Ones to Watch: DoctoralNet

Ones to Watch | Thu 27 Oct | Author – Business & Finance
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Business & Finance highlights some of the top movers and shakers in Ireland.

What is it?

DoctoralNet is a small technology company in Kinsale, Co. Cork, that helps universities offer 24/7 support for the thesis process. The DoctoralNet suite consists of over a dozen online app-like services that students access through a portal that looks and feels much like their university’s online presence.

The technology enhances the learning and work done in classes and through supervisors, and supports their tasks to help PhD and master’s students finish efficiently.

How is it funded?

DoctoralNet is a self-funded start-up that has received a Local Enterprise loan and Enterprise Ireland Women’s Feasibility grant, as well as small amounts of family and friends’ investment. 

Originally designed as a portal for exclusively individual memberships, the cashflow from those students around the world (now touching thousands of students from hundreds of universities) has kept the company alive through initial phases of product development and through DCU, Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, Letterkenny Institute of Technology and Institute of Technology Sligo.

Who’s behind it?

doctoralnet dr alana james

Dr Alana James

Dr E Alana James, Ed.D., author, professor and founder of DoctoralNet started the company in 2006.

As a supervising professor, her experience was that no matter how the university set up doctoral work, students had trouble in one of three places: in research design, academic writing or in building the final argument with their data.

What’s next?

DoctoralNet staff are currently negotiating tests that will start in September with Teachers College, Columbia University, Manhattanville and Morgan State in the United States, and the University of Lagos in Nigeria.

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Business & Finance, in association with Comtrade Digital Services, recognises Ireland’s most dynamic emerging businesses in ‘Ones to Watch’.

Ireland is alive with a vibrant start-up scene and the entrepreneurs featured are shaping the country’s economic landscape.