Bleat takes top spot in Student Enterprise Competition!

Tuesday, April 24, 2018 - 18:30

In a final that literally crackled with excitement and innovation, Stephen Fagan (fourth year Product Design Student) with a high-potential Agtech idea called 'Bleat' walked away with our first prize of €5000 as winner of the 2018 Eden Student Entrepreneurship Challenge just moments ago in the Phoenix Boardroom.  The Judging panel comprised Jacqui McNabb, CEO of the Kildare Local Enterprise Office: Prof Piero Formica, adjunct professor of Entrepreneurship in Maynooth University: Tom Melia - University Liaison Manager for Enterprise Ireland and Nikki Dwyer, patent lawyer working with NAMA.
This year's competition attracted a record number of entries according to EDEN Manager, Dr Peter Robbins, 'We had 75 entries this year and the comparable figure for other years is generally in the 40's.  This signals a very heartening rise in the level of interest in innovation and entrepreneurship'.
The judges for today's final were presented with four outstanding ideas - one for a novel asthma inhaler, especially targeted at sports enthusiasts.  Another, was a home blood testing kit designed by Coeliacs for Coeliacs and the other a cleverly designed harness and lead for walking and training large dog breeds. But the winner is a concept for sheep farmers that combines smart technologies to solve a real and urgent problem.
The competition carries a prize fund of €10,000 and is among the most established and richest student enterprise competitions in any Irish university.  We are indebted to the joint sponsors; McCann Fitzgerald and Kildare Local Enterprise Office.  Handing over the prizes, Jacqui McNabb noted: 'The presentations we saw today were spectacular and I urge all of you to hold on to your dreams and to continue to develop your ideas.'  Also speaking after the event, Tom Melia of Enterprise Ireland said: 'I see start-ups every day; I review business ideas and pitches all the time and from what you've shown me today - here at Maynooth you are operating at the very highest level in the country, there is extraordinary quality here.'