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10th Mar 2017

Skills camp encourages future entrepreneurs

SOME of the best young business minds from across the island of Ireland have been put through their paces at the BT Young Scientist Business Bootcamp.

Now in its 8th year, the four-day bootcamp saw 30 students – including two pupils from Loreto College Coleraine – participate in a mentoring and skills programme to help them understand how to develop a project idea into a commercially viable business. Over the four days the students learnt about the fundamentals of critical business applications such as patenting, business development, sales, marketing and presentation skills.

The students participating in this year’s Bootcamp were hand-picked from the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition which took place in January.

Among those selected were Sian Donaghy and Dónal Close from Loreto College whose project Phone Book Physics was awarded BT – Northern Ireland Best Project.

Explaining the purpose of the bootcamp, Mairead Meyer, Managing Director of NI Networks, said: ‘Each year, the brightest young minds from Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland walk through the doors of the RDS for the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition. Many of whom are aspiring entrepreneurs with excellent business ideas, but who are simply lacking the knowledge and skills to take their project ideas to the next stage.

The Bootcamp equips these students with the tools and more importantly, the confidence, to hopefully make the leap into business and we are so proud to be able to play a part in helping these young people to realise their potential.”

As part of the programme students were divided into six teams to work on an award-winning project from this year’s BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition, for which they had to develop a business pitch for a panel of judges. Each team also had the benefit of being coached by a dedicated BT business mentor and taking inspiration from key speakers including TV and radio broadcaster Jonathan McCrea.

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