Students from Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) scoop top prize at Enterprise Ireland Student Entrepreneur Awards 2018

StudentEntrepreneurWinners2
:Students from Cork Institute of Technology have today won the overall Enterprise Ireland Student Entrepreneur of the Year Award and have been named ‘College Entrepreneur of the Year 2018’. The winning entrants beat off stiff competition with their project “MacGlas”. Pictured, L-R: Standing :David O’Donovan, Daniel Crowley, Brian Fitzpatrick, Colm Nicholl and Michael Ahern Seated : Elaine Leahy and Richard Murphy, Enterprise Ireland.’

“MacGlas” wins €10,000 prize and title ‘College Entrepreneur of the Year 2018’

14th June 2017

Elaine Leahy, David O’Donovan, Daniel Crowley, Ryan Breen, Michael Ahern, Brian Fitzpatrick and Colm Nicholl, students from Cork Institute of Technology, have today won the overall Enterprise Ireland Student Entrepreneur of the Year Award and have been named ‘College Entrepreneur of the Year 2018’. The winning entrants beat off stiff competition with their project “MacGlas”.

MacGlas is a novel vision aid designed to help people suffering from Macular Degeneration, the leading cause of vision loss in the western world, which results in the progressive loss of central vision. By configuring and applying existing technologies in a new and innovative way to harness and optimally utilise the sufferer’s peripheral undamaged vision, MacGlas helps individuals regain everyday capabilities such as reading which have been made impossible by the genetic disease.

This year celebrates the 37th year of the prestigious Student Entrepreneur Awards which are co-sponsored by Cruickshank Intellectual Property Attorneys and Grant Thornton and are open to all third level colleges across Ireland. The Local Enterprise Offices have also come on board as a co-sponsor for the awards this year.

The Student Entrepreneur Awards are part of a major drive aimed at encouraging students to start their own business as a career option. The substantial prize fund includes €35,000 in cash prizes and €30,000 in consultancy fees which are available for winners to help them turn their idea into a commercial reality. In addition to winning the top prize, the winning team will also receive mentoring from Enterprise Ireland to develop the commercial viability of their overall concept.

Richard Murphy, Manager for Micro Enterprises and Small Business at Enterprise Ireland said: “The Student Entrepreneur Awards grows from strength to strength each year and is now in its 37th year. We received over 1,000 submissions from third level students in colleges all over Ireland. Given the quality of applications, it’s clear that the entrepreneurial spirit is very much alive across Ireland’s universities and colleges and we have seen some great ideas with real commercial potential. Congratulations to all involved.”

Information about the winning projects:

College Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2018 winner, €10,000:

MacGlas, CIT – Elaine Leahy, David O’Donovan, Daniel Crowley, Ryan Breen, Michael Ahern, Brian Fitzpatrick, Colm Nicholl
“MacGlas is a novel vision aid designed to help people suffering from the leading cause of vision loss in the western world. This progressive loss of central vision is known as Macular Degeneration. MacGlas configures and applies existing technologies in a new and innovative way to harness and optimally utilise the sufferer’s peripheral undamaged vision. MacGlas helps these individuals regain everyday capabilities such as reading that have been made impossible by the genetic Macular Degeneration disease.”

Cruickshank Intellectual Property Attorneys’ High Achieving Merit Award winner, €5,000:

Acidose 1, Dundalk Institute of Technology (DKIT) - Warren Stevely
“The Acidose 1 has been designed in accordance with new EU regulations to eliminate the use of antibiotics in the poultry industry. The alternative solution involves adopting a new acidic dosing method. This new method involves lowering the pH of the poultry’s water supply, which prevents the growth of harmful bacteria in the chicken’s gastrointestinal tract. This harmful bacterium is responsible for digestion problems and common diseases such as coccidiosis. The Acidose 1 is an electronic device that automatically controls the water supply pH with complete accuracy. It is an innovative idea that has taken into account all of the problems associated with the previous solution which has hindered the new dosing method’s progression.”

Cruickshank Intellectual Property Attorneys are also providing intellectual property consultancy and protection for all the finalists.

Grant Thornton Emerging Business Award winner, €5,000:

PROgress Equine, Waterford Institute of Technology, (WIT) – Lorna Power and Emma Murphy
“PROgress Equine is a company which formulates and produces concentrate feedstuffs for equines that is both environmentally sustainable and nutritionally superior to existing products. Our main focus is protein, a key nutrient for the healthy growth and development of bone and muscle in equines. By using innovative ingredients, we have identified superior sources of protein. Our source contains a guaranteed 50-55% protein and higher levels of essential amino acids than existing protein sources, such as soya bean. By adding this innovative protein source to our formulations, PROgress Equine provides equine rations that are more nutritionally beneficial at a similar price to products currently on the market.

“By 2050, there will be nine billion people on the planet. Using our current method of producing protein, we will not be able to meet the planet’s projected protein needs. PROgress Equine’s protein requires substantially less land and water to produce, making it more environmentally sustainable than soya bean in the long-term. PROgress Equine aims to initially target large studs and equine breeders with a fully formulated ration in Ireland, Europe and the USA. Going forward, PROgress Equine’s mission is to transform the landscape of how we produce animal feed, both now and in the future.”

Grant Thornton will also provide business plan development advice to the finalists.

Enterprise Ireland ICT award winner, €5,000:

IGNAUTICA Underwater Search and Recovery System, University of Limerick (UL) – Jordan Kelly
“The Ignautica Underwater Search and Recovery system heralds a new age of intelligent diving platforms aiming to lead the way in SAR worldwide. The complete equipment system is used for the planning, coordination and execution of underwater SAR at depths of up to 70M below sea-level. Rewarding enhanced diving safety, greater searching effectiveness, and increased operational efficiency, Ignautica offers valuable tools for all those from sea-bed to surface including location tracking of underwater teams, communication tools to link parties, and search path guidance for divers.”

Merit Awards were given to the remaining six finalists with a cash prize of €1,500 per team:

  1. Aireach – Ben Nolan - NUIG
  2. Irish Mussel Seed Company – Kate Dempsey – IT Carlow
  3. GreenBreathing - Rosie Clancy, Tadhg O’Byrne, Sean Deasy, Kevin Mullen, Aidan Phelan, Yevhen Sarchov & Aidan Keegan - CIT
  4. BLives – Claire McSweeney, John O’Sullivan, Eoghan O’Leary, Samprikta Manna & David Zelaya - UCC
  5. Gro2 – Geoff Wright – ITB Blanchardstown
  6. Hurtlockers Medical Ltd – James Carson & Daniel Laverty - QUB & University of Ulster

An Enterprise Ireland Academic Award was presented to Michael Campion from NUI Galway, in recognition of his involvement with the Student Entrepreneur Awards.
For more information on the Student Entrepreneur Awards visit: StudentEntrepreneurAwards.com

ENDS

For further information, please contact:

Brigid Burke

Press Office

Enterprise Ireland

Brigid Burke

087 1803995

Gillian Slattery

Regional Development Executive

Enterprise Ireland

Gillian Slattery

086 8390531

Summary of Student Entrepreneur Awards Finalists 2018

  1. Aireach – Ben Nolan - NUIG

    “Have you ever driven home tired? Felt your lids get heavier and start to close? Did you know that one out of every five road accidents in Ireland is the result of driver fatigue? Internationally the number is even higher. What is even more concerning is that an accident relating to driver fatigue is three times more likely to be fatal. With over two million cars on Irish roads, we cannot allow this trend to continue.

    “Aireach is a novel solution that uses how the human brain interacts with certain wavelengths of light to keep drivers alert and ensure they arrive alive. The technology works using LED light technology and has been validated internationally as a way to reduce driver fatigue. This cost-efficient, easy to install and use device can be fitted to any car in a matter of minutes and has the potential to significantly reduce road accidents related to driver fatigue."

  2. IGNAUTICA Underwater Search and Recovery System – Jordan Kelly – UL 

    “The Ignautica Underwater Search and Recovery system heralds a new age of intelligent diving platforms aiming to lead the way in SAR worldwide. The complete equipment system is used for the planning, coordination and execution of underwater SAR at depths of up to 70M below sea-level. Rewarding enhanced diving safety, greater searching effectiveness, and increased operational efficiency, Ignautica offers valuable tools for all those from sea-bed to surface including location tracking of underwater teams, communication tools to link parties, and search path guidance for divers.” 

  3. GreenBreathing - Rosie Clancy, Tadhg O’Byrne, Sean Deasy, Kevin Mullen, Aidan Phelan, Yevhen Sarchov & Aidan Keegan – CIT 

    “GreenBreathing is an innovative, life enhancing, indoor air purification device. This ground-breaking device enhances your quality of life by purifying the air entering your home. It improves the quality of the incoming air of virtually any HRV system using live plant matter to filter harmful gases and particulate. The indoor air quality is improved and the oxygen levels are optimised. Global air quality is diminishing. CO2 emissions and man-made particulate are finding their way into peoples’ lungs all over the world. Studies have shown that high levels of carbon dioxide can negatively impact on our everyday life, including complaints of drowsiness, poor concentration, headaches, increased heart rate and nausea. Moss has the incredible ability to absorb fine particulate matter and harmful gases.

    “GreenBreathing removes harmful particulate such as dust. Dust is considered the most common trigger of asthma in children today; this device largely reduces the risk of respiratory tract infections and asthma. It reduces carbon dioxide levels and optimizes the oxygen content of the air in your home, improving both concentration and sleep. Our life enhancing device retrofits to a Heat Recovery Ventilation (HRV) System, maximizing energy consumption cost savings. The use of solar panels results in cleaner energy at a long-term reduced cost. It is a small price to pay for a better quality of life.”

  4. MacGlas – Elaine Leahy, David O’Donovan, Daniel Crowley, Ryan Breen, Michael Ahern, Brian Fitzpatrick, Colm Nicholl - CIT

    “MacGlas is a novel vision aid designed to help people suffering from the leading cause of vision loss in the western world. This progressive loss of central vision is known as Macular Degeneration. MacGlas configures and applies existing technologies in a new and innovative way to harness and optimally utilise the sufferer’s peripheral undamaged vision. MacGlas helps these individuals regain everyday capabilities such as reading that have been made impossible by the genetic Macular Degeneration disease.”

  5. BLives – Claire McSweeney, John O’Sullivan, Eoghan O’Leary, Samprikta Manna & David Zelaya – UCC

    “BLives is a bio-innovative company that aims to accelerate the evolution of bee species around the globe, by genetically modifying them to survive exposure to chemicals (neonicotinoids) that are used to control and kill insects. Bees naturally have the genes that fight chemical exposure, however it is not produced to a level in which it can combat pesticides. Without the use of genetic modification to increase expression, it would take hundreds of years for the gene to adapt naturally. Using accessible genetic techniques, BLives will increase the production of this powerful gene, initially in Honey Bees, and naturally introduce it into the environment.”

  6. grO2 – Geoff Wright – ITB Blanchardstown

    “grO2 is a new method for commercial plant nursery production that enables wholesale container nurseries to grow higher quality plants, faster, and with vastly reduced labour costs. Our newly designed production system allows for a denser root system by utilising existing air-pruning technology in a package uniquely suited to production at scale.”

  7. Irish Mussel Seed Company – Kate Dempsey – IT Carlow

    “Irish Mussel Seed Company was developed to solve a shortage in the supply of the Mussel Industry's raw material. IMSC will sustainably source mussel seed in the Irish Sea for sale to the existing Irish Mussel Growing companies, making their business sustainable and creating a secure future for the industry.”

  8. PROgress Equine – Lorna Power & Emma Murphy – WIT

    “PROgress Equine is a company which formulates and produces concentrate feedstuffs for equines that is both environmentally sustainable and nutritionally superior to existing products. Our main focus is protein, a key nutrient for the healthy growth and development of bone and muscle in equines. By using innovative ingredients, we have identified superior sources of protein. Our source contains a guaranteed 50-55% protein and higher levels of essential amino acids than existing protein sources, such as soya bean. By adding this innovative protein source to our formulations, PROgress Equine provides equine rations that are more nutritionally beneficial at a similar price to products currently on the market.

    “By 2050, there will be nine billion people on the planet. Using our current method of producing protein, we will not be able to meet the planet’s projected protein needs. PROgress Equine’s protein requires substantially less land and water to produce, making it more environmentally sustainable than soya bean in the long-term. PROgress Equine aims to initially target large studs and equine breeders with a fully formulated ration in Ireland, Europe and the USA. Going forward, PROgress Equine’s mission is to transform the landscape of how we produce animal feed, both now and in the future.” 

  9. Acidose 1 – Warren Stevely – DKIT 

    “The Acidose 1 has been designed in accordance with new EU regulations to eliminate the use of antibiotics in the poultry industry. The alternative solution involves adopting a new acidic dosing method. This new method involves lowering the pH of the poultry’s water supply, which prevents the growth of harmful bacteria in the chicken’s gastrointestinal tract. This harmful bacterium is responsible for digestion problems and common diseases such as coccidiosis. The Acidose 1 is an electronic device that automatically controls the water supply pH with complete accuracy. It is an innovative idea that has taken into account all of the problems associated with the previous solution which has hindered the new dosing method’s progression.”

  10. Hurtlockers Medical Ltd – James Carson & Daniel Laverty - QUB & University of Ulster

    “Hurtlockers seeks to revolutionise the delivery of first-aid. We are developing a solution where anywhere an individual finds a Hurtlockers, regardless of their level of first-aid training, they can deliver high quality first-aid. We want to remove the reliance on dated memories of first-aid training days by providing the user with a fully compartmentalised first-aid kit and combining this with a companion app offering verbal and visual instructions on how to confront any injury. We are the 2017 Invent Student Award winners and committed to transforming the delivery of first-aid in the same way the AED transformed the way we confront a heart attack.”