SECOND-level students from across the county and beyond gathered in the Brandon Hotel Conference Centre last Friday for the Young Entrepreneur Programme Bootcamp.
The event saw a panel of some of Ireland's most successful entrepreneurs, including Dr Edmond Harty of Dairymaster in Causeway speak about their success in business.
Students had an opportunity to make a presentation to the panel in which they pitched their business ideas. The panel then advised the budding entrepreneurs on how to improve and develop their ideas.
Aoife Broderick and Tríona Brennan from Killorglin's Intermediate School pitched their idea, www.outandaboutinkerry.com, a website that promotes tourism in some of the towns in Kerry.
The girls said they hope that 2013 will be a successful year for their business due to the promotion of The Gathering.
Niamh Galvin from Dingle's Poballscoil Corca Dhuibhne told the panel about her concept of 'Orthosocks', which are essentially socks with orthotic support. The socks are secure, and provide orthotic support without shoes.
Another innovative concept pitched to the panel was from Rachel Barry of Listowel's Presentation Secondary School. Rachel impressed the panel with her concept of a studying-application, Mindclear, which temporarily blocks students from the use of their phone.
Keeping in line with technology, another student from Listowel's Presentation Secondary School impressed the panel with her idea. Martina Guiney is developing Brainbusters, an application which will contain multiple choice questions to quiz Junior Certificate students on the core subject areas.
A more traditional concept with a twist was pitched to the panel by Gabriel Galway, a student in Milltown's Presentation Secondary School.
Gabriel's business, Home-Made, sells cards that celebrate the person rather than the event. Gabriel hopes to sell the cards in boutique shops and online, wherein if a specific card was unavailable, the consumer could request for it to be made online.
Adam Barrett and Cian Kennedy of Tralee's CBS The Green, pitched their concept, Loyal Sports: Personalised Water Bottles.
The panel were impressed with the project, wherein the boys sell water bottles with the CBS logo on the bottle. The boys hope to expand in the future, and welcome enquiries to produce water bottles for specific clubs which would feature that club's crest.
For those interested in fashion, Kaithlin Corcoran from Tralee's Presentation Secondary School pitched her idea for a high-street alternative to designer clothing to be sold for a fraction of the price online.
These are just a small number of the innovative concepts that were pitched to the panel on the day.
The panel consisted of Dr Edmund Harty, Carol Kennelly, Ronan O'Brien, Gráinne Kelly, and Niall Harbison. 2012's Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Dairymaster's Dr Edmond Harty told The Kerryman that he was thoroughly impressed with the presentations made on the day.
"It's brilliant to see such interest in the event, and to see the students availing of this wonderful opportunity. Our youth are thinking enthusiastically, and there's a world of possibilities out there. I'd encourage them all to keep going and to work hard until they achieve their dreams", Dr Harty said.