DIT proves its booming with entrepreneurial spirit as the 2010 Bolton Trust Student Enterprise Competition Winners announced

24th March 2010

The winners of the 2010 Bolton Trust Student Enterprise Competition Final are DIT 3rd year Product Design students Michael Torrans, Louise Scully, John McGowan and Peter Sutton who scooped the top prize of €4000.  The team were declared winners last night after they delivered a confident presentation of their Spell Pen concept, a pen that integrates a microphone, processor and monitor to display the spoken word on the page making it easier to read and write with obvious application with people who have learning difficulties such as dyslexia.

The Bolton Trust Student Enterprise Competition is in its 17th year and is the largest third level competition of its kind in the country with a total prize valued at €15,000 including 6 months free office support in the Bolton Trust Incubator in the Docklands. This year over 85 teams applied with business plans submitted from across many different programmes including Retail & Service Management, Business & Management, Product Design and International Business and Languages.  

Dr. Pat McCormack the competition’s lead organiser and Director of the Bolton Trust explained that ‘the aim of the competition is to foster a spirit of entrepreneurship and this year was one of our best yet. The level of innovation and credibility of the plans was excellent and these aspiring entrepreneurs have the confidence and the capability to get out there and succeed.’

This year’s judging panel consisted of Dr. Tom Grennan, Director at the Bolton Trust, Tom Flanagan, Head of Commercialisation DIT and Jean Cahill, Head of Enterprise and Research Development Services. The MC on the evening was Edmund O’Callaghan, Lecturer in Retailing and Enterprise Development.

Second prize went to a group of 3rd year students from DIT’s Business and Management degree - Alan Rooney, David Sright, and Keith McGovern.  The team was presented with a cheque for €2000 for their online gaming betting concept ‘Playbet’. 

Third prize was awarded jointly to business plans Evergreen Ireland and Bertha’s Snack GmbH who received €1000 each. Evergreen Ireland’s team of Marta Klimisina, Joanna Gawlik and Charlotte Drew demonstrated their passion of the outdoors with their business plan offering low-cost hiking, walking and caving tours around Ireland. The team behind Bertha’s Snack GmbH, Lisa Muhl, Sigita Jatuliaviciute and Stefano Gandolfo hope to introduce organic German sausages and snacks stalls into Ireland. 

The winner of the Overall Postgraduate Award went to DIT PhD students Howard Kingston and Ben Marchant who received €1000 for their business plan for ‘Irish Ancestral Holidays’, Ireland's only holiday provider specialising solely in ancestry vacations

Spell Pen also took the most innovative award, a memorial presentation in honour of the late Michael Griffin, a DIT lecturer who was a tireless supporter of this competition since the start.

Speaking at the awards ceremony, Tom Flanagan of DIT’s Hothouse Innovation and Technology Transfer Office, the competitions main sponsor said ‘As demonstrated tonight Dublin Institute of Technology is booming with the next generation of aspiring entrepreneurs.  The entrepreneurial ‘presence’ and vision demonstrated by our finalists is so badly needed in Ireland today and it is essentially what is going to help drive our country out of recession.”

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Winners of the 2010 Bolton Trust Student Enterprise Competition
Spell Pen with DIT
lecturer Colm O’ Kane School of Manufacturing
& Design Engineering and Jennifer McDonnell lecturer School of Marketing

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Winner of the 2010 Bolton Trust Student Enterprise Competition
Spell Pen with representatives from DIT and the Bolton Trust

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Second place Playbet with Jean Cahill
Head of Enterprise and Research Development Services, DIT

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Dr. Tom Grennan Director at the Bolton Trust
presents the Postgraduate award to Irish Ancestral Holidays

For more information visit www.boltontrust.com and  www.hothouse.ie

See the Bolton Trust finals 2010 on Youtube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kIAae0pXSO0

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