Health, EVs and AI win at Enterprise Ireland Student Entrepreneur awards

9 Jun 2023

Image: © alekseiveprev/

As well as sci-tech business ideas, biomed engineering lecturer John Mulvihill was honoured as a third-level project supervisor with the Enterprise Ireland Academic Award.

Several budding sci-tech founders who took part in this year’s Enterprise Ireland Student Entrepreneur awards have been awarded funding to develop their ideas further.

The winners of the 42nd edition of the competition were announced today (9 June). As well as the overall winner, three sci-tech teams won high-achieving merit awards and €5,000 in prize funding each.

Ablatepure, a team from University of Limerick, won funding for a medical device it developed to improve cosmetic outcomes in breast cancer patients. Their award was sponsored by Cruickshank.

MicroDoc from Trinity College Dublin impressed with their product which automates medical paperwork for doctors and admin staff. The tool uses AI dictation and automation to save medics time and money as they keep on top of documentation. MicroDoc’s award was sponsored by Grant Thornton.

The third award winner was sponsored by the Local Enterprise Office. It went to GoPlugable, a team from Dundalk Institute of Technology and Queen’s University, Belfast. GoPlugable is working to connect home EV chargers to a sharable platform for EV owners to share their charging points with other users.

The winner of the overall prize of €10,000 was not a sci-tech company, but a fast-growing sustainable sportswear company founded by Cork student Emma Coffey.

All of the winning teams this year will be able to avail of 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.

Commenting on the winners, Richard Murphy, Enterprise Ireland, said that “fostering the next generation of Irish entrepreneurs is a priority” for Enterprise Ireland and the Local Enterprise Offices.

“We’ve seen a remarkable slate of shortlisted projects from very ambitious and innovative teams, supported by their academic institutions. These awards are an important milestone in these young entrepreneurs’ business journey providing them with a platform and resources to explore the potential of their ideas and the opportunity to turn these into thriving businesses.”

It was not just entrepreneurs that were honoured at the ceremony, however. University of Limerick lecturer in Biomedical Engineering, John Mulvihill, was recognised for his contribution as a third-level project supervisor with the Enterprise Ireland Academic Award.

The overall winner of last year’s Enterprise Ireland Student Entrepreneur Awards was FenuHealth, a company that makes gut-friendly food for ponies and horses.

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Blathnaid O’Dea was a Careers reporter at Silicon Republic until 2024.