Tuesday, 24 September 2013

NCAD Researchers to Pitch to Investors at ‘Big Ideas’ Showcase



– Start-up focuses on producing homeware that combines usability and style –

Researchers from the National College of Art and Design (NCAD) have a chance to impress leading figures from the investment community tomorrow (25.09.13) when they pitch their inventions at Enterprise Ireland’s ‘Big Ideas’ showcase event.

Kevin Doherty and Ronan Murphy invented an easy-to-use clothes hanger while still students at NCAD.  They subsequently formed their own start-up, Gazel, and joined the Origin8 commercialisation gateway on the NCAD campus.  They have spent the past 12 months at Origin8 researching and refining their products.

Their clothes hanger has been developed into a stylish product with mass-market appeal, and they are now working on the development of a suite of products for use across the home.

“Basically, Gazel is about rethinking everyday products,” said co-founder Kevin Doherty.  “We combine usability and style to create products for the modern home.  We’re also conscious of the ageing population and the related need for products to be more user-friendly than ever before.  So what we’re aiming to do is to create practical, easy-to-use homeware with a high aesthetic value.”   

Tomorrow, Gazel will have a chance to impress over 200 potential investors attending ‘Big Ideas’.  The company is one of 20 investment opportunities to be showcased at the event.

“This is a really exciting opportunity for us, and we’re hoping we’ll get on the radar of the investor community as a result,” said Kevin Doherty.  “We aim to have an international focus, and to supply our products to individual retailers, distributors and agents in the design, homeware and clothing sectors.  By investing in Gazel, backers could become part of a passionate, homegrown and scalable business.”

Derek McGarry, Head of Design Innovation and Commercialisation at NCAD, praised Gazel’s achievements in advance of tomorrow’s event.

“Gazel is truly a high-potential start-up; its founders’ innovation and dedication is evidenced by the awards and accolades they have won since they began working together three years ago,” he said.  “‘Big Ideas’ is a key event in the Irish technology commercialisation calendar, and the largest gathering of inventors in the country.  The fact that Gazel has been invited by Enterprise Ireland to pitch at the event is further proof of the company’s merits.”

The founders of Gazel are an award-winning team, who have won Arthritis Ireland’s ‘Easy to Use’ design award (2011) and the Miele ‘Kitchens of the Future’ design award (2012).  They have also been shortlisted for the James Dyson International Design Award (2011).

‘Big Ideas’ takes place in the Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin 4 from 10am to 5pm tomorrow, Wednesday, 25th September 2013.  Gazel’s pitch is expected to take place at 2.30pm