Innovation and Entrepreneurship At UCC In March


There is so much happening in the area of innovation and entrepreneurship on campus over the next month or so, I thought it would be worth pulling it all together.

This week kicks off with UCC Entrepreneurial & Social Society’s Enterprise Conference.

24th Feb
On Weds 24th Feb at 1.00pm, How to Get Paid to Travel the World features Stephanie Lynch, founder of OnTheQT. A former IGNITE participant, Stephanie will share her story of how she has combined her love for digital media production and travel and turned them into a successful business.

The E&S Society & the Hope Society team up on Weds 24th Feb for the UCC Apprentice Challenge. A first prize of €500 awaits the team that is adjudged to perform the best at selling Butler’s Chocolate bars, generating an online buzz for the Hope Foundation and checking off various bucket list goals along the way. The winners will be announced at 1.30pm on Thurs 25th Feb in the Creative Zone.

25th Feb
And on Thurs 25th Feb at 2.00pm – 3.00pm in the Creative Zone, E&S have organised a short panel discussion – Entrepreneurship is for Everyone – featuring:

– BComm Graduate Ernest Cantillon (founder/owner Sober Lane, Electric, BTS, Wotbox)
– BSc (Food Science) Graduate Breffney O’Dowling-Keane (founder FoodCubed and IGNITE participant)
– BSc (Biotechnology) Graduate Blaine Doyle (co-founder GlowDx)
– BSc (Applied Psychology) Graduate Conor Nolan (co-founder WattSpot)

To be chaired by Eamon Curtin Director of IGNITE Graduate Business Innovation Programme.

Details on all the E&S Events are available at E&S Facebook Events at

3rd March
The following week, UCC hosts the finals of the Student Enterprise Awards for the South region on 3rd March. Over 40 teams, drawn from secondary schools around the county will present their business ideas to a panel of judges with the objective of going forward to representing the region at the National Student Enterprise Awards later in the year. DeVere Hall is the place to be for kick-off at 9.00am with award winners announced at 1.00pm. A number of IGNITE participants and alumni will be involved on the day.

Later that afternoon will be the official opening of Blackstone Launchpad on campus. Blackstone LaunchPad at UCC is a campus-based experiential entrepreneurship program open to students, alumni, and staff offering coaching, ideation and venture creation support. It kicks off at 4.00pm in the Blackstone LaunchPad at UCC/Creative Zone, Q Floor of Boole Library.

8/9th March
University College Cork is hosting the first Bank of Ireland Enterprise Campus on 8th and 9th March. Among the events planned are guest speakers and a business idea pitching competition.

10th March
The Business Information Systems Final Year Project Showcase is scheduled for Thurs 10th March. Last year there were almost 120 projects on display and a similar turnout is expected this year. While the aim of these projects is to showcase technical ability, many will have commercial applications. IGNITE alumnus, Brendan Finucane, founder of VConnecta, developed his first product ecanvasser from a BIS FYP.

11th March
The School of Engineering Industry & Open Day is set for 11th March and will feature a showcase of projects and guest speakers from industry.

16th March
The Computer Science Final Year Project Showcase is scheduled for Weds 16th March in the Western Gateway Building. Last year there were 80 projects showcased.

31st March
And the closing date for UCC Entrepreneur of the Year 2016 submissions is 31st March 2016 at 12.00 noon. The winners will be announced on 7th April at 6.00pm in the Library Creativity Zone.

Meanwhile, watch out for the UCC Food Innovation Prize towards end May. Students from UCC’s BSc Food Science and BSc Food Marketing and Entrepreneurship degree programmes will pitch new products developed in groups as part of their final year research projects.

I suspect that this list isn’t exhaustive. Feel free to let me know if there is anything to be added.

Eamon Curtin – Director IGNITE

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