Students Put Through Their Paces at Business Bootcamp!

Students Put Through Their Paces at Business Bootcamp!

Teenage inventors behind financial education apps, sports baselayer protection clothing, and kitchen safety products were put through their paces at the annual Winners’ Bootcamp at University College Cork, as part of Student Enterprise Programme earlier this Summer.



Nineteen budding inventors and young entrepreneurs from around the country were lucky enough to win a place at a week-long Winners’ Bootcamp, as part of the Student Enterprise Programme.

Brain-child of the Local Enterprise Offices, the bootcamp is organised by the College of Business and Law at University College Cork in association with the IGNITE Graduate Business Innovation Programme.

Throughout the specially-designed programme, the young students expanded their understanding of the business world, gaining new perspectives and accessing expertise from more established entrepreneurs. They also learned more about teamwork, communication skills, market research and business pitching and every student will have their own business mentor for the week.

The Student Enterprise Programme is the biggest enterprise programme in the country, involving 22,000 students from 620 secondary schools.  This year’s winners include the inventors behind ‘ROC Protection’ – the three students involved were presented with the top prize in the Senior Category at this year’s National Final by the Minister for Employment & Small Business, Mr. Pat Breen, T.D. T.D. The three students have developed a range of sporting ‘base layer’ protection clothing, specifically designed for hurling players.

Other inventors joining this year’s winners at the Winners’ Bootcamp included students from ‘J & S Kitchen Aid’ from Longford, who have designed a knife top hand protector making the use of knives in the kitchen safer and easier for those with infirmities. The promotion of positive mental health for students via a board game was the product of ‘Slainte na nOg’ from Cork City, while a Dundalk F.C.-themed game was the brainchild of ‘Dunopoly’ from Co. Louth. The focus of ‘Pablo Science & Engineering’ from Limerick is on the development of a financial education app which allows users access to a simulated stock market.

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 Programme, which has become the biggest enterprise programme of its kind in the country.”

Project Manager with the College of Business and Law at U.C.C., Anne Wallace said: “The College of Business and Law in association with IGNITE Graduate Business Innovation Programme and the Blackstone Launchpad are delighted to host the Business Bootcamp at University College Cork 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.”

A former Winners’ Bootcamp participant from the company ‘Squeazy’ – an educational toy company in Leitrim, has just signed a licencing agreement with a UK-based toy company. Speaking about the Winners’ Bootcamp, the student 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 teenagers will also have a chance to network with older entrepreneurs at a dinner in their honour on Wednesday, hosted by the Local Enterprise Offices in Cork.

The Student Enterprise Programme for 2017/2018 gets underway in September with free video resources and school materials available through