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Calling all enterprising Donegal students – Now Open The Student Entrepreneur Awards 2015

DK12062014 Stud Ent WinnerKitchen Oven Shot & Doug Howlett Munster Rugby

Invest Northern Ireland and Enterprise Ireland launch entrepreneurship awards for third level students from Donegal which has a prize fund of €30,000 cash and €30,000 consultancy for enterprising students

Today (Monday 6 October 2014) launches the Invest Northern Ireland and Enterprise Ireland Student Entrepreneur Awards for third level students. 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 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 Invest Northern Ireland, Enterprise 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.

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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 winner from University of Ulster is a great example of the commercial potential for student entrepreneurs. Alexandra Milne with her company Little Deli, beat off stiff competition in June 2014. The Little Deli is a solution that lets customers easily and efficiently pre-order and pre-pay for their lunch from local delis and cafes, at their own convenience. By ordering through the App, customers can skip the queue and save their valuable time letting them order from anywhere at any time. By using the app, it enables delis to prepare orders earlier, making their rush hour more efficient, productive and profitable. With Little Deli, both delis and customers win.

Niall Casey, Invest Northern Ireland’s Director of Skills & Strategy commented:”Students are great at generating new business ideas and have real entrepreneurial talent. The Student Entrepreneur Awards aims to stimulate this innovative spirit and enthusiasm among students and encourage them to use the competition as a vehicle to develop their own business ideas. I encourage students across our universities and colleges to avail of the specialist advice and assistance on offer and enter this competition.”

Tom Hayes, Enterprise Ireland’s Head of Entrepreneurship, 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 that will help them explore their ideas and own appetite for going into business for themselves.”

Following on from last years 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 Invest Northern Ireland and Enterprise Ireland 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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