Young entrepreneurs told naivety is their best asset
YOUNG people were yesterday told that their naivety is probably their best asset.
Jane Ni Dhulchaointigh, an inventor whose mouldable silicon rubber material was among 'Time Magazine's' top 50 inventions, was speaking to 600 students at the Young Entrepreneur Programme Business Boot Camp in Tralee, Co Kerry.
The former art student revealed that her product, Sugru, has gone global and will top £1m (€1.2m) in sales in 2012.
Other successful business people, including Daragh Murphy of zany T-shirt company Hairy Baby, shared their ideas and their struggles as entrepreneurs at the boot camp.
The event is an integral part of the Young Entrepreneur Programme, where students get the chance to pitch their ideas to successful entrepreneurs.
Innovative ideas stress-tested at the event were Curriculum, a fun board game for Junior Cert students; Social Gamers, a video gamers' tournament network; and Rua, a range of products and services specially designed for redheads.
Jerry Kennelly, of Tweak.com and co-founder of the Young Entrepreneur Programme, believes the initiative will help to develop a generation of graduates with an entrepreneurial spirit.
"Business boot camp is an ideal platform for the students to connect with the entrepreneurial community, receive feedback on their business ideas, and begin to explore entrepreneurship as a career choice", he said.
The Young Entrepreneur Programme, which is now successfully in its fifth year, is aimed at 15 to 23-year-old students in second and third level schools in Kerry, Limerick, Cork and Louth.
In March the students will sit an examination and the best business ideas are then shortlisted for the final, which culminates in an awards ceremony in May, where the Young Entrepreneur of the Year is announced.
To date, 2,500 second and third level students have completed the programme.