Mature Spin-out Company Finalists 2016

Logentries - University College Dublin (Academic Founders: Dr Trevor Parsons and Dr Viliam Houm) 

In October 2015 Rapid7 Inc. (NASDAQ:RPD), a leading provider of security data and analytics solutions, acquired Logentries, a UCD spin-out company, for an aggregate purchase price of $68 million. Logentries emerged from UCD’s Performance Engineering Lab (PEL) in the UCD School of Computer Science, specifically from a collaboration between PEL and IBM which led to the creation of the ‘Real Time Correlation Engine’ (RTCE).  RTCE had traditionally been applied for security and compliance purposes but Dr Trevor Parsons and Dr Viliam Holub, having worked on the project with IBM, recognised potential applications for RTCE in other areas ranging from IT operations to web marketing.  They developed the original version of an innovative cloud-based solution for searching, visualising, and analysing machine data and this led to the establishment of Logentries.  In 2012, Logentries secured $1 million in seed funding which was followed by a further $10 million funding round in 2013.  The investment facilitated the deployment of an innovative cloud-based solution that was five-to-ten times faster than competing solutions and at a lower cost. The company rapidly grew to 70 employees serving more than 3,000 customers in over 65 countries and analysing 100 billion discrete events per day.  UCD’s TTO at NovaUCD has a well-established relationship with PEL and supported various funding applications that helped to develop the expertise in RTCE.  The TTO led negotiation of the collaborative agreements with IBM and supported the company through its NovaUCD Campus Company Development Programme.  The TTO also led the review and negotiation of the investment agreements on behalf of UCD throughout the significant funding rounds that took place in 2012 and 2013.

Powervation - University of Limerick (Academic Founders: Dr Karl Rinne) 

Founded in 2006, UL spin-out company Powervation was established based on research undertaken at UL by Dr. Karl Rinne, Dr. Eamonn O'Malley, and Dr. Anthony Kelly, within the Circuits & Systems Research Centre, Department of Electronic and Computer Engineering. The research resulted in patented technology which enabled companies to improve the energy efficiency of their information processing equipment.  In July 2015, Powervation was acquired by Japanese electronic parts manufacturer ROHM for US$70m (€64m) in an all-cash deal.  In acquiring Powervation, ROHM which is a top 25 global semiconductor company, strengthened its product offerings in the rapidly-growing cloud, data-center and communications infrastructure markets.  Powervation has become a fully owned subsidiary of ROHM and the centre in Cork has become the global design centre for digital power.  New product development and expansion into new markets is planned with scope to significantly expand the current workforce.  The trade sale yielded a financial windfall for UL which will be shared with the inventors and will enable UL to further develop the growing campus innovation ecosystem. The Technology Transfer Office (TTO) at UL was involved throughout the development of the underlying technology.  The office provided support to researchers for funding applications and developed and implemented a successful patent filing strategy. The office also led negotiations to agree intellectual property license agreements with the company.  Post spin-out the TTO managed the UL shareholding in the company and was involved in negotiating investor agreements throughout a venture funding rounds involving in excess of €30m in investment.

Swrve - Trinity College Dublin (Academic Founder: Dr Steve Collins) 

In 2015, Swrve (trading as New Game Technologies in Ireland) closed an investment round of $30 million solidifying its position as a serious player in the global marketplace. New Game Technologies was founded in 2007 as a Trinity Campus Company by ex-Havok founders Dr Steve Collins of the School of Computer Science and Statistics and Hugh Reynolds. Branded as Swrve New Media, it is the world's leading mobile marketing automation platform, pioneering the fast-growing mobile engagement marketing space. The 2015 investment has created 45 new jobs, enabled the acquisition of to further Swrve’s predictive marketing capabilities and has facilitated Swrve to reach over one billion installs of their product. Swrve has since ranked 420 in Inc. Magazine’s 2015 Annual Inc. 500, an exclusive ranking of the fastest-growing private companies.  It has also tripled its global customer base across global enterprise brands and processes 271 billion user events per month across its platform making it one of the most widely used mobile marketing platforms in the world.  Throughout the process, the Technology Transfer Office at Trinity has worked closely with Swrve founders since 2006. The office managed the exclusive licensing of computer code from Trinity that led to the creation of the spin-out company and subsequently supported the company by assigning the intellectual property from Trinity to Swrve in 2010.  The company remains engaged with Trinity and the TTO is involved in managing the ongoing relationship. 

Find the complete list of finalists for 2016 here.