Student Enterprise Awards presented at NUI Galway

Monday, 8 January 2007

08 January 2007: A number of innovative awards designed to encourage entrepreneurial awareness among students have been presented in NUI Galway. The annual awards are presented to students who participate in the Introduction to Business Module that has been running at NUI Galway for the past 17 years. The module is designed to foster an awareness of businesses and how they operate. The overall objective is to introduce students to the fundamental concepts of Marketing, Management and Accountancy and to examine their application in Irish and international business situations.

Students who participated in the module were required to develop a business plan for a start-up enterprise related to their primary area of study, which includes community development, biotechnology, microbiology, biomedical science, biochemistry and chemistry.

The prizes are sponsored by Bank of Ireland, and are awarded to the best overall business plan for a start-up enterprise, 2nd and 3rd runner up, and "the most bankable business plan" as chosen by Bank or Ireland.

Bank of Ireland, Most Bankable Business Plan – Advanced Ocular Clinic MSc. in Biomedical Science students Evan Brick, Martin Canavan, Aisling Donoghue and Norah O'Brien planned to establish a clinic specialising in corrective eye surgery. The Advanced Ocular Clinic (AOC) would use the innovative technology of intra-ocular lenses (IOLs) to restore good vision acuity to its prospective patients with a minimally invasive procedure carried out on an out-patient basis.

1st Place DOGene Laboratories Ltd. MSc. in Biotechnology students Sinead Darcy, Andrew Douglas, and Ann Smyth aimed to provide a DNA profiling service to the canine industry. Their company intended to initially target the pedigree dog market and the greyhound industry for DNA profiling and in the long term conduct genetic testing for hereditary diseases in dogs.

2nd Place SOUPlus+ SOUPlus+, backed by MSc. in Biomedical Science students Karly Burke, Joan Fitzgibbon, Elaine Gleeson and Louise Lilly identified a gap in the market for a fresh ready-to-serve soup that contained an added bonus of vitamins and dietary supplements to boost the immune system. They planned to base their business in Galway, source the vegetables for their product locally, and sell in farmers markets and independent grocery stores.

3rd Place Biogum Ltd. BSc. in Biotechnology students Julie Collins, Rebecca Finn, Hannah O'Keefe and James O'Malley planned to launch a symbiotic chewing gum. The sugar-free gum which would be fortified with vitamin C and calcium would be available in a range of flavours and combines the features of a regular chewing gum with added nutritional benefits.

The Introduction to Business Module was developed to respond to an increasing demand for entrepreneurial awareness among students in various undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. Currently, the module facilitates over seventy students, in seven academic programmes.

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