Student Entrepreneurs In The Spotlight At Business Bootcamp

Some of Ireland’s up-and-coming teenage entrepreneurs participated this week in the second annual ‘Winners Bootcamp’ at the University of Limerick.

Organised by the Local Enterprise Offices, twenty students from seven enterprises, each one an award winner at the Student Enterprise Awards National Finals in April, attended the four day business bootcamp from Tuesday, 3rd June to Friday 6th June at the Nexus Innovation Centre. 

Focused on helping these young entrepreneurs develop their business ideas through lectures, team-building and sessions, there were also one to one mentoring with adult entrepreneurs. 

Students Getting to Know Each Other

Among those guiding the teenagers through the bootcamp were: Linda Higgins of Choe, a specialist in product design and development for therapeutic accessories; J.P. Hartigan of Shadowman Sports, inventor of an inflatable human-shaped tackling system; Aislinn O'Flynn of Sensomi, a designer of sensory learning tools and Shane McCarthy of BlueChief, a provider of business to business solutions.

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.

At the opening of the Winners’ Bootcamp, Loman O’Byrne, Chair of the Enterprise Education Committee with the Local Enterprise Offices, said: ‘Having established and managed their own real-life businesses, these award-winning students will now, through the intensive Winners’ Bootcamp at the Nexus Innovation Centre, learn unique skills associated with entrepreneurship and innovation. They will also come away with increased confidence and inter-personal skills that will stand to them in the years to come.’

Andrea Deverell, CEO Nexus Innovation Centre said: ‘We look forward to welcoming Ireland’s next generation of entrepreneurs to the Nexus Innovation Centre; leveraging the unique entrepreneurial culture at the University of Limerick to support collaboration and knowledge-transfer between student and adult entrepreneurs.’

The student enterprises who participated in the bootcamp are: ‘Steindesign’ (Castleisland Community College, Castleisland, Co. Kerry), who 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) developers of an App, suitable for iPad and Smartphone,to helps students struggling with Junior Certificate Maths.

Also in attendance were: ‘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 wrote 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.

My Little Big Adventure

The Student Enterprise Awards Programme is organised by the Local Enterprise Offices, formerly known as the County and City Enterprise Boards. The 2014/2015 programme will commence in September 2014. Further details about the programme are available at: and or on Facebook /SEAsIreland and Twitter @StudentEntAward.  The official hashtag is #winnersbootcamp

Interactive Arts