Tangle-free headphones design wins top Student Enterprise Award

21 Apr 2016

Wicklow teenager, Luke Byrne. Image via Student Enterprise Awards/Twitter

A Wicklow teenager has been named the winner of this year’s Student Enterprise Awards National Finals at Croke Park for his headphones design, which promises to keep headphones tangle-free.

The Student Enterprise Awards is one of the increasing number of events for Ireland’s youngest entrepreneurs, looking to take their ideas and put them into practice, with this year’s competition boasting a record-breaking number of entries, with 22,000 students involved.

Taking place across 620 schools around the country, those who made it through attended the national finals at Croke Park in Dublin, where they were divided across three age categories: senior, intermediate and junior.

The event, coordinated by the 31 Local Enterprise Offices across the country, was the 14th time the ceremony has been held, with the original 22,000 students whittled down to 201 student entrepreneurs from 69 schools showcasing 76 different student enterprises.

‘Encouraging to see the level of ingenuity and entrepreneurship’

Taking the top prize and plaudits on the day was 16-year-old Wicklow student Luke Byrne, who attends Coláiste Chraobh Abhann in Kilcoole, and was chosen for his headphones, which he calls ‘Headphone Helpers’, which use a silicon band to stop them from becoming tangled.

The Intermediate Category, open to second and third-year students, was won by ‘Inish Wood Working’ from Scoil Mhuire Buncrana from Donegal for their hand-crafted giftware.

The top prize in the Junior Category, for first-year students, went to ‘Amor’ from St Oliver Post Primary School in Oldcastle in Co Meath, for their modified stirrup tread for horseriding.

Speaking of the teenagers’ successes, Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation, Damien English, said: “It is extremely encouraging to see the level of ingenuity and entrepreneurship in action throughout classrooms in Ireland today.”

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic