From sound-absorbing paint to driver fatigue – the next generation of entrepreneurs gather at the BT Young Scientist Business Bootcamp

March 4th 2016

BT Ireland’s 7th annual business mentoring and skills camp begins tomorrow at NovaUCD

The BT Young Scientist Business Bootcamp 2016 begins tomorrow at University College Dublin (UCD).  Now in its 7th year, this four-day mentoring and skills camp welcomes 32 second-level students from across Ireland who demonstrate an ability to understand how and why a simple idea can be developed into a commercially-viable enterprise. The Bootcamp is the brainchild of BT, one of Ireland’s leading communications and IT providers, and the organiser and sponsor of the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition.

The students participating in this year’s Bootcamp were chosen in January 2016 from over 1,200 secondary school students who competed in the 52nd BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition. They span nine counties and 12 schools across the Republic of Ireland, with 15 boys and 17 girls taking part this week.

Shay Walsh, Managing Director, BT Ireland, said; “The BT Young Scientist Business Bootcamp sees some of the country’s brightest young minds come together as they learn to bring their ideas forward and bridge the gap between education and business. We at BT have been amazed over the past six years at how students have taken the next step with their brilliant ideas and established viable businesses and we have no doubt that many of the participants attending this week will go on to do the same.”

Each group will be mentored by a senior BT professional and will enjoy inspiration from key speakers including:
1)      Aisling Judge – winner of the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition  2006
2)      Daniel Hobbs & James Eggers – entrepreneurs, past participants of BT Business Bootcamp and founders of
3)      Rhona Togher, Top 4 BTYSTE 2009 and CEO, Restored Hearing
4)      Jonathan McCrea – Award winning TV and radio broadcaster
5)      Mike Tierney – Senior Engineering Director, Intellectual Ventures

Students taking part in the BT Young Scientist Business Bootcamp will be tasked with developing an outline business approach to commercialise a specific award winning project from this year’s BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition. Each team will work with their dedicated BT business mentor who will coach them to develop their business plans and presentation skills.

This year’s projects include:
1.       Courses for horses; feeding performance horses as nature intended.
2.       Preservation Of Water Supplies Using Hygroscopic Polymers
3.       Sound Absorbing Paint
4.       Connect Shade: Development of a smart, portable, solar powered, USB charging, shading device
5.       Wake Up to Driver Fatigue
6.       An Investigation into Human-Robot Social Interaction using a sound localising Robotic Social Interface

The Bootcamp will culminate on Thursday 3rd March, 2016 when the teams will present their business plans to a judging panel comprised of academics and senior business professionals.