From Dress Up to Yurt Circles: Irish Teenage Entrepreneurs Get In Training For Big Business

Winner’s Bootcamp to put student entrepreneurs through their paces at Nexus Innovation Centre.
Twenty of the country’s top student entrepreneurs will face some unusual business challenges this week, when they attend the Winners’ Bootcamp, from Tuesday 3rd to Friday 6th June at the University of Limerick.
Organised by the Local Enterprise Offices, as part of the Student Enterprise Awards Programme, only seven student enterprises, each one an award winner at the National Finals in April, have been invited to attend the Winners’ Bootcamp.
Aged between 16 and 17, these young entrepreneurs will focus on developing their business ideas through lectures, team-building and sessions such as ‘Blind Dress Up’, to identify customer pain points; the ‘Marshmallow Challenge’, which requires the students to build a prototype using only spaghetti and marshmallows and the ‘Yurt Circle’, where risk taking and trust will be explored.
Since last September, a record-breaking 17,000 students from 370 schools have researched, set-up and managed their real-life businesses, as part of the biggest student enterprise programme in the country. Having emerged as winners from the Student Enterprise Awards National Finals last month, this select group of student entrepreneurs will now develop their commercial instincts further at the Nexus Innovation Centre.
The student enterprises participating in the bootcamp are: ‘Steindesign’ (Castleisland Community College, Castleisland, Co. Kerry), who has invented the Easy-Coil storage system for household and agricultural wire products; ‘Moss Muncher’, (St. Macartan’s College, Coolshanagh, Co. Monaghan) manufacturers of a rake for removing moss in the garden that is attached to a ride-on lawn mower and ‘Principal App’ (Colaiste Chiarain, Croom, Co. Limerick) who has developed an App, suitable for iPad and Smartphone,to helps students struggling with Junior Certificate Maths.
Also in attendance will be: ‘Brace Yourself’ (Mercy College, Sligo), a multi-functional hook, which helps fasten bracelets and zips; ‘My Little Big Adventure’ (Beara Community School, Castletownbere, West Cork) who has written and illustrated a range of 'write your own story' books for children; ‘Pink and Smokey’ (Newbridge College, Kildare), branded make-up accessories and ‘Interactive Arts’ (Blackrock College, Co. Dublin), a study revision iBook.
Looking ahead to the Winners’ Bootcamp, Loman O’Byrne, Chair of the Enterprise Education Committee with the Local Enterprise Offices said: ‘The Winners’ Bootcamp will be an opportunity for this select group of young entrepreneurs to push themselves further, giving them new and entertaining ways of thinking about their own companies, as well as about business, in general. Offering different perspectives and expertise, the bootcamp will have a long-lasting impact on these students, re-enforcing their natural abilities and commercial acumen.’
Andrea Deverell, CEO Nexus Innovation Centre said: 'Nexus Innovation Centre’s unique approach to startups means that these students will leave the Winners’ Bootcamp having established relationships with innovative peers and entrepreneurs as well as a new confidence in their own abilities. They will have a set of tools for business development that they can implement in the future, knowing that starting a business can be fun as well as challenging.’
Updates on the Winners’ Bootcamp will be available on the official Student Enterprise Awards Programme Facebook page /SEAsIreland and Twitter account @StudentEntAward. The official hashtag is #winnersbootcamp

Student Enterprise Awards BootCamp