DkIT Enterprise Week 2012

For the second year running DkIT Student Enterprise ran an Enterprise Week. The aim of the week was to help students find out more about enterprise, the resources DkIT Student Enterprise provides students and to encourage participation.

Gavin Duffy, serial entrepreneur and star of RTE's Dragons' Den kicked off the week in the Whitaker Theatre. Embracing the stage Gavin talked about his journey as an entrepreneur, how he believes Ireland is an island of innovation and the opportunities that have being presented to him because of Dragons' Den.

Throughout Monday sign up for this years 'Rookie Challenge' took place. The 'Rookie Challenge' is like 'The Apprentice' on T.V. where in teams of three of four students compete with each other to win a prize by completing entrepreneurial tasks every day. This year forty-one teams signed up for the 'Rookie Challenge' to compete to win tablet computers, one for each member of the winning team.

On Tuesday morning Gillian Slattery from Enterprise Ireland spoke to the students about the 'Students Think Outside The Box Awards'. This competition offers third level students from all academic disciplines and courses of study the opportunity to realise their entrepreneurial ambitions. This year the competition has prizes valued at €60,000. For more information visit: www.thinkoutsidetheboxawards.com.

Also on Tuesday the Computing students were treated to two guest speakers who set up businesses from their interests. First was Jason McGee who is a native of the region. Jason set up his web design and I.T. consultancy business called www.jascom.ie out of a desire to be self-employed. Having experienced what it is like to work for a company as well Jason used his experience to talk the students through the benefits of having a job against the benefits of setting up your own business and working for yourself. Next up was Ellen Dudley founder of www.crowdscanner.com. CrowdScanner has developed a platform to help conference organisers stimulate discussions between people in the same room, face to face, using mobile applications.

Their most popular application called PeopleHunt uses psychological profiling and gaming mechanics to make it fun to discover people in a networking context. This company is certainly one to watch in the years ahead.

On Tuesday the winner of our Facebook promotional competition was announced. Christopher McGorman a third year Mechanical Engineering student was presented with all the tickets to this years DkIT Rag Week for 'liking' DkIT Student Enterprise's Facebook page and 'sharing' the competition photo.

For the engineering department DkIT Student Enterprise presented guest speakers on the Wednesday, Ken Stewart of Valley Forge and Derek Roddy of Smart Homes. Derek got the event started by explaining where he found his entrepreneurial spirit creating a new screw to setting up Smart Homes with former presidential candidate Sean Gallagher. He talked about how they identified their market of creating actual smart homes in the building boom, the effect of the recession and the direction he hopes the company will take. This direction is led by a new product they have on offer called Climote. With an investment of over €3 million, Climote revolutionises the way we program our heating systems, both home and commercial.

Ken Stewart is a former student of DkIT some 37 years ago. Originally starting out building canopies for shops, he was then asked if he could build a refrigeration unit for one customer. This eventually led Valley Forge to becoming the leading deli-counter supplier in Ireland, 80% of deli-counter units in Ireland now come from Valley Forge. He provided the eager students with some simple but effect business advice along with a story or two.

The submission deadline of the first task of the 'Rookie Challenge' was at 2 p.m. on Tuesday 21st, then at 3 p.m. eight semi-finalists were chosen, contacted and presented with 'The Selling Task'. For this task they were presented with various items in a black bag valued at €33 and they were given exactly twenty-four hours to make as much profit as they could in the most innovative and creative ways. The eight semi-finalists then met up in the Whitaker Theatre at 3 p.m. on Wednesday where they presented their results. The judges then selected four teams that progressed to the final and they were presented with the final task which was to: "Develop a business idea be it a product or a service that will improve our everyday lives."

The final four teams were:

Business Students: Sean McArdle, Thomas Quigley, Zara Atherton, Christopher Goslin.

Erasmus Students: Petit Marion, Le Perdriel Camille, Goupil Eloise, Cochennec Laura.

Engineering Students: Ciaran McGuill, Anjani Bhandari, Mangesh Khanal, Zhong Noulao.

Computing Students: David McQuaid, Eoin Healy, Aidan Mathews.

The teams had less than twenty-four hours until they presented to Student Enterprise's very own panel of Dundalk Dragons': Mario MacBlain Lecturer in the School of Business Studies, Sarah Jane Lynch Owner of www.thedesignbasket.com, Colman Ledwith Lecturer in the School of Engineering and Dermot Logue Lecturer in the School of Computing.

After long deliberation between the judges the runners-up and winners were announced. The runners up were David McQuaid, Eoin Healy and Aidan Mathews second year Software Development students. Four students from the School of Business, Sean McArdle, Thomas Quigley, Zara Atherton and Christopher Goslin were crowned the winners of the 'Rookie Challenge 2012' and they were rewarded for their tremendous hard work by being presented with a tablet computer each.

On the Thursday of Enterprise week, there was a time trial obstacle course in order to promote the student mobile shop, Molly Malone. Molly was filled with playpen balls and participants had to wheel Miss Malone around the course in the fastest time possible, incurring a one second penalty for every ball which fell out. It was a windy and fun filled event with over twenty contestants and a total crowd of over a hundred students. It was free to enter and the winner left with a brand new digital camera with a time of 20 seconds. Congratulations to Chris Collier, our Molly Malone champion!

DkIT Student Enterprise would like to thank all the students who took part in the 'Rookie Challenge' this year as well as the 'Molly Malone Time Trial', we would also like to thank all our guest speakers, judges, photographers and of course the students and lecturers.

To keep up to date with everything else we have planned for the semester and to find out more about what free resources DkIT Student Enterprise offer the students find us on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/dkitstudententerprise.