Celebrating Student Entrepreneurship

10th September 2019

Posted In: FYI

30 young student entrepreneurs were congratulated recently on successfully completing the Student Inc. Programme at Cork Institute of Technology, University College Cork and Tralee Institute of Technology. The Student Inc. Programme is run from June to August and set up to encourage student entrepreneurs to develop and grow their enterprising ideas into fully- fledged businesses.

Speaking at a showcase event at Páirc Uí Chaoimh, Carole O’Leary, Programme Manager said, “Student Inc. is Ireland’s first student accelerator programme and has been delivered in CIT since 2011. This is the first year that the programme is branching out across the region. The expansion is being funded by the Higher Education Authority, under the Innovation and Transformation Fund. It is a very successful collaboration of effort among disciplines promoting innovation and enterprise to students.  The impact the programme has on students is very positive with 6.6% of our 2017 graduates indicating that they are self-employed”.

Carole O’Leary added, “We know that by being your own boss you can make your own rules and be involved in every step of the process of developing a new business. Due to this growing interest, student entrepreneurship has become very popular and Student Inc, is there, helping to make student dreams come true to develop and grow their business ideas into fully fledged businesses”.

Over the 3 months, each entrepreneur receives €4,000 to fund their business (equipment, expenses and a wage to offset a summer job) and also obtain a fully serviced office space on their campus. Students receive taught content from industry experts and regular pitching sessions, training modules cover team building, market research, design thinking, customer discovery, business planning, legal challenges facing start-ups, sources of funding, getting the most from your mentor, introduction to intellectual property, branding, presentation skills, creating videos and website development alongside desk work at their respective incubation facilities at the Rubicon Centre, UCC Launchpad in Cork as well as the Tom Crean Centre in Tralee.

Students are provided with on-going mentoring and regular review meetings to check on progress of their business idea with each student completing an investor ready business plan.

20% of the current Student Inc. programme participants are in 1st year across all 3 campuses and are studying a wide range of courses from 1st year Biomedical Engineering to Recreation and Leisure Studies, 2nd year International Business with Spanish and Software development, 3rd year Criminology and Craft Technology with Business, 4th year Accounting and Mechanical Engineering, 4th year School of Music and PhD in Architecture. There are a huge range of business ideas including a new type of Zimmer frame, a new tattoo machine, a single-handed gun for marking sheep, a new digital music playlist, a range of festival fashion clothes and sailing mast innovation.

Pictured (L-R): Charlotte Bunworth, IT Tralee; Lucy Cummins, CIT and Maria Nagle, UCC at the 2019 Student Inc. Programme Showcase,