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Student Inc: Introducing Students to the Exciting realm of Entrepreneurship.

05 September, 2016


    Over the summer of 2016 I had the pleasure of helping 11 ambitious students develop their highly innovative projects. Being a past participant of this programme, I knew how much they will benefit from the great supports available at The Rubicon Centre. Each project was awarded with €4’000 seed funding (provided by CAMMS, Enterprise Ireland and the Local Enterprise Offices) so the students did not have to depend on a part-time job for financial support. This funding also assisted with capitalising certain elements of their projects to determine their feasibility. In addition to this support, The Rubicon Centre and The Hincks Centre of CIT provided a wealth of mentoring. Working on this programme alongside two of my close colleagues Michelle and Miriam; was one of the best experiences of my life. Seeing the passion behind the projects from both staff and students alike was very refreshing. The inspiring stories of each project can be seen below:



                  Wendy is completing her Masters in the area of Early Childhood Education. “ is a resource website and user friendly app for parents and childcare practitioners. KazooCare takes the hassle out of paperwork and complying with early years regulations. KazooCare currently has over 2,000 early adopters, who have subscribed to the teaser website and 20,000 users and over 50,000 unique page visits, per month. Our users come from all over the world and range from Ireland all the way to countries such as Australia and even Mexico. Our mission is to educate the educator, ensuring that children, no matter who they are or where they come from will have access to a quality early years education. The goal is to provide a library of early years resources through a subscription service, to businesses and individual practitioners all over the world”.   Wendy has now successfully entered Enterprise Ireland’s New Frontiers Programme at the Rubicon Centre and is well on her way in bringing her idea to the next level.  

Eoin & Myat

eoin-myat                   Eoin & Myat studied Bio-Medical Engineering in CIT. “Our handheld water purification device is for people living in third world countries and our own homeless communities that are dying from diseases caused by the drinking of contaminated water”. Eoin & Myat have since gone back to further research their product as part of their Honours Degree.  


craig-fleming                 Craig has recently completed an Honours Degree in Multimedia and has caught the entrepreneurial bug while at CIT. “Cork Creative is an innovative media company based in Co Cork. Our goal is to allow businesses and organisations to reach the highest audience possible by building an online presence. We offer traditional media services such as web design and video production as well as emerging technologies like 360 video and virtual reality content. Our have a range of clients from local business’ like Cyprus Avenue to organisations such as UCC (University College Cork)”   Craig is now up and running; and is working with clients such as Tyco and CIT to develop virtual tours.  


eimear-spillane                 Eimear recently completed her degree in Culinary Arts. “Five is a food company that produces Asian Dumplings in a lunch pack, consisting of five dumplings ready to reheat in the microwave accompanied with a tub of dipping sauce and a set of chopsticks. There is currently not a lot of choice in supermarkets for Asian food. This product is a healthy and easy meal to produce it takes 10 minutes max to cook it and I want to bring in this option for people so that there are a variety of convenience meals available to consumers”.   Eimear is working towards entering local farmers markets to sell her tasty dumplings.  


muideen                 Muideen has just completed his final year in Bio-Medical Engineering. “DR. BREATHE is a product that aims to improve patients’ health and way of life through proper monitoring of one of life’s most important actions; breathing. The project is aimed at finding possible ways to technologically monitor and address certain breathing related issues”. Muideen is aspiring to succeed in the sector of engineering and his innovative product is just one step on that long path of success.      


emilie-omahony                 Emilie has recently completed her degree in Culinary Arts. “My product is pumpkin pie which is made by hand from a secret family recipe that has been developed over the last 20 years. This product is unique in its consistency and flavour and is completely new to the Irish market. This product is the winner of the CIT Dragon’s Den competition and has received 100% positive response rate from tastings done with the public”. Emilie is now pursuing an honours degree in Hospitality Management. Emilie will continue to develop her product using the skillset she has gained from Student Inc.


sean-mannix                 Seán has just completed his degree in Bar Management. Seán never stopped smiling from the very beginning of the programme to the very end; his optimism was contagious. “The product is a pest control solution for fruit flies. Bait is placed into the traps which is then used attract the flies. The baits being used are very unique. The plastic cups are made from corn starch and a compostable. This means there are no harmful chemicals left off when it decomposes. The bait used is also bio material which is a by-product of another process. The bait needs to be replaced weekly and will come in packs of four”. Seán is conducting further market research on his product and is entering phase 1 of the New Frontiers Programme.


robert-quinlan               Robert has completed his Honours Degree in Multimedia. Robert helped all of us here at The Rubicon Centre gain insight to the daily lifestyle of people from within the deaf community. “The e-ISL (Irish Sign Language) is e-learning interactive online website and app using mobile/tablet devices for users who wish to learn sign language. The abbreviated term of word “Irish Sign Language” is “ISL” and it is unique to sign language used in Ireland. ISL is the indigenous language of the Irish Deaf people and their community, and has been passed down by generations of Deaf people. It is a visual, spatial language with its own distinct grammar but is not synchronous with English. It is not merely a language of the hands but also incorporates facial expressions and body movements. e-ISL offers the user a friendly interactive way to learn ISL online, in addition to flexibility on when they want to use the service. In the future, I hope to expand this idea into a Virtual Reality (VR) interactive learning platform, to help further build confidence in the sign language learner. Within this interactive platform the user would be able to see themselves from a 3D perspective and may also have the opportunity to interact with other users or members of the Deaf community”.   Robert is continuing to develop his product with a view to getting some beta tests complete.    


ruairi-murphy                 Ruairi has just completed his degree in Mechanical Engineering. “The idea was developed because as a below-knee amputee I was finding it difficult to cycle. The main issues I was having were keeping my prosthetic foot on the pedal and then keeping it in the correct position on the pedal. While I was able to overcome the problem of keeping it on the pedal by using a cage-style toe clip, I was getting an enormous amount of pain in my knee. I discovered this was due to pedalling with the front of my prosthetic foot, like you would with a normal foot. The design of the prosthetic foot, which is designed for walking rather than cycling, isn't suited for this type of pressure near the 'toe' area.   We developed a design that would move the pedal closer to the centre of the prosthetic foot and also keep the foot on the pedal during cycling. As opposed to conventional clipless pedals, this design doesn't require the cyclist to swivel their ankles to release their foot from the pedal. An amputee is obviously limited in the amount they can swivel their leg. Therefore, this design just requires the cyclist to pull their leg in backward direction to release the clip”.   Ruairi has just finished designing his 3rd prototype which is now ready for market feedback.


donal-lynes               Donal has just completed his degree in Mechanical engineering. Donal was known as the joker of the group and ensured that both staff and students enjoyed their time in Student Inc. “Our Idea is to set up a business that develops products that help farmers with everyday jobs on the farm them making them safer and less time consuming. With each member coming from an agricultural background and with a strong interest in farming and our Mechanical Engineering degrees we believe we can bring something new and exciting to the farming sector. Our first product in this company is the Multi Mixer Bedder, used on farms with animals in cubical sheds with the purpose of cleaning and bedding each cubical. This allows farmers to clean and bed a cubical shed of 100 cubicles in 10 minutes with little physical exertion”.   Donal has now gone back to complete his level 8 degree in Mechanical Engineering and plans to further develop his product as part of his studies.    

My endnote

Stephen Desaturated         It was great to see such a variety of student disciplines participate in the programme. From being a past participant of this programme I can definitely confirm that this programme is getting better and better each year. This year we have angel investors interested in investing in 3 of our participating projects. We also have participants going forward to apply for Enterprise Ireland’s New Frontiers Programme and the Local Enterprise Office’s Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur competition. It is great to see the students go on to progress in the field of entrepreneurship. I am saddened to see this year’s programme come to an end; I am parting with fellow entrepreneurs who are dedicated, passionate and hard working. I do however look forward to welcoming next year’s group and being part of the exponential success of the Student Inc. programme.  

Stephen Downey

Enterprise Intern


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