UL Foundation Entrepreneurship – The Awards provides a marvelous opportunity for UL students to immerse themselves in a real-world entrepreneurial journey
The awards recognise and celebrate student excellence in innovation and entrepreneurship
The University of Limerick Foundation Entrepreneurship and Innovation Awards, now in its second year continues to provide invaluable support in promoting student entrepreneurship.
The Awards provide a marvellous opportunity for UL students to immerse themselves in a real-world entrepreneurial journey and experience first-hand bringing a concept to market and pitching for funding instilling the self-confidence that it is possible to realise their entrepreneurial ambitions.
Furthermore, the students receive mentoring and guidance from faculty in the Kemmy Business School (KBS) and participate in workshops and events such as the Entrepreneurship Summit and the Negotiations Club organized by the UL Consulting and Entrepreneurship Society (ULCES) nurturing skills in opportunity recognition, creativity, critical thinking, negotiation, collaboration, dealing with setbacks, how to pivot and being resourceful.
This initiative provides an important recognition of the growing importance and benefits of supporting graduates to embark on an entrepreneurial career. In particular, the financial prizes sponsored by Platt-Reilly and Ingenium provide invaluable seed funding to progress the projects and creates a network of funders and entrepreneurs to assist in the further development of their projects.
The UL Foundation Entrepreneurship and Innovation Awards culminated in a Pitching Day competition which saw students pitch for awards across two categories of Best Commercial Idea and the Best Social Innovation.
The judging panel consisting of Derek Platt (Platt-Reilly), James Ring (Ingenium), Ben Kiely (ULCES) and Briga Hynes (KBS) heard from very inspiring and motivated student entrepreneurs across all disciplines. The business ideas pitched portrayed the considerable breadth and diversity of industry sectors that represent Ireland’s entrepreneurial landscape across commercial and social enterprises.
The winner of the Best Commercial Idea went to Jack O’Connor for Homehop. This is a revolutionary integrated online platform of advertising, vetting and profiling potential tenants for rental accommodation Cian O’Donnell won second place for Food Mood – An app that uses psychometrics to generate outputs to indicate food type preferences and enables taste syncing with occasions and to accommodate group variations in food preferences. Third place went to Chaitrali Ramesh Rai who has created Meds4U a medical app which is linked to pharmacies and clinics to better streamline the timely processing of prescriptions for patients and additionally it provides support to include reminders, alerts, feedback to queries to increase patient compliance with taking medicines.
In the Best Social Innovation category first prize was awarded to Michael Creavan for Hot and Cold – Neurodiverse Game which is a stimulation and exercise game to promote exercise, healthier living and socialization for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Elma Casey and Aoife Larkin received second prize for Sparked – ‘Sparking the Light for a Brighter Future’ which provides leadership development, personal development and career planning for youth with a focus on disadvantaged groups. Third prize was taken by Áine Duffy and Kilian Maloney for Ace- Xpat which is a digital platform to help students with their study abroad preparation and experience and support them while abroad on Erasmus or study abroad programmes.
In congratulating all the students who took part in the competition Dr Briga Hynes indicated that the quality of the pitches demonstrates the innovative energy and the strong entrepreneurial ambition of UL students as future change-makers. She also commented that the awards provide a great example of how a collaboration between UL, KBS and leading entrepreneurs can strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem across the campus.