Students from Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) have been named ‘College Entrepreneur of the Year 2018’ at the Enterprise Ireland Student Entrepreneur of the Year Awards. Elaine Leahy, David O’Donovan, Daniel Crowley, Ryan Breen, Michael Ahern, Brian Fitzpatrick and Colm Nicholl took the prize for their project entitled ‘MacGlas’.
MacGlas is a vision aid designed to help people suffering from macular degeneration, the leading cause of vision loss in the western world. By configuring and applying existing technologies to harness and optimally utilise the sufferer’s peripheral undamaged vision, MacGlas helps individuals regain everyday capabilities such as reading which have been made impossible by the genetic disease.
The Student Entrepreneur Awards are part of a major drive aimed at encouraging students to start their own business as a career option. The substantial prize fund includes €35,000 in cash prizes and €30,000 in consultancy fees which are available for winners to help them turn their idea into a commercial reality. In addition to winning the top prize, the winning team also receives mentoring from Enterprise Ireland to develop the commercial viability of their overall concept.
Commenting on the awards, Richard Murphy, Manager for Micro Enterprises and Small Business at Enterprise Ireland said: “The Student Entrepreneur Awards grows from strength to strength each year and is now in its 37th year. We received over 1,000 submissions from third level students in colleges all over Ireland. Given the quality of applications, it’s clear that the entrepreneurial spirit is very much alive across Ireland’s universities and colleges and we have seen some great ideas with real commercial potential. Congratulations to all involved.”
Pictured above: Prof. Sean F. O’Leary, Michael Ahern, Brian Fitzpatrick, Daniel Crowley, Colm Nicholl, Elaine Leahy, David O’Donovan and Richard Murphy, Enterprise Ireland.
Photo by: Murtography