Last year’s winners at the Student Entrepreneur Awards
Students are in the best position to set up their own businesses and launch new products, according to the Union of Students in Ireland, who are encouraging students to research the plethora of start-up support provided by Enterprise Ireland to anyone with a new business idea. The wide range of support available to students includes the Student Entrepreneur Awards, Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur, Competitive Start up Funds, Enterprise Start up workshops and The Student Summit.
“Students and young people are at the forefront of turn-of-the-century new designs, creative innovations and new businesses,” Kevin Donoghue, USI president, said, “Young people and student inventors have brought a lot of life-changing, commercial products to the international market in the past few years, such as the SecuRetract from UCC, a minimally invasive, disposal retractor for use in laproscopic surgery; the BLAZER team from Trinity, whose product idea will save honeybees by removing Varroa mite infestations; TippyTalk from LIT, which is a robust touch screen communication system which overcomes non-verbal disabilities. It’s extremely inspiring and encouraging for other students seeing their peers excel in their businesses and product designs.”
The Student Entrepreneur Awards is sponsored by Enterprise Ireland, Cruickshank Intellectual Property (who legalise the patent and trade mark of the business), Grant Thornton and Intel. To enter the Student Entrepreneur Awards, a video pitch should be send by the 17th March 2016, through studententrepreneurawards.com. This will be narrowed down to 50 applicants and the top ten will be invited to the awards where they will be offered mentoring from the sponsors and be in with a chance of winning a cash prize. The awards will be held in LIT in June 2016.
Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur is run by the local enterprise office and can be entered by anyone under the age of 30, with substantial cash prizes up for grabs – €20,000 per region, and €50,000 per county, with full details available at IBYE.ie
Competitive Start up funds can be applied for by anyone up to three years after graduating and can be up to €50,000. There are also 18 Enterprise start up workshops across the country which will help students to develop their ideas. Pre registration with your local Enterprise Ireland Regional Office is required to attend this workshop.
Gillian Slattery, Enterprise Ireland’s Programme manager for the Student Entrepreneur Awards added: “Enterprise Ireland features a host of approaches to reach students and make sure they get every encouragement and support to develop viable business plans. We encourage them to team up with their colleagues and friends from other faculties to be innovative, collaborative and creative on coming up with products that will help them explore their ideas and own appetite for going into business for themselves for the purposes of the Student Entrepreneur Awards. Enterprise Ireland and the Local Enterprise Offices also offer a cadre of other offers to help students and graduates develop their ideas such as the Enterprise START Workshops, IBYE and the Graduate Competitive Start fund as well as sponsoring other worthy Student Start up events such as the Student Summit.”
“In order to stay innovative and creative we need to work around areas that are linked to our highest values.” Motivation coach Pat Divilly said, “In the same way each individual has a different fingerprint we’ve all got a different list of values. I think as we get older many fall in to the trap of moving into areas that don’t fulfil them in order to find ‘security’ in a job. When they neglect their highest values they become frustrated, unfulfilled and lacking purpose. Innovation comes down to pursuing those things that inspire you and responding to the challenges you meet from critics and the marketplace.”
The Student Summit will also be held by the Union of Students in Ireland on the 4th February in Dublin Castle with 600 students to launch 40+ start up jobs for students with the most cutting edge start ups in Ireland today; 20+ development workshops for young entrepreneurs; along with the student summit start up pitch which is putting the finest student start ups head-to-head for a cash prize of €1,500, working office space and mentoring with Enterprise Ireland. The official hashtag for the Student Summit campaign is #StudentSummit16.