Student Innovation Calendar Launch at NUI Galway

Oct 08 2019 Posted: 15:17 IST

NUI Galway student innovation hub LaunchPad has launched its programme of events for the year. The programme has gone from strength to strength on the NUI Galway campus with a community of over 7,000 student entrepreneurs trained since 2015.  

Supported by a team of ten interns a key differentiator for the innovation hub is its approach to peer to peer engagement. Executive Director Natalie Walsh said: “Each year we hire a team of interns from across our campuses so that students can learn and develop from each other, in this year’s team we have current Enterprise Ireland Student Entrepreneur of the Year Chris McBrearty, who has worked with us for over a year and comes from a scientific background; Aaron Hannon, a recent Enterprise Ireland Commercialisation Fund recipient and winner of the NDRC Ireland Fund Business Plan competition, who is a second year engineering student; Sarah Murphy a medical student who was a IBYE finalist in Sligo for her project Gridmathic a mathematic literacy aid; Charlotte Lucas, a final year Biomedical Science student who has with Cell Explorers helped to develop a science kit for use in the classroom called ‘Fantastic DNA’; and Heidi Schoenenberger, a PhD student working on developing a business to bring drama productions to primary schools.”

A key emphasis of the programme is contributing toward the culture of entrepreneurship on campus and within the region.  Students participating in the programme gain transversal skills and in addition to now considering entrepreneurship as part of their career plan, in addition to being highly employable and filling roles on many sought after programmes both nationally and internationally.

The innovation calendar features events, programmes and competitions open to students in Galway. Programmes in this year’s calendar include an EIT Health funded connected health programme, a start-up student week taking place in November and Student Ascent, a midway demo day of student innovation on campus.  The hub has also expanded the reach of some of its programmes by opening them up to third level students in the region. 

Natalie Walsh continues: “We have had a huge response to our second level students programmes the Ideas Academy which was open to all second level students in the region, a natural next step for our hub is to engage more with the region and work collaboratively to contribute towards a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem with students at the heart if it, particularly as we see our student perform so well at national entrepreneurship award programmes. We also see our students developing a core extracurricular skillset that makes them very attractive to employers in the region with many of our Interns holding important innovation roles in their respective industries.

“Our approach is to have an open door policy. We encourage entrepreneurs and potential mentors to get in touch with us and see how we can work together to train the next generation of entrepreneurs for our region.”


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