Competition hots up as NUI Galway student entrepreneurs compete for €20,000 prize fund

The NUI Galway Students’ Union Enterprise Awards competition is now entering its final stage as six finalists battle it out for a €20,000 investment fund to turn their ideas into reality.

Now in its third year, the competition seeks to promote entrepreneurship and innovation among the students of NUI Galway in both social and business enterprise. Each of the six finalists, all NUI Galway students, received investment capital of €500 to develop his/her initial social or business ideas further. A series of workshops hosted by members of the local business community and university staff and students are now helping the finalists to develop their ideas ahead of the final judging session in March. The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony hosted in the university’s Bailey Allen Hall on Saturday, April 13.

Paul Curley, president of NUI Galway Students’ Union, said: “We have been overwhelmed by the number and standard of entries to the NUI Galway Students’ Union Enterprise Awards again this year. The entrants are testament to the exceptional initiative and creativity of students in social and business enterprise. At a time when real innovation and flair is needed, students are leading the way in creating the big ideas that will help fuel our recovery. The Students’ Union is delighted with the support that the awards have received from the local business community and the university.”

The final six projects are: First year business information systems student Paul Mulhern from Longford has developed Dametro which is an E-commerce website selling jewellery and clothing; Tim Groome is working on GaelicLinks, a networking-database website for all professionals working in the world of Gaelic games. Mr Groome is a final year corporate law student from Carbury in Co Kildare; Brian Grant from Moycullen Co Galway has come up with a way to aid his studies for the Dioplóma Gairmiúil san Oideachas (secondary teaching trí ghaeilge ). Tom.ie (Teagascoirí, Oidí agus Muinteoirí ) is a website where teachers of Irish can share their teaching resources, lesson plans, and look up links to other helpful Irish websites; Originally from Prague Jana Hokszova is now living in Galway and studying corporate law. Together with Ella Miniter, a second year Arts students from Barna, Co Galway, she has developed a social project which encourages young enthusiastic people to interact with older experienced people in a mutually beneficial relationship gathering their stories for Now Back in the Day; Niamh Duffy is from Dublin and is studying the MSc in Clinical Research. Her project Study Smart is a study software application for students to enable them to study in a more efficient and scientific way and improve their grades; and Jenny Groarke from Salthill in Galway is in her first year of her PhD in Psychology, and developed Sing-Band Music Workshops whilst studying the impact of music listening on the psychological and physiological functioning of younger and older adults. The workshops aim to provide inclusive, supportive and fun music workshops for older adults in Galway City.

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