Ireland's future entrepreneurs take their place at the 2017 BT Young Scientist Business Bootcamp

Feb 28, 2017

BT’s annual business mentoring and skills camp begins tomorrow at NovaUCD

Some of the best young business minds in the country are getting ready to be put through their paces from tomorrow as the BT Young Scientist Business Bootcamp kicks off at NovaUCD.
Now in its 8th year, this four-day bootcamp will see 30 students from across the island of Ireland participate in a mentoring and skills programme that will help them to understand how to develop a project idea into a commercially viable business. Over the four days the students will learn the fundamentals of critical business applications such as patenting, business development, sales, marketing and presentation skills.
The students participating in this year’s Bootcamp were hand-picked from the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition which took place in January. This year, 16 schools from across the island of Ireland will be represented spanning 10 counties – Cork, Dublin, Galway, Kilkenny, Limerick, Derry~Londonderry, Louth, Offaly, Tipperary and Westmeath.
The Bootcamp is the brainchild of BT, one of world’s leading communications and IT providers, and the organiser and sponsor of the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition. Explaining the purpose of the bootcamp, BT Ireland managing director, Shay Walsh said,

Each year, the brightest young minds in the country walk through the doors of the RDS for the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition, many of whom are aspiring entrepreneurs with excellent business ideas, but who are simply lacking the knowledge and skills to take their project ideas to the next stage. The Bootcamp equips these students with the tools and more importantly, the confidence, to hopefully make the leap into business and we are so proud to be able to play a part in helping these young people to realise their potential.

The students will be divided into six teams to work on an award winning project from this year’s BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition, for which they will need to develop a business pitch for a panel of judges. Each team will be coached by a dedicated BT business mentor and will enjoy inspiration from key speakers including:

  1.  Aisling Judge – winner of the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition 2006
  2. Daniel Hobb– entrepreneurs, past participant of BT Business Bootcamp and co-founder of
  3. Rhona Togher, Top 4 winner of BTYSTE 2009 and CEO, Restored Hearing
  4. Jonathan McCrea – Award winning TV and radio broadcaster
  5. Naoise Gaffney – senior patents council, Intellectual Ventures

The projects for this year’s Bootcamp include:

Foal sickness containment and prevention

Investigated foal sickness, containment and prevention and made a sensor to detect early illness.


A multi-award-winning web-app/IoT network that aims to augment people’s lives using statistics and provide cost-effective contextual-advertising for local businesses without the need for user tracking


An app based on applied behavior analysis to enhance early intervention programs and encourage children with autism make eye contact

Ergonomic Planter

A device that will improve planting in developing countries by allowing users plant with increased safety, consistency and speed, using an ergonomically designed portable planter.

ARIA or Manual?- a statistical analysis into which method of grading retinal images for diabetic retinopathy is the most effective

Statistically analysed a large sample of results from diabetic retinal screening as graded by manual human graders and two different automated software programmes.

Unlicensed to Kill

A device to prevent unlicensed drivers from endangering others on our roads by not being able to even start a car without a valid license.

The Bootcamp will culminate on Thursday 2nd March, when the teams will present their business plans to a judging panel comprised of academics and senior business professionals.
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