UOC invests €175,000 in three entrepreneurial projects with social impact
The UOC has invested a total of €175,000 in the share capital of the spin-off Immersium Studio and the start-ups MINUSHU and BCN Resol. This funding comes as part of the Invergy initiative, a University company that invests in start-ups in the education and ICT sectors that deliver some form of social impact. All three companies provide technological solutions within the education sector: Immersium Studio is developing a learning platform based on augmented, mixed and virtual reality; MINUSHU invites children to critically engage with international news through augmented and virtual reality storytelling, and, finally, BCN Resol offers ICT solutions to identify, report and manage conflicts that may arise both in schools (such as eating disorders, bullying or drug addiction) and the workplace.
As highlighted by UOC deputy general manager, Eduard Bosch, one of the University’s missions is "to promote economic development by fostering innovative companies focused on making a social impact, and entrepreneurial projects, and strengthening the links between business, knowledge and society". To that end, in addition to Invergy, the University has also established Hubbik, which supports entrepreneurial projects that make a social impact throughout the various stages of their development. It offers, among other services, training, mentoring and incubation support, as well as a funding advisory service. This initiative has resulted in Immersium Studio, MINUSHU and BCN Resol receiving joint funding for a total of €256,000 from ENISA, a state-owned company that supports viable and innovative business projects devised by small and medium-sized enterprises.
As part of the services offered by Hubbik, the three entrepreneurial projects will also be represented at the UOC stand at 4YFN (4 Years From Now), the Mobile World Congress innovation platform that offers start-ups, investors, companies and public institutions the opportunity to discover, create and launch new entrepreneurial projects.
Technologies for a more dynamic, critical and healthy learning experience
Immersium Studio is a UOC spin-off specializing in the development of immersive technologies – virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality – for education, culture and tourism. The company’s primary activity focuses on the development and use of a skills-based immersive learning platform aimed at students and teachers. Their goal is to offer an engaging and innovative learning experience that allows students to learn in a more effective and dynamic way and enables teachers to manage and monitor that learning process.
MINUSHU is a start-up which uses augmented and virtual reality in storytelling and engages children with international news stories through a fun, light-hearted and critical approach. The company’s NUSHU product is a narrative starring an alien of the same name, whose mission is to understand human beings. His ship intercepts news broadcasts and tries to decipher their content, a difficult task for which he requires the help of humans between the ages of 8 and 12. The aim is to involve them in the adventure of searching for, checking, reflecting on, evaluating and disseminating information, thereby helping to promote critical thinking. The tool operates as a subscription service similar to Netflix, which is frequently updated with new content.
The final start-up, BCN Resol, has developed two ICT solutions to identify, report and manage conflicts that may occur both in schools (B-Resol) and the workplace (Co-Resol). B-Resol was initially developed with the aim of combating school bullying but it has subsequently also proved itself to be an effective tool for addressing other problems, such as eating disorders, drug addiction, abuse and family conflicts. The programme was implemented in 33 centres across Catalonia and Andorra for the 2017/2018 academic year, and the concept has been awarded several prizes, one of the most prestigious being the 2018 ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution) Justice Award for Best Mediation Initiative, presented by the Government of Catalonia Ministry of Justice on 21 January. The start-up has also developed its Co-Resol tool, which is aimed at the corporate world and enables members of an organization to report conflicts and regulatory irregularities or breaches.