Cotter Agritech cofounder Nick Cotter wins top student entrepreneurship programme

Irish student named grand champion of Global Student Entrepreneur Awards

Irish college student Nick Cotter has been named grand champion of the 2022 Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GESA), scooping $40,000 to invest in his business.

GSEA is open to students who own and operate a business while attending college or university. This is the 16th year of the competition.

Mr Cotter was awarded the top prize after a year-long process, with the winner announced during the finale of a four-part YouTube series. He beat competition from more than 1,000 applicants to make the global finals, with 60 students advancing to the finals that was whittled down to a shortlist of six top finalists.

“It’s much more than I ever thought was possible, becoming global champion,” said Mr Cotter. “Each stage of the competition is quite intense, and you hope. It’s an incredible achievement and pure joy for me.”

The 22-year-old, who is from Abbeyfeale, is studying law and business studies in University College Cork and is the cofounder of Cotter Agritech, which specialises in targeted, selective treatment systems for sheep. Prior to that he set up Cotter Organic Lamb in 2019, selling 100 per cent grass-fed, organic lamb raised on his home farm in Abbeyfeale, to homeowners and local restaurants. His first business was set up when was 13, when he established Cotter Bros Firewood.

The first runner-up was Mateo Bolivar (22) from Colombia, who founded hospitality-focused app Contler, with second runner-up Smrithi Sivakumar (22) from Coimbatore, India, who founded artisan shop Shika Creations. They were awarded $16,000 and $10,000 respectively.

“Start it Up has brought the remarkable stories of GSEA competitors to the world at a time when we can all use some optimism for the future,” said Tamarin Morrell, programme director for the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards. “It’s a timely reminder that there are budding entrepreneurs who don’t see unsolvable problems, but opportunities to change the world. I am proud to be part of an organisation that recognises and supports these young and promising change-makers.”

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien is an Irish Times business and technology journalist