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Students from NUIG scoop top prize at Enterprise Ireland Student Entrepreneur Awards 2017

Kevin Foley Kevin Foley

“Coachbook” wins €10,000 prize and title ‘College Entrepreneur of the Year 2017’

Paddy MacDonagh and Chris Bogues, students from National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG), have today won the overall Enterprise Ireland Student Entrepreneur of the Year Award and have been named ‘College Entrepreneur of the Year 2017’. The winning entrants beat off stiff competition with their project ‘Coachbook’, an online platform for riding coaches to train horse riders remotely through live video streaming.

This year celebrates the 36th year of the prestigious awards which are co-sponsored by Cruickshank Intellectual Property Attorneys, Intel and Grant Thornton and are open to all third level colleges across Ireland. 

The Student Entrepreneur Awards are part of a major drive aimed at encouraging students to start their own business as a career option. The substantial prize fund includes €35,000 in cash prizes and €30,000 in consultancy fees which are available for winners to help them turn their idea into a commercial reality. In addition to winning the top prize, the winning team will also receive mentoring from Enterprise Ireland to develop the commercial viability of their overall concept.

Brendan Flood, Head of Micro Enterprises and Small Business at Enterprise Ireland said: “Now in its 36th year, the Student Entrepreneur Awards attracted submissions from over 560 third level students from colleges across Ireland. This competition gives students valuable hands-on experience in entrepreneurship and establishing a business. The calibre of applications clearly demonstrates that the entrepreneurial spirit is very much alive across Ireland’s universities and colleges. Congratulations to all involved.”


Information about the winning projects:

College Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2017 winner:

Coachbook, NUIG – Paddy MacDonagh and Chris Bogues

Coachbook is “an online platform for riding coaches to train horse riders remotely through live video streaming, eliminating the geographical limitations faced by athletes wishing to excel in their sport while also providing a marketplace for coaches to showcase their talents".


Cruickshank Intellectual Property Attorneys’ High Achieving Merit Award winner: 

StrydeTech, CIT - Muireann Hickey, Cian O’Leary, Kevin Hayes, Jonathan Mullane & Alexander Sologub

The Cruickshank Intellectual Property Attorneys’ High Achieving Merit Award of €5,000 went to StrydeTech from Cork Institute of Technology.

 “Our company StrydeTechTM, is a mobility aid company, currently specialising in walking frames. Our aim is to assist those who struggle with mobility, balance and those who cannot get from the sit-down to stand-up position independently without the assistance from others. StrydeTechTM is a modern, innovative and life changing mobility aid which creates independence and freedom for all of its users”.

Cruickshank Intellectual Property Attorneys are also providing intellectual property consultancy and protection for all the finalists.


Grant Thornton Emerging Business Award winner:

BellaMoon, QUB – Irene Breen

The Grant Thornton Emerging Business Award of €5,000 went to “BellaMoon” from Queen’s University Belfast.

“BellaMoon® is a unique multi-functional breast-feeding bed, co-sleeping bed, pregnancy pillow and baby dock. It helps mothers comfortably adopt the universal lateral co-sleeping and breastfeeding position with their babies which, in turn, creates a wonderful loving bonding experience, greatly enriches the mothers sleep and significantly prolongs breastfeeding duration. It provides mothers and fathers with greater comfort and peace of mind whilst co-sleeping, and provides baby with the ease, closeness and loving connection associated with breast-feeding. BellaMoon® allows you to ‘sleep with love’.”

Grant Thornton will also provide business plan development advice to the finalists.


Intel ICT award winner:

StrokeSense, CIT - Ciara Cronin, Kevin O’Regan, Emmet Cadogan, Conor McCarthy, Cathal Merz, Jamie Coleman & Thom Ver Kley.

Intel awarded their ICT award of €5,000 to StrokeSense from CIT.

“StrokeSense is a medical application device design. StrokeSense will be designed for people at risk of suffering a stroke and will incorporate a brand new innovation in this field. Built by a multi-disciplinary team with backgrounds in Biomedical and Mechanical Engineering, as well as Business, StrokeSense may one day save a life”.

Merit Awards were given to the remaining six finalists with a cash prize of €1,500 per team:

  • Pendulife – CIT
  • Vital Rug – AIT
  • Lock Alert – GMIT
  • GlassByte – TCD
  • LockOn Ltd – Sligo IT
  • StringSense – QUB

An Enterprise Ireland Academic Award was presented to Professor Roger Woods from Queen’s University, Belfast in recognition of his involvement with the Student Entrepreneur Awards.

For more information on the Student Entrepreneur Awards visit: