‘Think outside the box’ awards target enterprising third-level students

31 Jan 2013

Enterprise Ireland has launched this year’s ‘Think outside the box’ awards programme that aims to help third-level students from around the island of Ireland progress their entrepreneurial ideas into commercially viable businesses.

There will be an overall €30,000 cash prize fund, which includes a €10,000 first prize, as well as a €30,000 consultancy fund.

The awards, which are co-sponsored by Invest Northern Ireland, Cruickshank Intellectual Property Attorneys, Grant Thornton and Intel, are open to all full-time third-level students on the island of Ireland.

Last year’s winning team hailed from NUI Galway. Students Justin Conboy, Dearbhaile Forde and Garrett Archbold won for their drag reduction device invention. The aim of the device is to reduce the drag between a truck and its container load in order to lower fuel consumption.

Their project DRS.ie has gone on to win €50,000 funding from Enterprise Ireland’s Competitive Start Fund.

“Winning the competition last year has provided us with great opportunities to develop our invention further. It has also allowed us to build new contacts, gain more financial support and start our own company,” said Conboy.

He said the awards also helped put the project on the international radar.

Enterprise Ireland will be presenting the details of the awards to students at all colleges and institutions between now and the closing date for the competition, which is 24 April.

The overall winner will be announced in June.

Female entrepreneur image via Shutterstock

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic