Business bootcamp for young scientists

 BT Young Scientist & Technology exhibition:   This week, 30 students who competed in this year’s event underwent a four-day mentoring and skills bootcamp at UCD to help them turn their ideas into viable business propositions.   Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

BT Young Scientist & Technology exhibition: This week, 30 students who competed in this year’s event underwent a four-day mentoring and skills bootcamp at UCD to help them turn their ideas into viable business propositions. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

 

Participating in the BT Young Scientist & Technology exhibition is itself an achievement, but for some youngsters it’s just the beginning. This week, 30 students who competed in this year’s event underwent a four-day mentoring and skills bootcamp at UCD to help them turn their ideas into viable business propositions.

The students, who were chosen from more than 1,200 entrants, come from 21 schools across Ireland. They have been tasked with developing an outline business approach to commercialise a specific award-winning project from this year’s exhibition.

Each team will work with business mentors throughout the week. The mentors are coaching them on how to develop their business plans and hone their selling skills ahead of a presentation to a judging panel comprised of academics and senior business professionals.

Among the projects being developed at the bootcamp are a rehabilitation aid for people with multiple sclerosis, a wrap for homeless people that is both waterproof and retains heat, and the creation of a burnable fuel product made out of spent mushroom compost.

“The experience so far is mind-blowing. I never knew there were so many steps to consider when setting up a business, “said Rachael Ní Dhonnachadha (16) from St Vincent’s Secondary School in Louth.

“I feel extremely lucky to have been chosen because it’s really going to give me an advantage in the business world.”