Student Enterprise Awards programme - Winners Bootcamp UCC

Press Release                                                   Wednesday, June 1st, 2016

16-year old inventors and business owners gather in Cork

Student Enterprise Awards - Winners Bootcamp UCC

Teenage inventors behind horse feeders, applicator guns and silicone bands begin Winners’ Bootcamp at University College Cork, as part of Student Enterprise Awards programme.

Nineteen budding inventors and young entrepreneurs from around the country have won a place at a week-long Winners’ Bootcamp, as part of the Student Enterprise Awards programme.

Brain-child of the Local Enterprise Offices, the Bootcamp is organised by the College of Business and Law at University College Cork in association with the IGNITE Graduate Business Innovation Programme and runs all this week.

Throughout the specially-designed programme, the young students will expand their understanding of the business world, gaining new perspectives and accessing expertise from more established entrepreneurs. They’ll also learn more about teamwork, communication skills, market research and business pitching and every student will have their own business mentor for the week.

The Student Enterprise Awards is the biggest enterprise programme in the country, involving 22,000 students from 620 secondary schools.  This year’s winners include the inventor behind ‘Headphone Helpers’, 16-year-old Luke Byrne from Wicklow. Luke was presented with the top prize in the Senior Category at this year’s National Final by the former Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation, Mr. Damien English T.D. Luke’s patented invention is a silicone band that helps keep earphones tangle free.

Other inventors joining Luke at the Winners’ Bootcamp include twin sisters from Mayo, who have a patent-pending invention for applying marking fluid to sheep and teenage boys from County Louth who invented weight stabilisers for portable goal posts.

Award-winning entrepreneurs from Donegal, who created a new type of hybrid apron and kitchen towel, have also won a place, alongside the students behind a new range of virtual reality headsets from West Cork and discount coupons for shoppers from Leitrim.

Stephen Walshe from the Enterprise Education Committee with the Local Enterprise Offices said: “As the ‘first stop shop’ for anyone starting a business, the Local Enterprise Offices want to encourage and support the next generation of entrepreneurs. The Winners’ Bootcamp is an important feature of the overall Student Enterprise Awards programme, which has become the biggest enterprise programme of its kind in the country.”

Project Manager with the College of Business and Law at U.C.C., Anne Wallace said: “The College of Business and Law in association with IGNITE Graduate Business Innovation Programme and the Blackstone Launchpad are delighted to host the Business Bootcamp at University College Cork again this year. Much of the learning will be through group activity and interactive sessions with young entrepreneurs in addition to a number of evening social events, providing the students with an unforgettable entrepreneurial experience.”

A former Winners’ Bootcamp participant, Matthew Hewston of the ‘Squeazy’ educational toy company in Leitrim, has just signed a licencing agreement with a UK-based toy company. Speaking about the Winners’ Bootcamp, the student said: “We were inspired by being among such a high calibre of students, each with a great idea and lots of drive and passion to make it work. Being in that sort of environment really pushes you to further build your own business.”

The teenagers will also have a chance to network with older entrepreneurs at a dinner in their honour on Thursday, hosted by the Local Enterprise Offices in Cork.

The Student Enterprise Awards Programme for 2016/2017 gets underway in September with free video resources and school materials available through

List of participants

County: Wicklow

Student Enterprise Name: Headphone Helpers             School: Coláiste Chraobh Abhann, Kilcoole

Student: Luke Byrne

Description: Patented silicone band for holding a set of headphones, keeping them tangle-free.

County: Louth

Student Enterprise Name: Meáchan                               School: Coláiste Rìs, Dundalk

Students: Eoin Murphy, Pádraig Fallon, Eoghan Smith and Ciaran Hand

Description: Stabiliser weights for portable goalposts, made from recycled tyres.

County: Mayo

Student Enterprise Name: Make a Mark        School: Jesus and Mary Secondary School, Gortnor Abbey

Students: Mary Murphy and Sarah Murphy

Description: Patent-pending applicator gun for farmers, for applying marking fluid to sheep.

County:  Donegal

Student Enterprise Name: Kitchen Kouture   School: Royal and Prior Comprehensive School, Raphoe

Students: Leanne Patterson, Riannagh Witherow, Louise Hunter, Shania McElhinney, Jade Baldrick and Victoria Hamilton

Description: Aprons with a hand towel attached, using an open-ended zip.

County: Cork (West)

Student Enterprise Name: Citosc     School: Maria Immaculata Community College, Dunmanway

Students: Conrad Crowley, Ryan Croke and Páiric Galvin

Description: Virtual reality headset which uses the power of a smartphone to provide an affordable virtual reality experience.

County: Leitrim

Student Enterprise Name: Cut Cost Coupons               School: Carrigallen Vocational School

Students: Adam Magee, Adrian Graham and Andrew Hamilton

Description: Coupons to save costumers money, while promoting local businesses