Students Elaine Leahy, David O’Donovan, Daniel Crowley, Ryan Breen, Michael Ahern, Brian Fitzpatrick and Colm Nicholl, from Cork Institute of Technology, were announced as winners last Thursday of the overall Enterprise Ireland Student Entrepreneur of the Year Award and have been named ‘College Entrepreneur of the Year 2018’.
The winning entrants beat off stiff competition with their project ‘MacGlas’ – a novel vision aid designed to help people suffering from Macular Degeneration, the leading cause of vision loss in the western world, which results in the progressive loss of central vision.
By configuring and applying existing technologies in a new and innovative way 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, now in their 37th year, 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, with CIT as overall winners awarded.
In addition to winning the top prize of €10,000, the CIT team will also receive mentoring from Enterprise Ireland to develop the commercial viability of their overall concept.
The Cruickshank Intellectual Property Attorneys’ High Achieving Merit Award (€5k) went to Acidose 1, Dundalk Institute of Technology (DKIT) – Warren Stevely. Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) students Lorna Power and Emma Murphy, with their project PROgress Equine, won the Grant Thornton Emerging Business Award (€5k). The Enterprise Ireland ICT award winner (€5k) went to Jordan Kelly University of Limerick (UL) for IGNAUTICA Underwater Search and Recovery System.
Merit Awards were given to the remaining six finalists (€1,500 cash prize per team), which included: GreenBreathing – Rosie Clancy, Tadhg O’Byrne, Sean Deasy, Kevin Mullen, Aidan Phelan, Yevhen Sarchov & Aidan Keegan – CIT; BLives – Claire McSweeney, John O’Sullivan, Eoghan O’Leary, Samprikta Manna and David Zelaya – UCC.
For more information on the Student Entrepreneur Awards visit https://studententrepreneurawards.com/