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Calling all enterprising students to ‘Think Outside the Box’
Pictured (l-r): Paul Kenny, CEO and Founder of Cobone and Entrepreneurial Ambassador for the Awards 2013,  John Perry TD, Minister for Small Business, Dearbhaile Forde of, and Justin Conboy, winners of the 2013 Think Outside the Box Awards, Tom Hayes Enterprise Ireland Head of Micro Enterprise and Small Business.

Enterprise Ireland has a great opportunity for ambitious and enterprising students to build a real-world business venture and at the same time be in with a chance to win a prize from the overall €30,000 cash prize fund, which includes a €10,000 first prize, as well as a €30,000 consultancy fund.

The Enterprise Ireland Think Outside the Box Awards launched by John Perry TD, Minister for Small Business  are part of a major drive aimed at tapping into the potential for students and young people to turn their entrepreneurial ideas into commercial businesses. 

The Awards, which are co-sponsored by Invest Northern Ireland, Cruickshank Intellectual Property Attorneys, Grant Thornton and Intel, are open to all full time third level students in the island of Ireland.  Third level students represent a seed bed for future business start-ups and last year’s winning team from NUI Galway are a great example of the commercial potential for student entrepreneurs.  Their project, a drag reduction device for trucks that helps significantly reduce fuel consumption, has already attracted significant commercial interest and they have gone on to win €50,000 funding from Enterprise Ireland’s Competitive Start Fund to develop the project further.

Launching the initiative at NUI Galway, Minister Perry said:
‘There is a current gap in terms of really tapping into this potential for students to help drive the economy by commercialising their business ideas and looking on starting their own business as a real career option.  This in turn will stimulate employment among themselves and their peers.  Students represent a wealth of energy, creativity and innovation.  We need to tap into this and encourage and stimulate these students to be ambitious about their own potential to go into business for themselves’.

Regional Executives from Enterprise Ireland will be presenting the details of the competition to all colleges and institutions between now and the closing date for the competition which is Wednesday 24th April 2013.  The Enterprise Ireland Think Outside the Box Awards will hold a closing ceremony of the best national ideas at NUI Galway in June 2013. 

For more information visit the website on

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