Supporting Maynooth University Young Entrepreneurs

EDEN Student Entrepreneurship Challenge

The final of the EDEN Student Entrepreneurship Challenge run by Maynooth University in association with Local Enterprise Office Kildare took place on Thursday 11th April at the Maynooth University Campus.

EDEN is Maynooth University's Centre for Entrepreneurship, Design and Innovation. The aim of the EDEN Student Entrepreneurship Challenge is to allow students develop their confidence and capabilities in creativity, and to give them the opportunity to turn their idea into a viable business. The competition carries a prize fund of €10,000 and is among the most established and richest student enterprise competitions in any Irish university.

Local Enterprise Office Kildare is committed to encouraging and supporting entrepreneurship among young people, and has provided an investment fund for the competition. In addition to mentoring and training with the Maynooth University School of Product Design, Jacqui McNabb Head of Enterprise Kildare County Council delivered an Innovation and Design mentoring clinic for students participating in the competition, and also took place on the judging panel.

After a hugely impressive showcase of Maynooth University’s entrepreneurial spirit, Fergal Murray (4th year Product Design Student) was announced €5000 First Prize Winner of the 2019 EDEN Student Entrepreneurship Challenge for his innovative solution for sports concussion detection, ‘Tremor’.

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Competition was stiff with €2500 second prize going to Molly Hackett’s ‘’ - a service solution to allow solicitors to effectively manage wills.

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€1500 third place investment went to Damon Flynn, Jane Carroll and Damian Mulhern, with ‘Alter’ -an adaptive piece of furniture specifically designed for open plan offices.

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With the record breaking number of 81 applications, the Judging Panel (comprised of Jacqui McNabb, Head of Enterprise at Local Enterprise Office, Kildare; Mark Ellis, Senior Associate with McCann Fitzgerald; Leon Diop, President of The MU student Union; Prof. David Prendergast, Acting head of the department of Design Innovation commented on the high calibre of entrants and the innovation shown in their ideas.

Road safety, waste reduction, pharmaceutical solutions and construction management were themes of business ideas from other participants, which included students from Product Design, Innovation, Law, Business and Science.

The partnership of Maynooth Univeristy and Local Enterprise Office Kildare links early stage student business ideas with possible future mentors and funding opportunities. Previous winners of the EDEN Challenge have gone on to take their ideas and convert them into successful businesses with the support and investment of the Local Enterprise Office.

Maynooth University’s own business incubation unit is home to some early stage start-ups that have emerged from the Local Enterprise Office’s Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur Competition. Matthew McCann, the winner of the overall 'Best Idea' category is currently working from the Eolas building at Maynooth University, developing his business Access Earth from the idea into the start-up phase.

Jacqui McNabb, Head of Enterprise Kildare, said “The Local Enterprise Office is delighted to be involved in encouraging the sparks of early stage ideas and entrepreneurs to evolve and develop into significant businesses”. She placed emphasis on the importance of innovation among young people and how pleased she is to be able to offer the support of the Local Enterprise Office.

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The Local Enterprise Office is here to support young entrepreneurs across the county. If you’d like to start or grow a business in Kildare, call into the Local Enterprise Office at Aras Chill Dara, Naas, email at or call on 045980838.