Innovation rewarded at
Student Enterprise Awards

Cathal Hughes, David Shannon, Rioch Farrell and Peter Bohan with AquaSnap from Mercy Secondary School Ballymahon with Cllr. Paddy Belton. Photo: Michelle Ghee. www.gphotos.ie
The annual Student Enterprise Awards were held in Longford Shopping Centre on Tuesday, March 5. Cnoc Mhuire in Granard, Moyne Community School, Mercy Secondary School in Ballymahon, and Scoil Mhuire and St Mel’s College in Longford all participated in the annual event, which is sponsored and organised by the Longford County Enterprise Board. The ten groups of Transition Year students involved showed a high degree of innovation and commercial awareness.

The annual Student Enterprise Awards were held in Longford Shopping Centre on Tuesday, March 5. Cnoc Mhuire in Granard, Moyne Community School, Mercy Secondary School in Ballymahon, and Scoil Mhuire and St Mel’s College in Longford all participated in the annual event, which is sponsored and organised by the Longford County Enterprise Board. The ten groups of Transition Year students involved showed a high degree of innovation and commercial awareness.

Businesses and products varied from educational products, to jewellery, craft and gift wares, and a number of highly innovative new products.

‘Aquasnap’ from Ballymahon’s Mercy Secondary School emerged as the overall winners at the awards, with the four students involved developing, producing and selling a portable bottle holder, which offers a novel way of carrying bottles and is particularly useful for avoiding unwanted spillages. The Aquasnap product will now go on to represent Longford at the National Final in Croke Park on April 17.

The runners-up prize was awarded to St Mel’s College for ‘Crafty Creation’ – which produces a range of high quality hand-crafted wooden furnishings.

All of the other participants showed an eye for innovation and spotting gaps in the market. Moyne Community School identified a market for a USB extension cable and multi-card reader, sourced a suitable product and achieved magnificent sales over the course of the competition. Coola Boola Bakery from Cnoc Mhuire were awarded ‘Best Interview of the Day’, and ‘Le Petite Truffe’ from Scoil Mhuire won ‘Best Display’.

Students from Mercy Secondary School in Ballymahon also displayed their budding entrepreneurial talent by developing a slurry ventilation system which, once tested, could well prove to save lives.

CEO of the County Enterprise Board, Michael Nevin, was on hand to congratulate all the participants and remarked on their ability to identify market niches, not just in the school but across their local communities.