Wednesday, 11 November 2015


Young tech entrepreneurs from across Europe battled it out last night to win the EU-XCEL Challenge Final, the final phase of a new four month European Virtual Accelerator programme which supports the creation of new, innovative multi-national tech start-ups. From a shortlist of 12, the winners were announced at University College Cork (UCC) Ireland and include WeQ4U (a queue management Platform), DataMine (streamlines data services for scientists) and (SaaS platform for wholesale businesses).

WeQ4U was announced as the 2015 winning startup team, led by a transnational team from Italy, Greece & Denmark with their platform that provides a solution to manage queues effortlessly, replacing physical queues with virtual ones. The platform and app is currently being implemented in theme parks providing visitors with a better experience and plans are already underway to diversify its application.

“The international startup teams shortlisted for the Challenge Final demonstrate the power of diverse multi-national ICT skilled European teams and there is a key lesson for Europe. This must become the norm and mechanisms that allow multi-national company formation, incubation mobility and European-wide entrepreneurship pathways will accelerate this.” said Dr Brian O’Flaherty, EU-XCEL Programme Director.

Microsoft Ireland and VMware are the event sponsors and speakers at the international final of the EU-XCEL programme included Minister of State for European Affairs, Dara Murphy TD and Shemas Eivers of the Boole Investment Syndicate. Over 50 participants from all over Europe attended the Challenge Final which was hosted by Progamme Lead, University College Cork.

At the EU-XCEL Challenge Final, UCC, DataMine, were runners up, with a platform that streamlines data services and saves scientists time by using propriety conversion algorithms to provide data they require in a fast, clean and reliable way on a holistic platform.

Another finalist, – led by a team from Spain, Greece, Italy and Poland – Is a SaaS platform targeted towards large corporate businesses that produce, manufacture and/or sell consumer products to wholesalers. Its aim is to give businesses a clear idea of how their products are priced by retailers, on a daily basis.

Speaking upon the award announcement, Haydar Mahmoud of WeQ4U commented, “It is a huge opportunity that everyone should participate in because they really learn something that money can’t buy. The focus on team spirit, enjoying what you do and working hard is a great combination. The programme really gets you to push your boundaries and gets you working and thinking outside your comfort zone. Next we are about to talk to investors. I would never have believed this was possible just a few months ago”.

Speaking at the conclusion of the EU-XCEL virtual accelerator programme, programme director Dr. Joe Bogue added that “The innovative EU-XCEL programme will lead to a number of business start-ups in the tech area and has fast-tracked the experience based learning and international networking of high potential young ICT entrepreneurs.”