Innovative carpooling app wins UCD's 2019 Start-Up Stars Programme

  • An innovative student-made carpooling app has won University College Dublin's 2019 Start-up Stars Programme, and seeks to reduce the number of cars on the road.

    The start-up MLN (pronounced "melon") was named the overall winner of the 2019 UCD Start-up Stars Programme, taking home a €3,000 cash prize for its secure carpooling app that could make a real dent in the number of cars on the road while helping businesses reduce the carbon footprint of daily commutes.

    The secure carpooling app is designed to tackle the problems faced by medium-to-large organisations with large numbers of employees on a daily commute. Around 50% of those in larger companies can't rely on public transport to get to work, costing companies in both employee retention and parking spaces. Implementing carpooling at the organisation level could significantly reduce staff costs and improve commutes for employees.

    The proposed MLN app will let users register as either passengers or drivers on their daily commutes and then help match people together with nearby commuters. The app will use gamification techniques and incentives to help encourage people to participate, and will provide stats on each user's environmental impact and carbon footprint.

    The UCD Start-up Stars programme aims to equip students with the support they need to bring their ideas to fruition, with an intensive 4 week mentoring programme and assistance to help make connections between undergraduate and postgraduate students who want to work together. The scheme is now in its fifth successful year, and this year's intake saw seven start-ups take part.

    The team producing the winning app includes undergraduate student Manal Mukhtar and postgraduate Ellen Le Bas. "We are excited to continue working with NovaUCD to develop MLN further," commented Ellen Le Bas, adding "The network of mentors and fellow entrepreneurs at NovaUCD is a valuable resource to have as an early-stage start-up."

    Manal Mukhtar commented on the programme: "We have thoroughly enjoyed our last 4 weeks at NovaUCD during which we have further developed our start-up idea and we are delighted that MLN has won the 2019 UCD Start-Up Stars Programme. We believe that we are at the cusp of a carpooling revolution and that MLN can be at the forefront when it reaches the tipping point."

    Source: Written based on press release

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    Brendan is a Sync NI writer with a special interest in the gaming sector, programming, emerging technology, and physics. To connect with Brendan, feel free to send him an email or follow him on Twitter.

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