GMIT Castlebar has announced its student innovation winners. First prize went to Joanne Clarke from Cloonfad, Co Roscommon, a second year student on the BSc in architectural technology. She was awarded a prize of €1,000 cash and incubation space in the GMIT Innovation Centre for two months. Second prize was awarded to Diarmuid Higgins from Rush, Co Dublin, who is a second year student on the BA in outdoor education. He won €600. Both prizes are sponsored by APC and AIB.
Third prize went to Jakub Klatt from Poland, living in Foxford, Co Mayo, who is a first year student on the BA in Accounting and Financial Management. He won €400 kindly sponsored by Kilkelly Meteor.
Fourth prize went to last year’s joint winner Michael Byrne from Brittas, Co Dublin, a fourth year student on the BA in outdoor education. He won €100 sponsored by GMIT Castlebar Student Services.
The GMIT Innovation Awards gives students at the Castlebar campus a unique opportunity to test their creative business ideas. The competition, which was launched last October by James Dowling, co-founder of Vicarious Golf, attracted a large number of entries from GMIT students and graduates.
The winners were presented with their awards at a reception in the Innovation in Business Centre (IiBC ) on Wednesday February 25. Each of them had submitted a business plan and all were interviewed throughout the day by a panel which included Colm Rochford of APC, Sharon Patten, AIB, and Brigit Kilkelly, Kilkelly Meteor.
Maria Staunton, IiBC manager, commended all finalists for their hard work and commitment throughout the process. “All finalists have shown great aspirations to be the entrepreneurs that we will read about in the future. In the current economic climate it is vitally important that we encourage young people to look at setting up their own businesses.”