A group of thirty-two secondary school students recently took part in the BT Young Scientist Business Bootcamp, which was aimed at fostering entrepreneurial skills in the young people of Ireland, and was held at Nova UCD. The students, who all participated in the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition earlier this year, were selected from over 1,200 participants for their ability to recognise the commercial viability of ideas.
The programme, which was established in 2010, aims to provide students with the means to further develop their enterprising skillset. The four-day workshop featured talks from prominent leaders from the realms of business, academia, and sport.
One speaker at the event, Dame Ellen MacArthur, commented on the significance of the programme, “In a rapidly changing world, the most important skills available to us are our creativity and imagination. Initiatives like the BT Young Scientist Business Bootcamp can help unlock that potential. Working together we can encourage young people like these to re-think, re-design, and build a positive future.”
The students were given projects to develop strategies for creating real-life business start-ups. Workshops on business planning, communication skills, and design planning were provided, as well as coaching by a BT Business Mentor in presentation skills.
The group judged to have developed the most throughout the programmed had designed a project called, ‘Smart Pipe: An automated water circulation anti-freezing system’. Members of the team included Matt Murtagh White (17) from Kilkenny College, Kilkenny; Emer Creedon (16) from Regina Mundi College, Cork; Adam Torrens (19) from South Eastern Regional College, Bangor; Deirdre Harford (17) from Loreto Secondary School, Balbriggan, Dublin; and Megan Doyle (16) from Skerries Community College, Dublin. Daniel Hobbs (17) from Maynooth Post Primary, Co. Kildare was named the best individual student. Members of the group were awarded summer placements at NUI Galway, University of Limerick, UCD or University of Ulster.
BT’s Managing Director, Shay Walsh, congratulated the winners, stating that “The programme is a great example of how a platform like this can imbed an ethos of entrepreneurship and innovation in talented second-level students who are inspired by science and engineering.”
UCD Vice-President for Innovation, Prof. Peter Clinch, also expressed his hope that the students “might find ingenious ways to combine inputs to create new and better products and services and, perhaps one day, their own companies.”