A team from Trinity and Queen’s took the top prize at the annual competition for third-level students organised by Enterprise Ireland.
Students who developed a handheld haptic device to help people feel the energy of sports matches have received the top prize at this year’s Student Entrepreneur Awards.
Field of Vision was created by Trinity College Dublin students Tim Farrelly and David Deneher, along with Omar Salem from Queen’s University Belfast.
The device aims to enable people with blindness or visual impairment to better experience sports games. It uses artificial intelligence to analyse live video feeds of games, translating what’s happening on screen to tablet devices through haptic feedback.
Field of Vision was one of 10 finalists in the competition, which is organised annually by Enterprise Ireland. The student team has won a €10,000 prize and will receive mentoring from Enterprise Ireland to develop the commercial viability of the device.
But there were several other winners at the awards ceremony, which took place virtually today (11 June).
Marion Cantillon of University College Cork won a €5,000 high-achieving merit award for her biofilm that eliminates the need for farmers to use plastic or tyres to seal pits and reduces methane emissions.
Dublin City University’s Peter Timlin and University of Limerick’s Richard Grimes also won a high-achieving merit award for their socially responsible clothing brand, Pure Clothing.
Diglot, a language learning book company founded by Trinity College Dublin students Cian Mcnally and Evan Mcgloughlin, took home a €5,000 prize. This company, which has achieved sales in 19 countries to date, weaves foreign words into English sentences in classic novels, allowing the reader to absorb new vocabulary gradually.
Ivan McPhillips, a lecturer in entrepreneurship, innovation and rural development at GMIT, won the Enterprise Ireland Academic Award.
Along with the prize money, the winners will also share a €30,000 consultancy fund to help them to turn their ideas into a commercial reality. Merit awards were given to the remaining six finalists, along with €1,500 per team.
‘Springboard for tomorrow’s business leaders’
This is the 40th year of Enterprise Ireland’s Student Entrepreneur Awards, a competition that is open to students from all third-level institutions across the country.
The winner of last year’s competition was Mark O’Sullivan of University College Cork, who developed a device to help detect brain injuries in newborns.
Leo Clancy, CEO of Enterprise Ireland, said the competition provides a platform for students to showcase their business ideas and acts as a “springboard for tomorrow’s business leaders”.
“Previous winners and finalists have gone on to achieve success both nationally and internationally,” he added.
“We’ve had over 250 entries for this year’s awards, with applicants demonstrating ingenuity in their approach to solving real-world problems across a range of sectors.”
Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar, TD, congratulated the winners. “I’m really impressed by the calibre and ingenuity of the ideas put forward, especially given the significant challenges that came with this unprecedented year,” he said.