Kodaline announce Student Enterprise Awards National Final

Kodaline, who are currently on their UK and European Tour, took time out of their busy schedule to announce details for the Student Enterprise Awards National Finals, which take place in Dublin in April.

Co-ordinated by the Local Enterprise Offices in every county, the competition is the most successful student enterprise programme of its kind and two members of Kodaline, the lead singer, Steve Garrigan, and lead guitarist, Mark Prendergast, set up their own student enterprise ten years ago, selling music lessons. The group are all past-pupils of participating schools.

An Taoiseach, Mr. Enda Kenny T.D., launched the current programme last September and since then, around 17,000 budding entrepreneurs from 370 secondary schools across the country have been running their own enterprises, with help from their teachers and Local Enterprise Offices.

Over 300 finalists from all over the country will set-up enterprise exhibition displays at the National Finals in Croke Park on April 22nd before taking part in a series of judging interviews. 

As well as gaining substantial business experience, there is an impressive prize-fund on offer for the young entrepreneurs, including a European trip, the national title and cash prizes.

Three members of Kodaline, who released ‘Coming Up for Air’ (Sony Music Ireland) earlier this month, also performed at the 2007 Student Enterprise Awards National Finals, when they were previously known as ‘21 Demands’.

The lead singer, Steve Garrigan, said: “Selling music classes at our secondary school taught us important lessons about the world of business at an early age. No matter what career you follow, a good understanding of how business works will definitely help you.”


From left to right: Vinny May (drums), Steve Garrigan (lead singer), Stephen Walshe of the Local Enterprise Offices, Kate Bryans (age 15) of Coolmine Community College in Dublin 15, Jason Boland (bass guitar) and Mark Prendergast (lead guitar). Photo Credit: Joe Keogh

Thanking Kodaline for their support of student entrepreneurship, Stephen Walshe, Chair of the Student Enterprise Awards with the Local Enterprise Offices, said: “Ten years ago, Steve and Mark from Kodaline set up their first student enterprise while still at secondary school, selling music lessons. They turned an obvious passion for music, into a real-life business. A decade later and the band are conquering the world stage, with another number one album under their belts. The Student Enterprise Awards encourage and enable students to take on the world of business and develop an entrepreneurial mind-set, across all industries and sectors. By fostering an enterprising culture in the classroom, the Local Enterprise Offices are working with teachers and schools to help nurture the next generation of entrepreneurs.”

All four members of Kodaline are also past-pupils of participating schools. Kodaline’s Steve Garrigan (lead vocals) and Mark Prendergast (guitar) both went to Cólaiste Choilm in Swords and Vinny May (drums) went to Portmarnock Community School in Fingal. Both schools participate in the Fingal Student Enterprise Awards Programme every year. Jason Boland (bass guitar) is a former pupil of Kilkenny College, which participates in the Kilkenny Student Enterprise Awards Programme. All three schools have represented their regions at the National Finals of the Student Enterprise Awards.

Last year’s overall senior category winner was Cathal Daly from ‘Upright Cycle Stands’ in De La Salle College in Waterford City. His clever invention enables the pedals of a bicycle to be clipped directly on to a propped-up stand.  ‘Teacher’s P.E.T’, a multipurpose whiteboard for teachers, won the intermediate category for Gaelcholáiste Uí Chonba in County Limerick. Meanwhile, the junior category award went to ‘Sheep Watch’ at St. Oliver’s Post Primary School in County Meath, a pulse monitor for sheep collars, to alert farmers if their flocks are in distress. Further information around April’s National Finals is available from www.studententerprise.ie or by searching #studententerprise on social media.

After their current UK and European Tour, Kodaline are set to perform at the Marquee in Cork on June 25th and in the Royal Hospital Kilmainham in Dublin on June 26th.  Tickets for both shows are on sale from Ticketmaster outlets nationwide and from www.ticketmaster.ie.