Student Entrepreneur Competition Final
NUI Maynooth Student Entrepreneur Competition 2012
The fifth NUI Maynooth Student Entrepreneur Competition final took place on April 18th. Four finalists battled it out for the first prize of €6k with a total prize fund worth €12K.
The finalists were:
· Niamh Hamrock - Jigit
· Ollwyn Moran - Creeper Crawlers
· Sarah Gillespie - DramaFit
· Amy Keith and Paul Doran - Pepper
Sponsors for the fifth consecutive year were Bank of Ireland Maynooth, McCann Fitzgerald Solicitors and FRKelly Patent Attorneys.
From left, Conor Boyce FRKelly; Sarah Gillespie DramaFit; Teresa Gorman Bank of Ireland; Niamh Hamrock Jigit Puzzles; Owen Laverty Commercialisation; Paul Lavery McCann’s; Ollwyn Moran Creeper Crawlers; Conor Mallaghan Carton; Amy Keith & Paul Doran Pepper.
The winner of this years’ Competition was Ollwyn Moran with her company Creeper Crawlers. Ollwyn will be launching the ‘Grip-n-Go’ suit for 6-18 month old babies later this year. The Grip-n-Go suit idea came from Ollwyns observations of the difficulties children have with crawling on modern surfaces such as wooden floors and tiles. Understanding the importance of the crawling stages for childrens’ neurological development helped nurture the idea for Grip-n-Grow. Ollwyn impressed the judges by taking the Grip-n-Go from a concept to a branded product during the competition.
Second place went to Niamh Hamrock with her patent pending ‘Jigit’ jigsaw puzzle. Niamh’s product will allow the user to print personalised photographs to create a customised jigsaw puzzle in a matter of minutes. Niamh is planning to take her product to the marketplace later this year.
Third prize went to Sarah Gillespie of DramaFit. Sarah developed a new programme for children to engage in exercise through drama. She plans to franchise the programme across Ireland as she believes it offers a unique experience for children and indeed the reviews from her pilot class certainly indicate this curriculum will be successful.
Fourth prize went to Pepper, a restaurant idea primarily aimed at the vegetarian/vegan community but with a strong emphasis in including carnivores in the restaurant experience. Pepper provided delicious samples to the judges and showed great flair in branding their product.
From Left The judging panel for the final included Conor Boyce Patent Attorney FRKelly; Paul Lavery Solicitor McCann Fitzgerald; Teresa Gorman Manager BOI Maynooth; Conor Mallaghan MD Carton House
One of the big changes this year was that the prize money must be spent on developing the winners’ businesses. The sponsors and judges were very impressed with the quality of the presentations on the night and increased one of the prizes on offer by €2,000 as they found it difficult to differentiate between competitors. There have been many great business ideas proposed over the last five years which would have had a better chance of success with seed capital. This idea was welcomed by the event sponsors and competitors! In a further move to ensure the maximum support for the competitors we have introduced the finalists to a business network group called Venture Networks. This network includes specialists in retail and distribution who have agreed to mentor the finalists. Hopefully we will see the finalists’ product hit the marketplace soon!
Thank you for your support during the 2012 Student Entrepreneur Competition process. We look forward to the 2013 competition, which will kick off later this year.