13 March 2015
By Bryan T. Smyth
The CIT Entrepreneur of Year will be announced, and €10,000 will be awarded in prizes, at an Award Ceremony at Cork Institute of Technology today, one of the final events during CIT’s Innovation Week. This year marks thirteen years of the highly successful Local Enterprise Offices Cork, CIT Prize for Innovation Competition.
Paul Healy, Chair of the Adjudication Panel said: “We are very excited about the tremendous growth of entrepreneurial activities by the students and staff of CIT. The quality of projects entered in this year’s Prize for Innovation is indicative of this and emphasises CIT’s drive to position itself as the leading 3rd level entrepreneurial college in the country”.
The shortlisted teams have been announced and will present to the adjudication panel. Shortlisted team represent areas such as Tourism and Hospitality Studies, Computing, Biomedical and Mechanical Engineering, Process, Energy and Transport Engineering and Business Studies.
One of those shortlisted is “The Roll Out Vegetable Company.” The Sole Trader and Founder, Cara Tremayne from Dunmanway, is a fourth year Horticulture student at CIT. The idea behind the business is to create a coco coir woven matting which is impregnated with vegetable seeds. The matting works just as a roll out lawn but it is more productive. Cara has worked in a busy garden centre for over ten years and also maintained a manor house vegetable garden for over four years – “My previous work experience and education has allowed me to build contacts within the industry and will stand in my favour in the CIT Prize for Innovation.”
CIT encourages multi-disciplinary teams to enter the Prize for Innovation. Students from Mechanical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering have worked together and developed the company Quick Injection Solutions which aims to enhance the safety, efficiency, and comfort of administering injections to animals. Darren Kingston from Kinsale, who is one of the six team members, approached the team with the idea.
Another shortlisted business is CompuAid which is a personal computer building aid hardware product aimed at the PC home enthusiast/innovator and small computer building businesses, both of which are large and rapidly growing worldwide markets. The product inspiration arose from the experience of two members of the CompuAid multidiscipline development team who are personal computer building enthusiasts and also have experience of industrial manufacture.
The CompuAid development team bring a diverse range of technical and business skills to the CompuAid innovation ethos. Project Manager, Karen McDonnell: “What makes our team so strong is the diversity of the team members’ backgrounds and interests. This gives us five unique perspectives, and five unique solutions, to every problem we encounter. Five heads are definitely better than one.”
The CIT Entrepreneur of the Year will be announced at an Awards Ceremony, with a keynote address from Andrew Murphy, CIT Graduate and CEO of Slainte Healthcare, on later today.