CIT Entrepreneur of the Year Creates Growing Business
Published on: Friday, 13 March 2015
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The Roll Out Vegetable Garden Company has picked up a €4,000 prize and the title of CIT Entrepreneur of the Year at the 2015 Cork CIT Prize for Innovation Awards Ceremony which also featured a keynote address from CIT Graduate and CEO of Slainte Healthcare, Andrew Murphy.
First Prize and title of CIT Entrepreneur of the Year went to sole trader and founder of the Roll Out Vegetable Garden Company, Cara Tremayne from Dunmanway, Co. Cork. Cara is a fourth year Horticulture student at CIT. The idea behind the business is to create a coco coir woven matting which is impregnated with vegetable seeds. The objective is that the matting works just like a roll out lawn but is more productive. Tremayne has worked in a garden centre for over ten years and also maintained a manor house vegetable garden for over four years.
The Most Innovative Award of €2,000 went to Votive Solutions, designers of Stride which is a drop foot device used for gait abnormality. The device is used to lift the front of the foot when taking a step to avoid excessive lifting of the foot of dragging of the toes while walking. The students worked in a multidisciplinary team to develop their business. Students are from Mechanical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering at CIT.
Best Business Plan of €1,500 was awarded to Gladium Medical. The device is a medical needle guidance system that allows needle positioning and stability for common intravenous operations to reduce user error and improve operator safety and confidence. The students are studying Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering at CIT.
Best Presentation Pitch of €1,500 was awarded to Sous Feed which is a company that aims to produce a high quality instant food product that is healthy and also affordable. The student who developed the product is studying in the Department of Tourism and Hospitality at CIT.
The NIMBUS Centre at CIT awarded a €5,000 Product Development Prize, which is worth over 20 days of research, to Sock-On, a device that can help someone to put on their own socks, if otherwise unable. It was inspired by a gap in the market and medical need identified by a member of the development team, who is a qualified occupational therapist. The students are from a multidisciplinary team studying Mechanical Engineering, Biomedical Engineering and Business studies at CIT.
Best Exhibition Stand of €1,000 was awarded to CSMonitoring.
The CIT Prize for Innovation is open to all departments within CIT and awards cash prizes to those whose inventions and business ideas are judged most creative, innovative, and most likely to succeed in the marketplace. The competition is supported by the Local Enterprise Offices Cork.
Sole trader and founder of the Roll Out Vegetable Garden Company, Cara Tremayne from Dunmanway, Co. Cork won the €4,000 prize and the title of CIT Entrepreneur of the Year 2015. Cara is a fourth year Horticulture student at CIT. The idea behind the business is to create a coco coir woven matting which is impregnated with vegetable seeds. The objective is that the matting works just like a roll out lawn but is more productive. Tremayne has worked in a garden centre for over ten years and also maintained a manor house vegetable garden for over four years.
Image Credit: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision
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The CIT Entrepreneur of Year will be announced, and €10,000 will be awarded in prizes, at an Award Ceremony at CIT on Friday, 13th March, one of the final events during CIT’s Innovation Week. This year marks thirteen years of the highly successful Local Enterprise Offices Cork, CIT Prize for Innovation Competition.
Paul Healy, Chair of the Adjudication Panel said: “We are very excited about the tremendous growth of entrepreneurial activities by the students and staff of CIT. The quality of projects entered in this year’s Prize for Innovation is indicative of this and emphasises CIT’s drive to position itself as the leading 3rd level entrepreneurial college in the country”.
The shortlisted teams have been announced and will present to the adjudication panel. Shortlisted team represent areas such as Tourism and Hospitality Studies, Computing, Biomedical and Mechanical Engineering, Process, Energy and Transport Engineering and Business Studies.
One of those shortlisted is “The Roll Out Vegetable Company.” The Sole Trader and Founder, Cara Tremayne from Dunmanway, is a fourth year Horticulture student at CIT. The idea behind the business is to create a coco coir woven matting which is impregnated with vegetable seeds. The matting works just as a roll out lawn but it is more productive. Cara has worked in a busy garden centre for over ten years and also maintained a manor house vegetable garden for over four years - “My previous work experience and education has allowed me to build contacts within the industry and will stand in my favour in the CIT Prize for Innovation.”
CIT encourages multi-disciplinary teams to enter the Prize for Innovation. Students from Mechanical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering have worked together and developed the company Quick Injection Solutions which aims to enhance the safety, efficiency, and comfort of administering injections to animals. Darren Kingston from Kinsale, who is one of the six team members, approached the team with the idea.
Another shortlisted business is CompuAid which is a personal computer building aid hardware product aimed at the PC home enthusiast/innovator and small computer building businesses, both of which are large and rapidly growing worldwide markets. The product inspiration arose from the experience of two members of the CompuAid multidiscipline development team who are personal computer building enthusiasts and also have experience of industrial manufacture.
The CompuAid development team bring a diverse range of technical and business skills to the CompuAid innovation ethos. Project Manager, Karen McDonnell: “What makes our team so strong is the diversity of the team members’ backgrounds and interests. This gives us five unique perspectives, and five unique solutions, to every problem we encounter. Five heads are definitely better than one.”
The CIT Entrepreneur of the Year will be announced at an Awards Ceremony, with a keynote address from Andrew Murphy, CIT Graduate and CEO of Slainte Healthcare, on Friday, 13th March.
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CIT Innovation Week events are free and open to the public. For more details visit www.cit.ie/innovationweek
Entrepreneurship and Innovation take centre stage each year with a weeklong series of events taking place at CIT, across its five campus locations, including Blackrock Castle Observatory. Innovation Week 2015 will take place from Monday 9th to Friday13th March.
One of the centrepiece events is the CIT Prize for Innovation, sponsored by the Local Enterprise Offices (Cork). The CIT Entrepreneur of the Year will be announced at an Award Ceremony, with a keynote address from Andrew Murphy of Sláinte Healthcare, on Friday, 13th March. There is a prize fund of €10,000.
CIT graduate and founder and CEO of PMD Solutions, Myles Murray will address staff and students at the launch of Innovation Week on Monday 9th March at 1.00pm in the West Atrium. Myles is a previous prize winner of the CIT Prize for Innovation and is now based in the Rubicon Centre.
The CIT School of Business is once again running its very successful APPrentice competition. Students are asked to submit an idea for a smartphone app. The objective is to engage as many students as possible and is designed to be easy to enter. No technical or coding expertise is required, not even ownership of a smartphone. The winner will be the best app idea.
CIT Alumni Association will host a graduate roundtable discussion where students will have the opportunity to speak with graduate entrepreneurs in an informal and relaxed environment. Graduates participating in the event are from a wide range of sectors and will give students a varied and wide view of being innovative in the world of business through first hand experiences.
CIT, as part of Innovation Week, with funding from Irish Design 2015, is running a Masterclass in Service Design. This hands-on event will give businesses the tools to allow them ‘walk in their customer’s shoes’. The masterclass, on Tuesday, 10th March will be practically focused with challenges and activities throughout the day in CIT Wandesford Quay. Registration is essential.
Key seminars at CIT Innovation Week include:
- The Art of the Event: Case Studies in Successful Event Management, a talk by Jonathan Legge of design duo, Makers & Brothers,
- a talk on the work of Business to Arts by Andrew Hetherington.
- Design Thinking for Entrepreneurship seminar hosted by the Hincks Centre for Entrepreneurship Excellence
Andrew, who is co-founder of Fund it, will join a panel of experienced crowdfunding creatives to discuss how to use crowdfunding to fundraise for a creative project or idea. The Irish Music Rights Organisation are partnering with Business to Arts to bring knowledge of crowdfunding as an alternative funding stream to the music and creative industries in Ireland. CIT are hosting this event as part of a series of clinics around Ireland.
The CIT CoderDojo and the CIT Blackrock Castle CoderDojo will host a competition where participants will present projects that they have been working on over the last couple of weeks using the different programming skills that they have learned. The projects will include games, animations, stories and web sites.