Programme overview

Start100 is the University of Galway's only student incubator programme.  The programme is competitive with only 10 student teams selected to participate each year.  Individuals or teams work for 6 weeks on an early stage idea business idea and develop their skills and competences.  Teams are matched with an expert mentor and take part in weekly workshops and meetings to develop their idea. 

The Start100 graduate is one who has nurtured and developed an idea from concept to validation.  They are passionate about their innovation.  They have developed their communication and storytelling skills, their business and commercial acumen to understand their markets, funding opportunities and how to leverage the ecosystem to further support their ideas development. They are a confident, creative, resourceful, person centric and resilient student who navigates ambiguity, have an entrepreneurial mind-set and are ready for the future.

Start100 is co-curricular and focusses on idea validation and de-risking and skills and talent development. Start100 has been designed, delivered and evaluated using Entrecomp.  EntreComp is a common reference framework that identifies 15 competences in three key areas that describe what it means to be entrepreneurial.  Within Start100, Entrecomp has been used to support policy and practice, to develop entrepreneurial skills, to assess entrepreneurial skills, to design programmes and learning opportunities and to recognise and certify skills. 

Core Elements:

  • 6 week co-curricular summer programme 
  • 10 students teams from across all disciplines and years of study
  • Working on own ideas
  • Weekly one to one mentorship by domain experts
  • Project teams receive €4,000 for successfully completing the programme
  • Access to an expert community of innovators and entrepreneurs 
  • We recruit students to this programme in January/ February each academic year. 

Start100 2024

  • Start100 2024 Final Pitch Day, 20 June 2024.

Start100 Judges 2024

Dr Helen

Dr Helen McBreen |   Partner Atlantic Bridge, Start100 Judge 2022

No matter what the ideas are that the teams in IdeasLab start to work through, it is really important to understand the process of customer validation, which is a really essential starting point for any business building. I think student entrepreneurship is a really essential part of any college experience.


Start100 Participants 2022


Peter Best-Lydon |   Start100 winner 2022 ICTUS Medical

We are absolutely delighted to win. Start100 has been a massive help to us with all of the connections that we have made. There is a buzz every week in IdeasLab and it was great to get a sense of working in a start-up. Start100 has made such an impact on to help define the commercial side of the business, as well as the technical side. We are really looking forward to making a significant impact to the patient.
in Connect with Peter

Ahmed Eltayeb |   Start100 participant 2022

From the first day, there were so many great things to learn! From design-thinking, where I needed to focus on the problem, to pitching, where I needed to craft and practice presenting my idea. It was an incredibly rewarding challenge! I digested so much info from workshops, meetings and talks! Being encouraged to make mistakes and learn from them was a great way to improve!
in Connect with Ahmed