‘Erasmus’ Students Scoop IT Sligo Enterprise Prize

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A team of international foreign students has beaten off stiff local competition to win the IT Sligo Student Enterprise Competition.

The four members, who are studying at the Institute under the EU’s Erasmus international student exchange programme, pipped three other IT Sligo teams in the final held during the recent Enterprise and Innovation Week.

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The finalists had to devise solutions to ‘real life’ business scenarios based on a case study, which they were handed on the day, about the operations of an export-oriented Irish-based SME (small to medium enterprise).

Without any other prior knowledge of the company, they had just three hours to come up with solutions to key questions arising from the study which they then presented to a panel of judges who questioned them closely.

The competition was designed to foster a spirit of enterprise among third level students and develop their understanding of business management with a view to cultivating early entrepreneurship.

The judges decided that the team, comprising  Evgeniya Nenenko (Czech Republic), Matthias Franchois (France), Grégoire Marechal (France) and Sebastian Topea (Romania), came out on top for their ideas on the product and market development challenges and opportunities facing the company, and use of social media for marketing and customer relations.

The judges were Louise O’Gorman, Innovation Centre Manager at IT Sligo, Susan Bourke, Product Launch Method, Sligo, and IT Sligo lecturer Gary Reynolds.

Congratulating all the finalists, Ms Ann Higgins, Head of Department of Marketing, Tourism and Sport, said: “The competition provided the participants with an invaluable opportunity to put the theory they had learned into practice and to enhance their problem-solving skills.

“Dealing with a case study like this, sight unseen, is very demanding and the teams

acquitted themselves very well on the night. They rose to the challenge, with each providing a strong defence of their proposals to grow this indigenous SME.”

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Photo caption: Pictured at the final of the IT Sligo Student Enterprise competition are, from left to right, Ann Higgins, Head of Dept of Marketing, Tourism & Sport; Gary Reynolds, IT Sligo lecturer and judge; winning team members Evgeniya Nenenko, Matthias Franchois, Grégoire Marechal and Sebastian Topea; Louise O’Gorman, Innovation Centre Manager and judge; Susan Bourke, Product Launch Method, Sligo; and IT Sligo lecturer Marie Moran.

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