Think Outside the Box €30,000 prize fund for students

21 Nov 2011

George Kiely, senior Regional Development executive, Enterprise Ireland, and students from DCU at the National launch of the Enterprise Ireland Think Outside the Box Awards, third-level student enterprise competition

Enterprise Ireland (EI) is on a major drive to spur entrepreneurial students to get moving on creating innovative business proposals. It has just launched its 30th student enterprise competition that’s open to all full-time, third-level students on the island of Ireland.

EI has created a €30,000 prize fund and €30,000 consultancy a part of its ‘Think Outside the Box Awards’ competition.

The agency said this competition is a great opportunity for ambitious and enterprising students to build a real-world business venture and at the same time be in with a chance to win a prize from the overall €30,000 cash prize fund, and €30,000 consultancy fund, which includes a €10,000 first prize.

Invest Northern Ireland (Invest NI), Cruickshank Intellectual Property Attorneys, Mammoth Advertising and now Grant Thornton are co-sponsoring the The ‘Think Outside the Box’ competition itself.

It is open to all full-time, third-level students in the island of Ireland. It has been launched in colleges and institutions across the country, including IT Sligo, DKIT, DCU, Waterford IT, CIT, UL, NUI Galway and Athlone IT.

Launching the competition this morning, Tom Hayes, EI’s head of Entrepreneurship, said the priority is to get students thinking now about how starting their own business is a viable career option once they graduate. 

Social media platforms

Features of the competition include a website, Facebook page and podcasts, so students who enter can reach out to students in the world that they know best. 

Via such social media platforms, students will be able to come together and pool their ideas and energies. The Facebook page features a team up icon, so they can link with other students from their college interested in entering the competition. They can use Facebook to talk to other students who have participated in previous student enterprise programmes and get their advice, said Hayes.

“Building on last year, the campaign launching the competition features a host of approaches to reach the students and make sure they get every encouragement and support to develop viable business plans. We encourage them to team up with their colleagues and friends from other faculties to think outside the box, innovate and collaborate on coming up with business proposals that will help them explore their ideas and own appetite for going into business for themselves,” said Hayes.

Regional executives from EI will be presenting the details of the competition to all colleges and institutions between now and the closing date for the competition, Wednesday, 25 April 2012. 

The closing ceremony will be hosted in DCU on 13-14 June 2012, as last year’s winning team are students from DCU. 

For more information, visit the website.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic