Digital Skills Academy today announced that three start-ups: After, Tradeflow and Planet Verify, led by graduates from its digital BSc degree programmes, WebInnovate and WebElevate, have been successful in securing start-up investment from NDRC. NDRC is an early stage investor in technology ventures and recently selected fourteen new start-ups to take part in its award-winning NDRC LaunchPad acceleration and investment programme. The new start-up teams will now participate in an intensive three-month programme with each receiving up to €20,000 in pre-seed investment.

NDRC received more applications than ever before for its 10th round of the NDRC LaunchPad investment programme. NDRC LaunchPad is designed to transform new tech concepts into commercially viable start-ups suitable for next-stage investment-fuelled growth. NDRC’s success is highlighted with alumni such as Soundwave, PharmaPod and BoxEver who have gone on to attract millions in commercial follow-on investment and have grown their models into thriving international enterprises.

Paul Dunne, CEO Digital Skills Academy said, “The success achieved by graduates of our digital degree programmes is testament to the industry focus we take. Our industry work placement and digital entrepreneurship modules ensure that we have the highest level of graduates that are industry ready. Our aim for budding entrepreneurs on WebInnovate and WebElevate is to bring them successfully to the gates of investors such as NDRC. The fact that three of our graduates are successfully leading start-up companies as part of NDRC LaunchPad is really fantastic encouragement to our next class of participants and to our industry experts who coach them.

NDRC CEO Ben Hurley commented, “We were particularly delighted not just with the high number of applications for the programme this time, but the quality of what was pitched to us. We believe this indicates a general improvement in the ecosystem, with more people with promising talent developed through innovative new degree programmes such as that offered by Digital Skills Academy.”

Digital Skills Academy is currently recruiting to develop its next round of industry-ready graduates on the WebInnovate programme, with an extended application closing date of Thursday, 2 October 2014. WebInnovate is a ten-month, part-time BSc Honours Degree programme that develops industry-ready talent for Ireland’s high growth Internet and Digital sectors. Participants take advantage of ‘blended learning’, combining innovative online training with on-campus, tutor-lead course work. The course is unique in providing project-based industry work placements, where participants develop mobile and web products and services, and digital marketing campaigns for partner companies like the Dingle Brewing Company’s Tom Crean project. It also provides opportunities to generate, develop, prototype and test digital product and service innovations within ‘Start-Up’ units.

In its fourth year, the course has been extremely successful in returning participants to work with almost 75% of graduates returning to the workplace within four months of completion. Jobs resulting from the course include Web, Mobile Applications and Game Developers; Technical Project Managers; Digital Product Managers; UX Designers and Digital Sales and Marketing Executives / Managers.

Jobseekers looking to upskill in this sector can register on the Springboard website: www.springboardcourses.ie or directly onhttp://www.digitalskillsacademy.com/ or by calling 01 690-8090.

To be eligible for the programme, applicants must have one of the following:
A Level 7 award in a related discipline (Ordinary degree or equivalent) OR
A Level 8 major award (Honours degree or equivalent ) in a non-related discipline OR
Extensive previous work experience to gain entry via Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)