6 March 2015
By Elaine Murphy
More than 45 mini-companies will compete to become the Cork Schools Local Enterprise Programme Regional Winners 2015 in University College Cork (UCC) today.
With a prize fund of €4,000, this year some 400 students from across Cork will present their mini-company business plans, display their product or service and show their overall vision for their company to a panel of judges to become Cork Schools Enterprise Programme Regional Winners. The overall winners from Cork City and South Cork Enterprise Programmes will each go on to represent their respective Local Enterprise Office at the National Final in Croke Park in April.
The two overall winning teams will receive a prize fund worth €2000 each for themselves and their school and a three-part mentorship programme courtesy of UCC.
The day-long Regional Final event at UCC will have a jam-packed schedule aiming to inspire young minds and drive entrepreneurship, culminating in an address to students by world champion race-walker, Olive Loughnane and Prof John O’Halloran, Vice Head of the College of Science, Engineering and Food Science and Associate Professor of Zoology, Ecology and Plant Science at UCC.
“We are delighted that Olive Loughnane will address the students of the Cork Schools Enterprise Programme. Olive is such an inspiration, highlighting how you can strive and achieve your goals of becoming a world champion. Additionally, John is dedicated to transferring research from the field, lab and bench to class and industry, therefore will give these young minds invaluable insight in how to bring their concept to market.”, said Sean O’Sullivan, Head of Enterprise, Local Enterprise Office, South Cork.
A panel of judges, including Isabel Rossiter of CIT, management consultant and mentor with Local Enterprise Office South Cork Joe Kelleher, entrepreneur Ciara Feely, Dr Ian Pickup and Ella Kavanagh of UCC, and Padraig O’Sullivan from the Beacon Initiative, will determine the overall winners from each Enterprise Programme.
“Creating entrepreneurs of the future and giving students the skills and confidence to start their own business is fundamental to the Schools Enterprise Programme. We are looking for teams that looked at the project creatively and developed an innovative idea with a realistic strategy to back it up.”, said Adrienne Rodgers, Head of Enterprise, Local Enterprise Office, Cork City.
The Regional Final will take place in the Student Centre in UCC at 9am. The winning “Student Enterprise of the Year” team from each Enterprise Programme will be announced at the prize giving ceremony held in the Boole basement, at 1pm. Additional prizes for Best Overall Company, Best Innovation, Best Display Stand, Best Business Report, Entrepreneur of the Year, Best Marketing incl. social media, and the GiveOrGet.ie Green Up Your Business Award will be announced on the day. Each winning team will receive a plaque and certificate.
One student will earn the title of ‘Most Promising Entrepreneur’ on the day, winning the prize of a €100 One4All voucher.