Students from Tullamore College attended the National Final of Agri Aware’s Green Dragon Secondary School Innovation Challenge recently.
They were one of 25 young budding innovation teams out to impress the panel of judges which included leading economist and Chairman of Love Irish Food, Jim Power; the 2012 Apprentice winner, Eugene Heary; agricultural presenter, Ella McSweeney; Heidi Corr, of the Dublin Business Innovation Centre and Pauric Corrigan, President of the National Irish Safety Organisation.
The finalists had to convince the Green Dragons that their idea for a new Agriculture, Food, Environment or Health and Safety product or service had the potential to be a real seller on the market.
Daragh Fogarty, Colm Woodlock, Sáofra MacNamara and Tululop Makanjoula entered the Health and Safety category with their idea for a portable bicycle lane which really impressed the health and safety judges at the National Final. While the team was not a category winner, they were encouraged by the panel to pursue their idea and gained much business, research and IT experience through their Green Dragon project.
Now in its third year, the Green Dragon Secondary School Innovation Challenge is an Agri Aware initiative supported by Bord Bia, AIB Bank and FBD.
The initiative provides students with the opportunity to bring their innovative idea from concept stage through to development of business and marketing plans. Earlier the students made their pitch to the judges, in front of a live audience.
This year, the category winners will also have the opportunity to showcase their ideas at a European level at the Dublin City of Science in July in the National Convention Centre. This event will be attended by over 6,000 scientists, business leaders and Government officials from across Europe.
Commenting on the success of the National Final, Agri Aware Chairman, Bernard Donohue remarked.
“The standard of the business pitches made to the panel of judges today was outstanding. All finalists were remarkable and we congratulate them all for their great effort.“
Conor Gouldson, Company Secretary with FBD said, “We were delighted to see such a high standard of entries across all four categories, especially in the health and safety sectors. We extend our congratulations to all of today’s winners, and we hope that these students’ great ideas come to fruition in the not too distant future.”