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The University College Cork student was presented with the Award at a ceremony at Trinity College Dublin today, 10 June. FenuHealth, which is based in Co Meath, produces powdered supplements that are added to feed to help prevent and resolve stomach problems in horses and ponies.
The business was built on work done by sisters Annie and Kate Madden as transition year students taking part in the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition. FenuHealth offers a range of 9 products and currently exports to 15 countries as well as counting five royal families among its customers.
FenuHealth was one of ten finalists at the awards and the team received €10,000 as part of the Enterprise Ireland student prize. The Madden sisters will also receive mentoring from Enterprise Ireland to develop the commercial viability of their products.
This is the 41st year of Enterprise Ireland’s Student Entrepreneur Awards, which are co-sponsored by Cruickshank, Grant Thornton and the Local Enterprise Offices. The awards are open to all third level institutions across the country.
The Cruickshank High Achieving Merit Award went to Claire Finnegan of Rollagen. Representing St. Angela's College, Sligo, she received a prize of €5,000 for her sports recovery and injury prevention food product.
The Grant Thornton High Achieving Merit Award and €5,000 went to Recapture One, the cloud-based multimedia company specializing in the development of personalised bereavement memorials developed by South East Technological University student Alannah Pardy.
The Local Enterprise Office High Achieving Merit Award and €5,000 went to NutrixBix, by Goodness Oats, which has developed a range of artisnal, oat-based cookies designed specifically for nursing mothers. The company was founded by Rachel McDonnell of St. Angela's College, Sligo.
Ronan McArt and Roisin Lydon, lecturers at St. Angela's College, Sligo, won the Enterprise Ireland Academic Award.
Along with the prize money, the winners will also share in a €30,000 consultancy fund that will enable them to turn their ideas into a commercial reality.
Speaking at the awards ceremony today at Trinity College Dublin, Minister of State for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Robert Troy TD, said: “Congratulations to all the participants in this year’s Student Entrepreneur Awards. The calibre of the entries this year are a credit to the student entrepreneurs and their institutions. The projects presented today address a range of challenges facing Irish society from sustainability and the environment to health and wellness with innovative solutions to not only meet the needs of an Irish market but with potential global appeal also. Today’s Awards highlight a vibrant and thriving entrepreneurial spirit within Ireland’s universities and colleges across the country, and I look forward to following each of the entrants on their entrepreneurial journeys over the coming months and years.”
Richard Murphy, Manager LEO Support, Policy & Co-ordination Unit, Enterprise Ireland said: “It is great to be able to host this event in person once again. The Enterprise Ireland Student Entrepreneur Awards represent an important starting point for many as they embark on their entrepreneurial journey. The competition provides these students with a platform to explore their innovative business ideas and the opportunity to turn these ideas into thriving businesses. Fostering the next generation of Irish entrepreneurs is a priority for us at Enterprise Ireland and the Local Enterprise offices and it is great to be here on what is the 41st rendition of these awards. Congratulations to each student team and college that participated.”
More information on the Student Entrepreneur Awards can be found on www.studententrepreneurawards.com
Winners - Enterprise Ireland’s Student Entrepreneur Awards 2022
Annie Madden of FenuHealth wins Enterprise Ireland’s Student Entrepreneur Awards 2022. FenuHealth, which is based in Co Meath, produces powdered supplements that are added to feed to help prevent and resolve stomach problems in horses and ponies. This is the 41st year of the Student Entrepreneur Awards which are co-sponsored by Grant Thornton, Cruickshank and the Local Enterprise Offices. The awards have a total prize fund of €35,000.
Rollagen - Claire Finnegan - St. Angela's College, Sligo
Injuries have a detrimental effect on both team and individual athletic achievement and in certain sports, it also serves an economic cost on the athlete or the associated organisation. Sprains, strains, ruptures, and breaks of the musculoskeletal system account for more than half of all sports-related injuries. Collagen supplementation has been shown to improve the functional and mechanical properties of the connective tissues in the body increasing joint stability and reducing the risk of injury in athletes, while vitamin C plays a vital role in the formation of collagen in the body.
Rollagen is an award-winning**, tasty and ready-to-eat sports recovery and injury prevention food product. This Collagen & Vitamin C Fruit Roll-Up delivers a naturally sweet and zesty apple flavoured snack that has been coloured using the vibrant deep pink colour of organic beetroot juice. The product seeks to capitalise on the growing sports nutrition market by bringing a unique and delicious high-protein offering to the gear bags of all athletes across the world. Each packet of Rollagen contains 2 rolls, one for pre and one for post-training. Each serving contains 20g of collagen and 80mg of Vitamin C – enough to increase collagen levels in the body.
This product is currently being supplied to an elite level sports team and the company aims to break into the global marketplace in the coming months.
HoneyRoam - Harry Sweetnam, Beverly Jones, Benjamin Donovan, Olin Hennessy, Samuel French, Dylan Hogan, Niall Marley, Philip Healy - Munster Technological University
Our product HoneyRoam is a device used to protect bee colonies from dying through the integration of machine learning and an online app. By utilizing various sensors and cameras, HoneyRoam will collect data from the hive such as the weight, humidity, temperature, audio, live visual feed, internal air conditions, a bee count estimate and various other aspects. By collecting this data, the beekeeper will be able to develop an understanding of the environment and conditions inside the hive, without even disturbing the bees with an invasive check-up.
Over time, the beekeeper will be able to discover patterns, learning the conditions that are most beneficial for the bees and allowing them to thrive at their best rate. HoneyRoam will use these results to their full advantage, with Ai learning to keep account of what conditions are best within the hive for different weathers, subsequently changing the internal hive conditions by heating and ventilating to best suit the colony. This would allow the bees to have optimum conditions within the hive year round thus improving the bee’s health. This in turn, allows the beekeeper to be able to collect more honey, earning more profit with less worries of losing a colony.
NutrixBix, by Goodness Oats - Rachel McDonnell - St. Angela's College, Sligo
While the rates of breastfeeding in Ireland have been rising over the past two decades, the rates are well below World Health Organisation’s targets. Many women have reported feeling stressed, anxious, and overwhelmed during this period.
NutrixBix are delicious, galactagogue boosting biscuits designed specifically for nursing mothers by Goodness Oats. The primary ingredients contribute to the galactagogue properties of these biscuits. They promote the production of milk for nursing mothers through stimulating the hormones oxytocin and prolactin. These hormones play a crucial role in the production and release of breast milk.
They are currently available in Indulgent Raspberry & White Chocolate Chip and Traditional Milk Chocolate Chip flavours. These decadent biscuits are conveniently packaged individaully, in biodegradable wrapping, so they can be enjoyed anywhere, from doctors appointment to visiting friends, or even kept on the bedside locker to aid night-time feeds. In the next year, the company aims to expand the range of NutrixBix flavours on offer and develop a greater variety of galactagogue boosting snacks.
Breastfeeding advocates have hailed NutrixBix as a welcome addition to the market to endorse breastfeeding by providing nursing mothers with nutritional and emotional support whilst promoting change on a social and environmental level.
Secret Snax - Mark Birrane - South East Technological University
People today are more conscious of their health than ever. However, this should not mean sacrificing the foods they enjoy. At Secret Snax, we want to help people live happier, healthier lives, by providing healthy, delicious, high-protein snacks, which align with their healthier lifestyles.
Secret Snax is an Irish healthy snacks business which will sell a variety of high-protein, low-sugar snacks, that offer real, functional health benefits. The idea for Secret Snax was born a couple of years ago. Playing soccer in the League of Ireland, my diet has always been strict. However, I also love food, and wanted to be able to eat the snacks I enjoy. It frustrated me that there was such a poor selection of healthy, yet delicious alternatives to my favourite snacks, so I set about solving my own problem.
Between conducting market research, developing our products and working on our branding among several other things, in addition to completing my degree and playing soccer, it’s fair to say this has been a busy period! However, I feel this has now brought the brand to a place where we can make a genuine impact on people’s lives, which I am incredibly excited by.
FenuHealth - Annie Madden - University College Cork
FenuHealth was co-founded by sisters Kate and Annie Madden in 2015 after winning a prize at the BT Young Scientist Exhibition. It is an equine supplements company, and all of the products are 100% natural and specially processed to help maintain good gastric / stomach health in horses & ponies. Over 90% of racehorses, 70% of sport horses and 50% of foals suffer from stomach problems. The FenuHealth range is available as a powder that can be sprinkled on the horse’s feed making it simple and easy to use on a daily basis.
They offer a range of 9 products and currently export to 15 countries as well as having five royal families as customers. Annie is an Innovation and Entrepreneurship Quercus Scholar in University College Cork which gives her the flexibility to run her business while also being a student. There is also 11 additional people now working on the FenuHealth team.
Receipt Relay – Sean Finnegan and Joe Hennigan – National University of Ireland, Galway and University of Limerick
Every day, hospitality groups across Ireland and abroad process thousands of transactions. They know what is sold and when, however they have no way of identifying who the customer behind each transaction is. This leaves hospitality groups reliant on word-of-mouth insights from staff, leading to unoptimized staffing and underperforming marketing - causing the groups to lose out on sales.
Receipt Relay is a customer insights software that integrates directly with a hospitality group’s Point of Sale, combining Point of Sale data and customer demographic data to reduce the hospital group’s dependence on anecdotal insights and build detailed customer profiles. Receipt Relay does this through an accompanying consumer app which collects customer data and matches it to their purchases within the business.
Receipt Relay’s traction to date includes the launch of a minimum viable product in Galway with 5 customers. The team is currently working in partnership with the Connacht Hospitality Group to validate and build the insights software. They also have early traction within large retail chains as they have secured a Letter of Intent from one of Europe’s largest retailers to integrate Receipt Relay’s customer insights software.
Mindvoice - Sinéad Cadogan, Callum Ambrose, Oliver McKenna, Cian Hayes, Jessica O’ Brien, Atharva Chitnavis, Seán Horan, Damilola Afolabi, Olan Fehily, Kieran Twomey - Munster Technological University
Mindvoice is an assistance device for people suffering from the early to mid-stages of dementia, or other forms of memory loss.
Mindvoice is made up of three components and is controlled via an app. The user wears a small camera, attached to the side of the user’s glasses, and a wristband. These are connected to an earpiece and a database on the user’s phone. Using facial recognition software, the camera scans the faces of people approaching the wearer and compares them against the database. If the face has been previously uploaded, Mindvoice will feed a personalized description of the person through the earpiece. Mindvoice is also fitted with a GPS tracker, which monitors the user’s location. Using Artificial Intelligence, the user’s common routes and routines are learned, and when the user deviates from their path Mindvoice will offer assistance and, after receiving confirmation, will guide the user home at their own pace. These features, along with an SOS feature that can be activated by the user at any time, will make living with dementia an easier experience.
Farmi-Fix – Lauryn Lee McGrath – National University of Ireland, Maynooth
During periods of rainfall, unnecessary excess fertilizer on soil seeps down into nearby waterways. Currently, 80% of Irish waterways are showing worrying signs of pollution, nitrate fertilizer wastage making waterways unsafe for human use. Inland Fisheries Ireland have called for agricultural pollution to be reduced. In recent months, nitrate fertilizer has surpassed its highest ever cost record, having increased by a massive 170% since January 2021 alone. The rising inputs of farming are slowly becoming unaffordable in farming practices all over Ireland.
Farmi-Fix is an eco-friendly start-up that aims to cut fertilizer wastage amidst the current global fertilizer demand crisis. The kit currently being marketed will test soils for fertilizer composition levels, providing definitive answers instantly on whether soil needs to be fertilized at all. Hence, agricultural practitioners can order and use the exact amounts of fertilizer needed, cutting costs across a range of farming inputs massively. This clever solution cuts the unaffordable and unnecessary expenses for farmers while also significantly reducing environmental damage. Reducing fertilizer wastage even slightly will allow fish and invertebrate life in Irish waterways to replenish. This solution cleverly cuts usage, saves fish populations, protects fresh waterways, and cuts out billions spent needlessly on fertilizer.
RecaptureOne – Alannah Pardy - South East Technological University
The untimely death of her aunt showed Alannah that as time passes, the sense of loss always remains. Alannah recognised that when a loved one passes, the memories of them become precious. From the pain of bereavement came a novel multimedia solution to help keep the memories of the deceased alive.
RecaptureOne is a cloud-based multimedia company specializing in the development of personalised bereavement memorials. Responding to the increasing use of mobile technology and social media across all age groups, RecaptureOne’s customised products move bereavement memorials into the multimedia age. Alannah’s aim is to ensure that the memories of loved ones are easily accessible to family and friends through innovative solutions.
Club Nine - David Barton, Samuel Harney - Technological University Dublin
Club Nine is a Sustainable Lifestyle Brand. We create and sell garments that are eco-friendly and luxurious yet affordable for the general consumer. We use organic cotton, which is handpicked with no use of pesticides, making more softer and much more environmentally friendly cotton. We also used recycled polyester from China, where the fibres are made from used plastic bottles, meaning the development of our products are deducting the number of plastic bottles ending up in landfills and waterways. We want to become a staple of the new era of clothing; an environmentally-driven and conscious brand; one that cares about the environment and the ways in which it sells; the health and wellbeing of its manufacturing facilities and not just about the bottom line. We want to become a staple of consumers’ wardrobes with long lasting garments that stand the test of time.