IT Sligo’s inaugural Enterprise & Innovation Week, which concluded last Friday, was a huge success. This week long programme of events was designed to promote innovation within enterprise and encourage new start-ups. Feedback from audiences and participant evaluations was very positive and plans are already in train for Enterprise & Innovation Week 2011.
The week was launched by Danny McCoy, Director General of IBEC, and he spoke highly of IT Sligo’s record of working with enterprise, neatly summed up in his concluding remarks, “The Institutes of Technology demonstrate a clear link to the productive economy, of which IT Sligo is a leading light, and help sell the single message that Ireland is a leading location for innovation.”
On Monday afternoon, Tánaiste Mary Coughlan visited IT Sligo to witness first-hand the high-level of energy and innovation being fostered by the week’s programme of activities. The Tánaiste commended the leadership and initiative of IT Sligo in designing and promoting a week dedicated to promoting enterprise and innovation. In particular, she commented favourably on the active involvement of students who event-managed the week-long programme. She added “I am delighted to see the genuine collaboration between IT Sligo and regional stakeholders”.
Co Sligo VEC’s Dragon’s Den final was one of the week’s highlights; first prize of €1000 was scooped by Patrick Leonard from Grange with his innovative student locker organiser. IT Sligo’s auditorium was packed with participants and well-wishers. Participation at secondary-school level in entrepreneurial activities has proven to foster business acumen and IT Sligo was commended for supporting this development.
Seán Gallagher of RTÉ’s Dragon’s Den proved very popular when he visited IT Sligo on Wednesday afternoon. Seán delivered a masterclass and a presentation on entrepreneurship, which again saw IT Sligo’s main auditorium packed to capacity.
Visiting IT Sligo for the second time, international entrepreneurship guru Larry Farrell, from Arizona USA, commented on the high level of ambition, innovation and inter-disciplinary entrepreneurship displayed in IT Sligo both from an academic and an industry perspective.
IT Sligo’s Enterprise & Innovation Week, planned in association with Enterprise Ireland, IDA, Sligo County Development Board, Sligo County Enterprise Board and the Western Development Commission, was very successful and showcased the talents of students who event-managed the week.
Summing up the week President of IT Sligo Terri Scott stated “In the current economic environment, it is now more important than ever that public and private sectors work together in a proactive and flexible way to deliver benefits to this region.”