MLN (pronounced Melon), an app encouraging co-workers to carpool, has been declared the overall winner of the 2019 UCD Start-up Stars programme. 

MLN's founders, Manal Mukhtar and Ellen Le Bas, are the recipients of a €3,000 cash prize. 

Manal Mukhtar is an undergraduate studying business and law, and Ellen Le Bas is a postgraduate studying electrical engineering.

They developed MLN for employees of medium-to-large organisations, 50% of whom cannot directly access their workplace via public transport. 

The app offers its users incentives and rewards for carpooling and provides real-time data about their carbon footprint reduction, productivity increases and cross-team collaborations. 

These features aim to reduce the number of cars on the road, improve the commuting experience and increase employee retention levels. 

"We believe we are at the cusp of a carpooling revolution and that MLN can be at the forefront when it reaches that tipping point," Ms Mukhtar said. 

"We are excited to continue working with NovaUCD to develop to develop MLN further," Ms Le Bas added. "The network of mentors and fellow entrepreneurs at NovaUCD is a valuable resource to have as an early-stage start-up."

In addition to MLN, six programme runners-up received a cash prize of €500 each. 

"I now look forward to seeing these early-stage ventures move forward to successful market launch," Tom Flanagan, UCD Director of Enterprise and Commercialisation, said.