FinalBend Wins Student Entrepreneur Awards 2023

12th June 2023

Posted In: Newsflash

The Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Simon Coveney, TD, announced FinalBend as the winner of Enterprise Ireland’s Student Entrepreneur of the Year Award at a ceremony held in University College, Cork.

FinalBend is an innovative, sustainable affordable sportswear company, based in Cork. FinalBend was founded by University College, Cork student and Quercus Scholar, Emma Coffey.

As a competitive pole vault athlete, Emma founded FinalBend to meet a need – for affordable, sustainable, attractive athletic clothing.  Selling online at orders are designed, packed and dispatched from the company’s warehouse in Blackpool, Cork.

Since its inception, FinalBend has grown through leveraging an authentic marketing style garnering over 75k followers and a 50k strong customer base.

FinalBend was one of ten finalists at the awards and the team received €10,000 as part of the Enterprise Ireland student prize. FinalBend will also receive mentoring from Enterprise Ireland to develop their products and explore new market opportunities

This is the 42nd year of Enterprise Ireland’s Student Entrepreneur Awards, which are co-sponsored by Cruickshank, Grant Thornton and the Local Enterprise Offices. The awards are open to all third-level institutions across the country.

Other awards presented to student entrepreneurs at the ceremony included:

The Cruickshank High Achieving Merit Award and €5,000 went to Ablatepure (University of Limerick) which has developed a medical device which can be used as part of a new breast cancer treatment method, enabling greater cosmetic outcomes for patients while maintaining industry standard tumour regression rates.

The Grant Thornton High Achieving Merit Award and €5,000 went to MicroDoc (Trinity College, Dublin) which automates medical paperwork for doctors and their administrative staff.  The innovation saves them time and money with intelligent document review, AI dictation and automated document sending.

The Local Enterprise Office High Achieving Merit Award and €5,000 went to GoPlugable (Dundalk Institute of Technology and Queen’s University, Belfast) which is creating a marketplace for private Electric Vehicle (EV) chargers by connecting home EV chargers in a common platform where EV users can share access to their home chargers to other EV users.

The Enterprise Ireland Academic Award, recognising the contribution of third-level project supervisor, was awarded to University of Limerick lecturer in Biomedical Engineering, John Mulvihill.

Speaking at the awards ceremony last week at University College, Cork, Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Simon Coveney, TD, said:

“The innovation and scope of projects in this year’s Student Entrepreneur Awards is remarkable.  We’ve seen 10 shortlisted projects bringing new thinking and innovation to areas such as sustainability, healthcare, infant gifts, sportswear and SME marketing.

The quality of entries is a credit to the student entrepreneurs, their academic supervisors and their institutions.  Today’s awards celebrate the thriving entrepreneurial spirit in the third-level sector in Ireland and I want to acknowledge the role that the sponsors play in showcasing this ambition and talent of our young entrepreneurs and I look forward to following the success of this year’s entrepreneurs in the coming months and years.”

Along with the prize money, the winners will also benefit from comprehensive business advice and mentoring from Enterprise Ireland and the Local Enterprise Office, Intellectual Property consultancy and protection from Cruickshank and business plan development from Grant Thornton.

Pictured: Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Simon Coveney, TD with Emma Coffey of FinalBend, winner of the Enterprise Ireland Student Entrepreneur Award 2023.