Student Enterprise Bootcamp

Local secondary school student wins a place at Student Enterprise Awards’ Bootcamp in Cork

Teenage inventors behind horse feeders, applicator guns and silicon 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 including a student from a local school in County Wicklow who was the overall winner of the National competition 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.

The Wicklow student taking part is 16-year-old Luke Byrne from  Coláiste Chraobh Abhann in Kilcoole who took the overall prize for 'Headphone Helpers' at the National Finals in April.

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.

All nineteen students won their place at the Winners’ Bootcamp, thanks to their involvement in the Student Enterprise Awards Programme, which is co-ordinated in the county by Local Enterprise Office Wicklow.

The Student Enterprise Awards is the biggest enterprise programme in the country, involving 22,000 students from 620 secondary schools.  This year’s national winner in the Senior Category was the inventor behind ‘Headphone Helpers’, 16-year-old Luke Byrne from Wicklow. Luke was presented with the senior top prize at this year’s National Final in Croke Park 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.

Congratulating the local students on securing a place at the Winners’ Bootcamp this year, Sheelagh Daly with the Local Enterprise Office Wicklow said: “As the ‘first stop shop’ for anyone starting a business, the Local Enterprise Office encourages and supports 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