Time for students to Think Outside the Box

Invest Northern Ireland in partnership with Enterprise Ireland has launched a major drive to spur entrepreneurial students to develop innovative business proposals through the ‘Think Outside the Box Awards’ competition.

The competition provides an opportunity for ambitious and enterprising students to build a real-world business venture and at the same time be in with a chance to win €10,000, from an overall €30,000 prize fund.

The ‘Think Outside the Box’ competition, which is also sponsored by Cruickshank Intellectual Property Attorneys and Mammoth Advertising, is open to all full time third level students in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Bill Scott, Invest NI’s Director of Regional Economic Development, commented “Competitions like the ‘Think Outside the Box Awards’ give students a fantastic opportunity to develop their own business ideas with a chance to avail of specialist advice and assistance.

“Northern Ireland has produced two winners of this competition in the past three years – which demonstrates the high quality of the business ideas in our colleges and universities.

“With the final of the competition being held at the University of Ulster in June 2011, I would encourage all third level students to look at this competition as a vehicle for developing their own business ideas.”    

The competition launch includes a targeted recruitment campaign to reach out to the students where they work, learn and play. The campaign features a host of approaches to ensure students get encouragement and support to develop viable business plans, and will include using a website, Facebook page, You Tube and pod casts.

Students will be able to come together and pool their ideas and energies. The Facebook page will feature a ‘team up’ icon, so they can link with other students from their college interested in entering the competition. They can use Facebook and Twitter to talk to other students who have participated in previous student enterprise programmes and get their advice. It’s all about sharing ideas and experiences so that they can get the best from their combined talents.