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2016 Press Releases

Ireland's next big entrepreneurs start Business Bootcamp

31 May 2016
The students will expand their understanding of the business world, gaining new perspectives and accessing expertise from more established entrepreneurs.

Young inventors and entrepreneurs from across Ireland have started a week-long Winners’ Bootcamp at UCC, as part of the Student Enterprise Awards programme.

The brainchild of the Local Enterprise Offices, the bootcamp is organised by the College of Business and Law at UCC in association with the IGNITE Graduate Business Innovation Programme.

During the programme the 19 students will expand their understanding of the business world, gaining new perspectives and accessing expertise from more established entrepreneurs. In addition, the students will learn more about teamwork, communication skills, market research and business pitching, with each student assigned their own business mentor for the week.

The Student Enterprise Awards is the biggest enterprise programme in the country, involving 22,000 students from 620 secondary schools.  This year’s winners include Luke Byrne, 16, from Wicklow; the inventor behind Headphone Helpers. Luke’s patented invention is a silicone band that helps keep earphones tangle-free.

Other winning creations include a patent-pending invention for applying marking fluid to sheep, weight stabilisers for portable goal posts, a new type of hybrid apron and kitchen towel, virtual reality headsets and discount coupons for shoppers.

Anne Wallace, Project Manager with the College of Business and Law, UCC said: “The College of Business and Law in association with IGNITE Graduate Business Innovation Programme and Blackstone Launchpad are delighted to host the Business Bootcamp at UCC again this year. Much of the learning will be through group activity and interactive sessions with young entrepreneurs, in addition to a number of evening social events, providing the students with an unforgettable entrepreneurial experience.”

Stephen Walshe from the Enterprise Education Committee with the Local Enterprise Offices said: “As the ‘first stop shop’ for anyone starting a business, the Local Enterprise Offices want to encourage and support the next generation of entrepreneurs. The Winners’ Bootcamp is an important feature of the overall Student Enterprise Awards programme, which has become the biggest enterprise programme of its kind in the country.”

Former Winners’ Bootcamp participant Matthew Hewston of the ‘Squeazy’ educational toy company in Leitrim, has just signed a licensing agreement with a UK-based toy company. Speaking about the Winners’ Bootcamp, he said: “We were inspired by being among such a high calibre of students, each with a great idea and lots of drive and passion to make it work. Being in that sort of environment really pushes you to further build your own business.”

The Student Enterprise Awards Programme for 2016/2017 will get underway in September with free video resources and school materials available through

University College Cork

Coláiste na hOllscoile Corcaigh

College Road, Cork T12 K8AF