Business News

Ireland’s next generation entrepreneurs gather at BT’s innovation and mentoring skills camp

By Business & Finance
03 March 2014

The BT Young Scientist Business Bootcamp 2014 begins today at UCD.  Now in its fifth year, the four-day innovation and skills camp welcomes 29 second-level students from across Ireland who demonstrate an ability to understand how and why a simple idea can be developed into a commercially-viable enterprise.

The students were selected in January from over 1,200 secondary school students who competed in this year’s BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition.

The Bootcamp, delivered in partnership with UCD, takes place at NovaUCD and aims to bridge the gap between education and business for students who demonstrate entrepreneurial flair and business acumen.

Shay Walsh, managing director, Business, BT Ireland, commented: “Our mission with the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition is to foster innovation and creativity in Ireland’s young people through education. With BT Business Bootcamp, we aim to take this one step further by giving the selected students the practical skills and know-how to take their commercially viable ideas to the next level. Over the past four years we have been hugely impressed with the level of business acumen that the students gain through this programme and I have no doubt that our latest group of talented young people will equally excel. I look forward to seeing their ideas develop throughout the week and I wish them all the very best of luck.”

Professor Orla Feely, UCD vice-president for Research, Innovation and Impact said: “UCD is delighted to be working in partnership with BT once again this year to deliver the BT Business Bootcamp. This Bootcamp is helping to embed a culture of entrepreneurship amongst second-level students who are inspired by science and technology and who wish to learn how to translate their innovative ideas into products and services which can have an impact on the economy and society.. NovaUCD is the hub of new ventures and entrepreneurs at UCD and is the perfect location to inspire and energise the students as they embark on this week’s exciting entrepreneurship programme.”

Each group will be mentored by a senior BT professional and will enjoy inspiration from key speakers including:

  1. Dr Tony Scott – UCD and founder of BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition
  2. Leonard Hobbs – head of Research, Intel Ireland
  3. Aisling Judge – BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition winner 2006
  4. Rhona Togher – Runner-Up Group at BT Young Scientist 2009 – co-founder Restored Hearing
  5. Steve Winter – managing director, Intellectual Ventures
  6. Will Goodbody – Science and Technology editor, RTE
  7. Bronwyn Gallagher – ‎Manager Information Communication Technologies, IDA

Students taking part in the BT Young Scientist Business Bootcamp will be tasked with developing an outline business approach to commercialise a specific group project. Each team will work with their dedicated BT business mentor who will coach them to develop their business plans and presentation skills.

The week will culminate on Thursday, March 6th when the teams will present their business plans to a judging panel including academics and senior business people. The winners will enjoy summer placements at leading third level universities NUI Galway and University of Limerick.