Young entrepreneurs win big at Queen’s Awards

Young entrepreneurs win big at Queen’s Awards

Paul Kidd and Ciaran McCoy from Top Up Tap are presented with their winners cheque by Diane Poole OBE from Stena Line

Fashionable mobile apps, videos on how to share skills and gadgets which help you find your keys were just some of the winning proposals at this year’s What’s the Big Idea? Awards.

Organised by Enterprise SU, the annual Queen’s Students’ Union Business Idea Awards are open to all undergraduate and postgraduate students with a novel and creative idea.

The winners of the Best Overall Business Idea Award, which was sponsored by Stena Line, were entrepreneurial students Paul Kidd and Ciaran McCoy whose idea Top Up Tap, a pay as you drink dispenser, won them £500.

Diane Poole OBE, Head of PR and Communications at Stena Line, said: “Creativity and innovation are two key components of business success. It was truly inspiring to see how imaginative and focused some of the ideas were and I was delighted that Stena Line had the opportunity to be involved in this event.”

The Most Creative Business Idea, sponsored by Ormeau Business Park, was awarded to Sarah Cassidy for her unique Funbrella approach to customising umbrellas.

Ormeau Business Park CEO Patricia McNeill said: “Recognition should be given to Queen’s for their commitment to embedding enterprise education across the faculties, encouraging both undergraduates and graduates in maximising their opportunities whilst seeking to explore self employment as a potential option.”

Over the past number of years the What’s The Big Idea? Competition has attracted several hundred entries.

Queen’s Enterprise Officer Lynne Weir said: “Extra-curricular activities such as this competition help ignite the creative spark amongst many students. This can only encourage and reward entrepreneurial behaviour.”

Judge David Gibson from Queen’s University Management School said: “These young people have developed enterprise skills to create and implement business ideas which could improve the economy of Northern Ireland. It is vital that students and those who work in business, the public and the voluntary sectors are helped in developing their entrepreneurial potential to ensure the sustainability of their organisations.”

Thirteen categories in total, including Best Technological Idea and Best Not for Profit Idea, were presented with an overall prize fund of £2300 being distributed. 

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