LIMERICK’s bright young business minds were out in force to take part in the annual Student Enterprise Awards.
The South Court Hotel in Raheen played host to more than 200 industrious youngsters at the Limerick Enterprise Office backed event.
From homemade cakes to eco-friendly fire cubes, children’s maths games and aids for students’ lockers, there were dozens of fresh business ideas.
It was the first time schools from the county and the city had competed together following the merger of the two local authorities.
Although students from Desmond College, Newcastle West and Scoil na Tríonóide in Doon will advance to next month’s Croke Park final, there were prizes for many city schools.
Leading the way with a third place finish in the senior category were two lads from Ardscoil Ris, with their mobile app which allows the scoreboard official at GAA club matches update the scoreboard onto various club web sites in one go.
The business, ‘Gingerly Made Apps’, was no doubt named after its founder, redhead Oisin Lally, 16. He teamed up with classmate William Fitzgerald.
As for the future, Oisin said they want to expand beyond GAA.
“Hopefully we will expand to more sports, and get the word of the product out there. We want to get more teams involved, and hopefully it will go nationwide,” he said.
Meanwhile, their teacher, the county hurler Niall Moran also won a special award from the judges, which included Ellen Fowler of the Nexus Innovation Centre and Rachel Meskell-Fitzpatrick of Carambola Kidz.
There were also awards for students in Castletroy College: Jack’s Sweet Cakes won the prize for Best Stand, while junior students at the college won the third prize for their Crafts a lot project.
And Zenox, a project by students at St Clement’s College, won the prize for Best Business Plan.
Before presenting the prizes, Mayor Kevin Sheahan took a look at all the stands, and was suitably impressed with what he saw.
“Your work and innovative ideas give me great confidence for the future. It is clear from your work and from speaking to many of you here today that there is no shortage of new ideas and fresh thinking,” he said.
Local Enterprise Office CEO Eamon Ryan said the standard of entry is the highest he has seen in recent years.