27 Sept 2022

IN PICTURES: Signs of success for Laois Dragon's Den winners

Exciting new businesses by Laois students have been awarded prizes in a new Dragon's Den style county entrepreneur competition.

The top two teen prizewinners announced by BloomHQ and chosen by expert business leaders from Laois, are RC Woodcrafts, a businesss that crafts wooden signs, and Sunrise Products who make Laois lemonade, chutney and relishes.

The Mountrath business hub held what is now hoped to be an annual event at BloomHQ and they gathered a panel of impressive Laois business people to do the judging and offer mentoring. 

The school had 13 teams of 31 students in all pitching their TY enterprise projects to the judges. Projects included crystal jewellery, soaps and wax melts, ceramics, t-shirts, wooden block calendars, relishes and lemonade.

On offer were two prizes for the most innovative product of €50, a prize for the best sales pitch €30, two Judges discretionary prizes of €20 and a able at the Christmas Cottage Market.

All students also receive a voucher from Bloom HQ for their efforts.

The 'dragons' were Caitriona Ryan - Manager Volunteer Laois, Martin Meade - Manager Telfords, Alan Phelan - Owner APTN Aero, Alex Caraffi - Independent Contractor, Catherine Phelan - People Leader Mars Europe, David Dunne - Software Engineer Yahoo and Aisling Kirwan - Sales Director Integrileads.

Ahead of the event, the CEO of Bloom HQ Edward Dunne gave a mentoring session to the Transition year students.

Ms Mary Gannon, the transition year coordinator, in MCs, said that this programme is about social entrepreneurship and social enterprise and how this initiative can impact the local community in a very positive way. 
This is an excellent opportunity for our students . 

Business teacher is Evelyn Geary.

"It was a remarkable day for students to learn enterprise and how to promote your business. It was wonderful to hear the advice from the dragons who have all enjoyed considerable success in their careers," she said.

Principal is K O'Brien thanked Bloom HQ for inviting the students to partake in Dragons den. 

"It's a a great experience for the enterprise students to receive such experienced advice for all aspects of their mini companies. The day has certainly planted the seeds for many entrepreneurs of the future," she said. 

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