Bolton Trust / TU Dublin Student Enterprise Competition 2020 - GRAND FINAL

23 Oct, 2020

The Grand Final of the Bolton Trust / TU Dublin Student Enterprise Competition 2020 took place on Wednesday 21st October.

The event was live-streamed over MS Teams, and the full video can now be viewed here. The event was co-hosted by Richard Heywood Jones, Chair of the Bolton Trust and emeritus Lecturer of the University, and Dr Colm O'Kane, Chair of the Enterprise Competition committee and Senior Lecturer in the School of Mechanical and Design Engineering, TU Dublin.

The President of the University, Prof. David FitzPatrick, also introduced the event and discussed the links between TU Dublin and the Bolton Trust while Michael Torrans, a member of the winning team in 2010 and currently Innovation Services Design Lead at Accenture, spoke about how his experiences in TU Dublin and in the Enterprise Competition competition informed his future career path.

In the 28th year of the competition, the competition received entries from over eighty student teams. Twenty-eight teams presented at semi-final stage earlier this year and five business plans were chosen as finalists. A panel of four judges examined the five teams' business plans through reports and presentations.

  • Jennifer Melia, Divisional Manager - High Potential Start-Ups, Enterprise Ireland;
  • Shane O'Sullivan, Co-Founder, Glimpse and winner, 2019 Bolton Trust Innovation Awards;
  • Shawna Johnston, Business Development Manager, Hothouse, TU Dublin;
  • Stephen Keena, Business Advisor, AIB

The winner of the overall award and a prize of €2,500 was team Virago.  Virago consists of four students from Year 4 of the Product Design programme – Aisling Dillon, Arianna Carroll, Ellen Dack and Hannah Dempsey.  The Virago business plan is centred around their first product, FertiliTest.  FertiliTest is a female reproductive home hormone testing kit which tests for 4 hormones using midstream urine tests. Learn more about Virago on YouTube here.

Second place and a prize of €1,500 was awarded to Sentry Fencing, a company formed by Kevin Gildea, Finn O’Driscoll, Eoghan Roe and James Twomey.   They are all Year 4 students from TU Dublin’s Product Design programme. They aim to revolutionize the fencing industry with faster-erecting, longer-lasting fence posts. Learn more about Sentry Fencing here.

Third place and a prize of €1,000 went to Affixt Eyewear, a company founded by Ben Thornton, Cillian Cooney, Oisin Durkan, Jack Finn and Gavin Butler. They are all Year 4 students from TU Dublin’s Product Design programme. Affixt Eyewear is an effective, accessible and simple solution to fragile flexi hinges that allows the consumer to maintain their glasses at a minimal cost. Check out this video about the project here

Two Highly Commended awards (€750 each) were awarded to Smart Cream and Wrapid. Smart Cream is the brainchild of Fiona Gaffney. Having completed her four years of study in Culinary Entrepreneurship, she will graduate next month. Smart Cream is to become the leading supplier of high quality, convenience and luxurious flavour infused dairy cream for the Irish catering sector. You can see a video about the product here. Wrapid is a company of bicycle vinyl wrapping specialists headed up by David Grassick, a year 2 student of Accounting and Finance. The Wrapid Video may be viewed here.

Special categories were also awarded as follows:

  • Best Financial Projections (€400): Red Alert
  • Michael Griffin Most Innovative Concept Award (€400): Headaid
  • Best Video (€400): Virago

About the Bolton Trust / TU Dublin Student Enterprise competition

The Bolton Trust / TU Dublin Student Enterprise competition has run on an annual basis since 1993. It provides TU Dublin students, both undergraduate and postgraduate, with the opportunity to win a range of cash prizes in the biggest University Enterprise competition in the country. The main objective of the competition is to foster a spirit of entrepreneurship and to encourage and support a rigorous business planning approach to entrepreneurial activities. The competition is open to individuals or teams.  Students can come from any discipline, any college and multi-disciplinary cross-college teams are particularly welcome.

The competition is sponsored and supported by the Bolton Trust, AIB, TU Dublin Hothouse and Enterprise Ireland.