of a mutual collaboration. Furthermore, the spontaneous and simultaneous growth of projects and technologies like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, MICROBIT, 3D printing physical places like Fablabs and Makerspaces where people can meet and exchange knowledge. The Open Hardware philosophies have played also an essential role in the development of the Maker Movement.

And what  about in Europe?

The Maker culture has significantly spread over in Europe in the last few years, thanks to the increasing number of innovative projects, workshops and stories made by people who build their own vision of the future through ingenuity and creativity. Europe is the continent with the highest number of FabLabs and Makerspaces and was the birthplace of revolutionary projects like Arduino, Rapberry Pi, MICROBIT and RepRap. Every year there are more than 50 Maker Faires and Mini Maker Faires: Maker Faire Rome – which is the largest one – has exceeded 100 thousand participants during its third edition in 2015. Across Europe, the business world is investing in makers, craftsmen are renewing thanks to digital fabrication and schools are opening their own makerspace.

Why a  European Maker Week?

We believe that makers will be able to make a positive contribution  to our Society and to the European Economy, especially within the educational environment and by creating innovative Startup based on hardware products. We want to enhance this world of people who work locally but in a global network. We would like to  combine our forces in order to organize a week of public events across Europe: a huge umbrella event under which local initiatives will flourish as part of a European network. We want to encourage the encounter and the dialogue between makers and the society, citizens, investors and Institutions, by spreading the awareness of how the construction of a different future will be happening thanks to this new ecosystem. Of particular importance is to use the EMW – European Maker Week as a platform to build bridges between local makers ecosystems and local authorities and media.


12.  DCU and Dublin City

Dublin is rapidly positioning itself as a startup hub for several reasons. Ireland has more VC funding available than any other country in Europe per capita. There are 12 accelerator / incubator programmes in Dublin and “Web Summit” the BIGGEST Technology conference outside the US is based here.

€800mln in Venture & Seed Capital available to companies located in Ireland. Projected to be 22nd most competitive global city in the Overall 2025 City Competitiveness rankings table from 120 cities ranked. 12.5% Corporate Tax rate in Ireland – amongst the lowest in Europe.

Dublin is magnet for Foreign Direct Investment, Forbes names Ireland as the best place in the world to do business, 200 tech startups founded per annum and Ireland is the second biggest exporter of ICT in the world – behind the USA. Voted the ‘Best to Invest’ by European Metro in 2012 and third best in 2013, Ireland is home to 9 of the top 10 global software leaders and 8 of the top 10 US companies. 50% of the population in Ireland is under 35 years old. The Economist rates Dublin as Number 1 in the world for Human Capital. Dublin is considered 2nd friendliest city in the world. Ireland is number 1 in Europe for people finishing third level education.