Calling All Enterprising Students in the West


Calling all enterprising students in the West – The Student Entrepreneur Awards 2015 Now Open

Enterprise Ireland launch Entrepreneurship Awards for third level students in the West Region

Prize fund of €35,000 cash and €30,000 consultancy for enterprising students 



Photographed at the launch of the Enterprise Ireland Student Entrepreneur Awards were from left to right; Michelle Mulherin, TD; Minister Richard Bruton,TD, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation; Barry Egan, Director - West Region, Enterprise Ireland; An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, TD; and Maria Staunton, GMIT Innovation Centre Manager Mayo. Photo : Keith Heneghan

Taoiseach, Enda Kenny and Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD launched the Enterprise Ireland Student Entrepreneur Awards 2015 for the West Region in Ballina, Co Mayo recently.  Also in attendance were academic ambassadors for the competition from GMIT and NUIG.  This is part of a major drive aimed at tapping into the potential for students and young people to turn their entrepreneurial ideas into commercial businesses.  This is a great opportunity for ambitious and enterprising third level students to build a real-world business venture and at the same time be in with a chance to win a prize from the overall €35,000 cash prize fund, which includes a €10,000 first prize, as well as a €30,000 consultancy fund.

The Student Entrepreneur Awards 2015 which are co-sponsored by Enterprise Ireland, Invest Northern Ireland, Cruickshank Intellectual Property Attorneys, Grant Thornton and Intel, are open to all full time third level students in the island of Ireland and are Ireland’s biggest and longest established student enterprise competition for third level student teams from the whole island. 

Minister Bruton said: ”Two thirds of all new jobs come from start-ups in the first five years of existence, according to Central Bank data. That is why we have put start-ups right at the centre of our jobs plan – in Ireland we have great entrepreneurs and start-ups, we just don’t have enough of them. The Enterprise Ireland Student Entrepreneur Awards aim to support and encourage more students to start their own businesses and really consider enterprise as a valid career option. I encourage students across our universities and colleges to avail of the specialist advice and assistance on offer and enter the competition”.

The priority is to get students thinking now about starting their own business as a career option once they graduate.  The sponsors also bring their expertise to nurturing the finalists in the competition to commercialise their business by providing them with expert guidance in areas such as intellectual property, market research, finances, technology development, public relations and advertising, all aimed at supporting young entrepreneurs to develop viable businesses and create jobs. 

Third level students represent a seed bed for future business start-ups and last year’s finalists who attended the launch are a great example of the commercial potential for student entrepreneurs; 

The Roots in Research award is an exciting new aspect to the Student Entrepreneur Awards for 2015, that recognises a student or group’s ability to spot the commercial potential of the state-funded research project which they are involved in. 

Barry Egan, Enterprise Ireland’s Director for the West Region, added: “The Enterprise Ireland Student Entrepreneur Awards campaign features a host of approaches to reach the students and make sure they get every encouragement and support to develop viable business plans.  We encourage them to team up with their colleagues and friends from other faculties to be innovative, collaborative and creative on coming up with products or services that will help them explore their ideas and their own appetite for going into business for themselves.” 

Following on from last year’s success, students are requested to submit a video that captures how great their idea is and shows commercial and export potential.   Other features of the competition include a website, facebook page, twitter account and pod casts – reaching out to students in the world that they know best.  The sponsors are currently supporting all of the internal entrepreneurship competitions within the institutions on the island of Ireland with a €500 cash sponsorship prize for each college. 

Executives from Enterprise Ireland and Invest NI will be presenting the details of the competition to all colleges and institutions between now and the closing date for the competition on 17 March 2015

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