Student entrepreneurs from Co Leitrim, with their company Squeazy have been awarded first prize at the 11th Annual Student Enterprise Awards National Finals in Croke Park.
Matthew Hewston, Fergus Munday and Luke Sheridan of Squeazy from St Clare’s Comprehensive School, Manorhamilton, Co Leitrim won the Senior Category of the County and the City Enterprise Boards student enterprise programme.
In the Intermediate Category, which features Second and Third year students, Shauna Bannon Ward and Samantha Brennan of The Boom Book from Oaklands Community College, Edenderry, Co Offaly took top prize.
For First Year Students, the Junior Category overall prize went to Andrew Butler from Chook Books of CBS High School, Clonmel, Co Tipperary.
300 young entrepreneurs from 83 enterprises exhibited their businesses at Croke Park as part of the Student Enterprise Awards programme. The largest competition of its kind in the country, its focus is the fostering of an entrepreneurial culture in the class room.
Judging of the awards centres on key business areas such as innovation, market research, sales, production, marketing, finances and enterprise planning. The Senior Category Award winner receives an educational trip to Rome as part of the prize.
This year the County and City Enterprise Boards with the support of Ulster Bank has announced it will also invite the top fifteen students at senior level to attend a four-day National Student Enterprise Business Bootcamp at the state of the art Nexus Innovation Centre at University of Limerick. Taking place in June, the bootcamp will focus on business development with a series of workshops to help students develop their business ideas further.
Vincent Reynolds, Chairperson, Network of County & City Enterprise Boards, presented prizes to the twenty winning enterprises at the award ceremony this afternoon, saying: “The Student Enterprise Awards programme is committed to laying the groundwork for entrepreneurship and exposing students to business concepts at an early age. Through the awards and new initiatives like the National Student Enterprise Business Bootcamp, our aim is to equip them with the right tools, enabling them to seize the right opportunity when it comes along.”
Loman O’Byrne, Chair of the Enterprise Education Committee with the County and City Enterprise Boards congratulated the winning students, saying “This year’s participants of the Student Enterprise Awards programme once again highlight the ability of students across the country. Belying their years, teenagers from every county in the country have demonstrated a high level of innovation and business acumen; traits that will be invaluable to them and ultimately vital to the Irish economy in the years to come.”
In 2012, Ciara Whooley of St. David’s Secondary School, Wicklow was the Senior Category winner. Her company, Irish Baubles, designs and sells landmark-themed baubles and since winning has expanded her business; currently selling to customers in Australia, the US and Africa. The 2013/2014 programme starts in September, with full details available at www.studententerprise.ie
Full list of winners in the 2013 Student Enterprise Awards Finals:
First place: Chook Books (stand number 11) CBS High School, Clonmel
Second place: Comfort Crutches (stand number 16) Skerries Community College, Fingal, Co Dublin
Third place: Tweettech (stand number 13) Sligo Grammar School, Sligo
Innovation Award: Casey Games (stand number 9) De La Salle College, Waterford City
IP Award: Get the Kit Coláiste Pobail Osraí, Kilkenny
Best Display: Icing Style, Ballybay, Monaghan.
First Place: The Boom Book (stand number 38) Oaklands Community College, Edenderry, Offaly
Second place : Eco Style (stand number 43) Our Lady Of College, Dublin City
Third place: Lil’ Shopper (Stand Number 36) Loreto College, Cavan
Innovation: 241 Sports (Stand number 27) Colaiste Iascaigh, Sligo
Display: @Games (stand number 45) Colasite Eamonn Ris, Wexford
IP Award: Lyetech (stand number 46) Coláiste Choilm, Swords, Co. Dublin
SENIOR CATEGORY First Place: Squeazy (stand number 64) St. Clare’s Comprehensive School, Manorhamilton, Co. Leitrim
Second Place: Sweet Tooth (stand number 62) Presentation Secondary School, Co. Wexford
Third Place: Social Gamers (stand number 75) CBS Tralee, Co. Kerry
Innovation: Easy Farming (stand number 57) Patrician High School, Carrickmacross, Co. Monaghan
Display:Bright Sparks Science Pack (stand number 81) St. Columba’s, Stranorlar, Co. Donegal
Merit Award: Ballymoon Sheep Solutions (stand number 68) Kilkenny College.
Merit Award: F21-D (stand number 74) Desmond College, Newcastlewest, Co Limerick
Merit: Music By Numbers (stand number 55) Castleknock Community College, Dublin
IP Award: Shoe Savers Ltd. (stand number 79) Jesus and Mary Secondary School, Gortnor Abbey, Co Mayo