NewsTalk students meet dragons

‘The future business leaders of Ireland’ was how Lucy Gaffney, Chairperson of Communicorp described the participants at the recent national finals of the Newstalk 106-108 fm Student Enterprise competition which took place at National College of Ireland.  The competition, now in its fourth year, provides students with an opportunity to apply their analytical skills to a real life case study and present their findings to a panel of high profile entrepreneurs and commentators from Irish business life.   An added attraction was that this year’s panel included two judges from the highly successful Dragon’s Den  – Sean Gallagher and Bobby Kerr.

As previous winners, IT Sligo has earned a strong reputation within this competition.  This year’s team comprising of team captain Philomena Sharkey, Liam Maguire, Michael Rodgers and Thomas  Connolly were excellent ambassadors for IT Sligo.  The team was strongly supported with an impressive number of family and friends travelling from Sligo to add vocal encouragement.

Their judging panel, including Conor Brogan (Newstalk 106 -108 fm) and Michael McAleer (Irish Times)  complimented the team on their excellent teamwork and their strong defence of their proposed strategies.     The team, mentored by Ann Higgins, Head of Department of Marketing, Tourism & Leisure, were narrowly beaten in the semi-finals by the justly deserved eventual winners Tipperary Institute.

‘This is an invaluable learning experience on many fronts’ stated Ms Higgins.  ‘To dissect a case study in three hours, without any additional help or learning tools, and present your findings in front of such a high profile judging panel can only deepen the student’s understanding of real life challenges facing entrepreneurs.’

Thomas Connolly,  Ann Higgins, Team Mentor, Sean Gallagher from Dragons Den, Philomena Sharkey, Team Captain, Micheal Reynolds, Liam McGuire discuss the Newstalk 106-108 fm Student Enterprise at the recent Enterprise and Innovation Week at IT Sligo.


For further information contact:

Ann Higgins

Head of Department of Marketing, Tourism & Leisure

Phone (071) 9137220,   e-mail:

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