Europass pitching competition winners announced

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Two startups have won top prizes at Europass pitching competition organised by DCU Ryan Academy as part of the European Welcome project.

Damian Browne from Standard Access and David Craig from Dublin Design Studio were each awarded a place on Welcome’s Europassprogramme. Both startups will attend two top European tech conferences, funded by the Welcome project and the DCU Ryan Academy. The Europass programme is run across four countries benefiting 16 European early stage startups.

Standard Access has developed a lock and hardware/software combination that allows building access by smartphone integrated with a client management platform. Their product allows for quick and secure turnover on leases for commercial property.  Dublin Design Studio has developed Scriba, a new smarter iPad stylus designed around the natural movements of your hand. Scriba is currently fundraising on Kickstarter.

David Craig from Dublin Design Studio explained how winning this prize will benefit his business: “The Europass win has provided us with a unique opportunity to get closer to our potential customers. Our Kickstarter campaign has substantiated our research that Europe is a key market for our stylus product. Being able to attend these events and develop relationships in particular markets, especially Northern Europe will help drive our growth and export ambitions.”

Damian Brown illustrated what this means for Standard Access “To win this DCU Ryan Academy Europass prize is a great honour for the Standard Access team, we are active in the U.S. market and we were waiting until we had enough traction to enter the European market but winning this awesome prize catapults our rollout into Europe, boom!”

The pitching competition took place in Bank of Ireland Grand Canal Square with eight startups pitching their businesses to an audience and judging panel. David Tighe, Head of Innovation at Bank of Ireland  commented, “We were delighted to be involved in this pitching competition and were heartened at the innovation evident and the quality of the teams which really made for a tough final decision”.

The Europass programme is part of the Welcome project, a Startup Europe initiative funded by the EU Commission. DCU Ryan Academy is the Irish partner of the Welcome project.

DCU Ryan Academy CEO Eoghan Stack spoke about the opportunities available for Irish startups through the Welcome project:

“Over the 2 year life of the project, DCU Ryan Academy is hosting competitions, hackathons, conferences and events in Dublin with the aim of linking the Irish startup community to the wider European entrepreneurial ecosystem. This project is an unmissable opportunity for Irish startups to meet fellow entrepreneurs, investors and potential mentors from across Europe and scale their businesses into European markets”

Another Dublin-based startup, Gymr, has also already won a prize on Europass having won the recent DublinBeta event in collaboration with DCU Ryan Academy.  Gymr are positioning themselves as a Hailo for Gyms, an on-demand alternative to the traditional gym model.

DCU Ryan Academy will host one more competition in coming weeks to give out a final prize as part of this programme.  For more information go to