Mi Contact team takes top honours at BT Young Scientist Business Bootcamp

Business Bootcamp 2017 winners
Pictured: Lucy Leonard, Tullamore College; Steven Harris, Luttrellstown Community College; Ciara-Beth Ni Ghriofa, Gaelcholaiste An Eachreidh; George Hennessy, Midleton College; and Ella Brennan, Loreto Kilkenny

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3 March 2017 | 0

A team of secondary school students drawn from counties Galway, Cork, Kilkenny, Offaly and Dublin took the winning spot at the 2017 BT Young Scientist Business Bootcamp with their project entitled Mi Contact. The winners were selected yesterday by a judging panel of business professionals following an intensive four-day workshop at NovaUCD.

The winning project is an app based on applied behaviour analysis to enhance early intervention programmes, and to encourage children with autism make eye contact.

Ciara-Beth Ni Ghriofa (17), from Colaiste an Eachreidh in Galway; Ella Brennan (16) from Loreto Secondary School in Kilkenny; George Hennessy (17) from Midleton College in Cork; Lucy Leonard (15), from Tullamore College in Offaly; and Steven Harris (18) from Luttrellstown Community College in Dublin, won best overall team at the eight annual BT Young Scientist Business Bootcamp.

The team impressed the judges with their business pitch for Mi Contact, which they presented this afternoon at NovaUCD. The project idea was created by Ni Ghriofa as her entry to the 2017 BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition in January this year.

The group was selected for their work over the four-day workshop, which is designed to equip students with practical skills and knowledge to transform a creative idea into a viable business proposition.

Jack O’Connor (18) from Desmond College in Limerick was named best individual student for his understanding of the process of bringing an idea he had on paper all the way through to project commercialisation.

Congratulating all the participants at the BT Young Scientist Business Bootcamp award ceremony this afternoon, Shay Walsh, Managing Director, BT Ireland, said; “We’ve had a fantastic week here at the 2017 BT Young Scientist Business Bootcamp, as we’ve watched the transformation of this talented group of people from creative young students into aspiring entrepreneurs.

“As judges and mentors, we’ve been inspired by their growing confidence and ability; and feel a sense of pride as a company to be able to support the next generation of business leaders, academics and professionals. I’d like to congratulate our winning team and indeed everyone who took part in the workshop this week and look forward to following your careers in the years to come.”

Prof Orla Feely, UCD Vice President for Research, Innovation & Impact, said: “University College Dublin, through UCD Research and Innovation, is delighted to continue working in partnership with BT Ireland to deliver the annual BT Young Scientist Business Bootcamp at NovaUCD. I would like to congratulate the overall Bootcamp winners, and all the students who participated on this year’s programme, and I hope in the near future to see their ideas transformed into businesses impacting Ireland’s economy and society.”

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