A team from National College of Ireland was announced today as the winner of the Newstalk 106-108fm Student Enterprise Competition by Mr Denis O’Brien, Chairperson of Newstalk 106 – 108fm and Chairperson of the Competition. The prize-giving ceremony took place today at the Institute of Technology, Sligo, host of this year’s competition.
The winning team beat off strong competition from the three other finalist teams from Dundalk Institute of Technology, Institute of Technology Carlow and Cork Institute of Technology. The four finalist teams were given a case study based on a real-life business scenario for which they had 3 hours to devise a detailed solution. Each team was then given 30 minutes to present their business plan to a panel of judges including Elaine Geraghty, CEO, Newstalk 106-108 fm, Michael Carey, Executive Chairman, Jacob Fruitfield and Lorraine McDonnell, Enterprise Europe Network Manager, Sligo Chamber of Commerce.
At the finals today L-R: Niall McEvoy, Technology Transfer Manager, IT, Sligo; Denis O’Brien, Chairperson, Newstalk FM; Professor Terri Scott, President IT, Sligo; Ms Ann Higgins, Head of Marketing, Tourism and Leisure and one of the event judges Denis Walsh, Lotus Works
Speaking at the ceremony, Denis O’Brien said, “I congratulate the winning team on their fantastic achievement. Their hard work demonstrates what the competition is all about – fostering a spirit of enterprise among students by encouraging teamwork and solution-driven approaches to business challenges. The competition aims to bridge the gap between theory and practice and complement what the students are learning in the classroom.”
The winning team, along with their mentor, will travel to the Caribbean this summer, where they will shadow decision makers in Digicel’s operations. Digicel is the fastest-growing telecommunications operator in the Caribbean and new entrant to the Central American market.
With a record 330 teams entering in the preliminary round, over 1,300 students from Ireland’s 14 Institutes of Technology and the National College of Ireland (NCI) took part in this year’s Newstalk 106-108fm Student Enterprise Competition, which is in association with The Irish Times.
Commenting on the level of participation in this year’s competition, Mr. O’Brien added: “I am delighted with the record level of entries this year. There is pressure on students to achieve first class results in exams, which, while important, do not always fully reflect the reality of enterprise. I hope that the experience gained by all the students throughout the competition will benefit them in their future conquests.”
Commenting on the success of the competition IT, Sligo Head of Department of Marketing, Tourism and Leisure, Ms. Ann Higgins ‘ As winners of the competition in 2008, we were delighted to host this year’s event which brought a substantial number of visitors into the region for the weekend. I ‘m very proud of the manner in which IT, Sligo once again rose to the challenge of hosting a major event so soon after last weekend’s World Rally Championshipâ€¦While we didn’t repeat last year’s victory IT, Sligo was ably represented by Ciara, Emma, Suzanne and Gillian. We are particularly grateful to the panel of judges who so keenly gave of their time and invaluable expertise to enhance the competition.
Dr. Bill O’Gorman, Chairperson of INTRE (Irish Network for Teachers and Researchers of Entrepreneurship) said, “I congratulate not only the winning team but the team mentor and lecturers that have guided and tutored the students. To take part in the competition alone is an excellent opportunity for participants to develop their business analytical and presentation skills. But to win the competition and to have the opportunity to visit Mr Denis O’Brien’s organisation in the Caribbean is an unforgettable experience.”
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1. Athlone Institute of Technology
2. Institute of Technology Blanchardstown
3. Institute of Technology Carlow
4. Cork Institute of Technology
5. Dublin Institute of Technology
6. Dundalk Institute of Technology
7. Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology
8. Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology
9. Letterkenny Institute of Technology
10. Limerick Institute of Technology
11. National College of Ireland
12. Institute of Technology, Sligo
13. Institute of Technology Tallaght
14. Tipperary Institute
15. Institute of Technology Tralee
16. Waterford Institute of Technology