FIRST VIRTUAL FINAL FOR DUBLIN CITY’S STUDENT ENTREPRENEURS

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Basketball product ‘Aim It’ wins virtual student award

Dublin City’s most innovative and entrepreneurial students eagerly logged online on Wednesday 27th May to take part in the National Final of the Student Enterprise Programmed. For the first time since 2003, the National Finals took place online by electronic submission and virtual judging. Originally scheduled to take place in Croke Park on the 1st May, the Local Enterprise Office run awards, were announced via live stream on the Student Enterprise Programmes Facebook and YouTube channels. Students and teachers from across the country eagerly watched the online event hosted by RTE’s Rick O’Shea.

3 student enterprises represented Local Enterprise Office Dublin City, in the National awards. The top spot in the National Final Intermediate category went to the team from Loreto College, St. Stephen’s Green in Dublin City with their product ‘Aim It’. Designed to improve hand-eye coordination, maths and attention. This simple, yet effective, basketball trainer helps players hone their point scoring skills. The product is portable, easy to use and eco-friendly and the team impressed the judges with their innovation, the depth of their research, and their tenacity to capture not only the student market but those of creches and basketball clubs too.

A record number of 85 student enterprises competed in Ireland’s largest entrepreneurship programme for second level students. The initiative is funded by the Government of Ireland through Enterprise Ireland and delivered by the 31 Local Enterprise Offices in local authorities throughout the country. Close to 26,000 students from almost 500 secondary schools across the country take part. Over 200,000 students have taken part in the Student Enterprise Programme since 2003.

The National Final students compete across three categories, Junior, Intermediate and Senior. Each student enterprise is challenged with creating, setting up and running their own business, which must show sales of their service or product. The judging panel includes business owners and representatives from enterprise agencies and associated bodies.

This year’s Programme also saw two new pilot competitions across the Junior, Intermediate and Senior categories. The first, the “My Entrepreneurial Journey” pilot was run in the Junior and Intermediate cycle and open to any students involved in wider competition. It required them to map out the life of a successful entrepreneur and how that could be achieved.

In the Senior category there was a new “Go Green: Be Sustainable Creative Business Competition”. In this new pilot competition students could push their most innovative business ideas via a video pitch, without having to produce a product or service and was open to all senior students taking part in the wider competition.

Greg Swift Head of Enterprise & Economic Development in Local Enterprise Offices Dublin City said; “As a programme we are lucky in that much of the work that students were doing in relation to their Student Enterprises was done well before this pandemic broke out. So, there is no reduction in the quality of entries, if anything we have bigger final this year and some outstanding entries. Looking through the Finalists you can see that students are more conscientious than ever when it comes to solving problems they see in everyday life, affecting the environment and the people around them. It’s encouraging to see the focus that the next generation are putting on making the world a better place and irrespective of who wins, we will see some great student businesses coming from this.”

Full details of all this year’s 85 national finalists are available on the Student Enterprise Programme website at www.StudentEnterprise.ie

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