Innovative business ideas from Westmeath secondary students

Over 90 secondary students from Westmeath entered the ‘Dragons Den – What’s your big idea?’ competition run by Westmeath County Enterprise Board to encourage students to get their thinking hats on to come up with innovative business ideas.

Entries were judged in three categories, junior - first year, intermediate - second year, and senior - transition to sixth year. The difficult task of picking the winners was left to Tracey Tallon, business advisor with Westmeath County Enterprise Board; John Reilly, director of Strikebox Innovations; and Sadie Wheatley, director of Sw Design.

Dean Gannon from Mercy Secondary School, Kilbeggan won the senior category, receiving a cash prize of €250 for his dual function guitar stand and stool. Dean’s clever idea is a guitar stand that can be turned on its side, allowing you to sit on it while playing your guitar. Coming a very close second were Edel Igoe, Ailish Brooks, and Lauren Revins from St Joseph’s, Summerhill with their innovative ‘fruit wipes’, which allow you to clean your fruit before you eat it. James Farrell, from St Aloysius, Athlone came third with a wonderful solution to prevent the ever-annoying problem of headphone tangles.

Shauna Langley and Emma Kiernan from Loreto College, Mullingar won the intermediate category, claiming a cash prize of €200 for ‘Get The Cert’, a board game to help students to learn various topics. Intermediate runners-up were Andrew Nolan from Columba College, Killucan who designed an innovative ‘White Board Ruler’, and Elliot Kubath from Mullingar Community College with L Cube.

Emma Broughan from St Finian’s, Mullingar won the junior category and received a cash prize of €200 for her idea, ‘Munchy Net’, an environmentally sound solution for use with silage round bales. Junior second place went to Grace O’Donnell for her Cash Counter, while winners in the Most Commercial category were Mary Finch and Fiona Glynn from Loreto College Mullingar with their idea for a homework website. A cash prize of €75 was given to all second and third prize winners. A full list of winners can be found on Westmeath County Enterprise Boards’ website, www.westmeath-enterprise.ie

All Dragons Den entrants will be helped to develop their ideas and hopefully participate in the Student Enterprise Awards programme. The Westmeath winners go forward to represent the county in the national finals, where the overall winner can scoop a prize of a €10,000 trip to Europe.

 

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