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QUB Enterprise SU startup programmes reach completion

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by Startacus Admin

IH Graduation

The Enterprise SU Team at Queen's University Belfast continue to lead the way in fostering entrepreneurship and inspiring innovation...

Aaron MartinSince the academic year will soon be drawing to a close, it’s a pretty good time to shine a light on a couple of the fab programmes and initiatives that the Queen’s Students’ Union’s Enterprise SU team have been delivering, all aimed at helping students gain entrepreneurial skills so that they are better equipped for their future careers.

21 female students were supported through their InnovateHer Programme, delivered in partnership with sponsors Baker McKenzie and Women in Business.Throughout the course of the programme, participating students received mentorship in the areas of Idea Generation, Finance, Marketing, Pitching and Leadership in addition to taking part in sessions with local female entrepreneurs and business leaders. 

Praising the InnovateHer programme, Megan-Caitlin Dallat, MSc Software Development student said: “Before joining the course, the idea of becoming an entrepreneur had never really crossed my mind, and I guess I had never thought it would ever be an option for me. However, after attending so many insightful sessions and practical workshops I'm now finding myself referring to a lot of the course material for new projects, like many of the other amazing women I met.”

InnovateHer programme manager, Francesca Morelli, Enterprise SU Development Officer, added: “I was really pleased to be able to deliver the programme through a blended approach this year, allowing the girls to work remotely as well as meet up for in-person events. They really appreciated being able to meet up and network with like-minded females after two years of a remote university experience. The feedback from the programme has been incredible, and we’re really grateful to our partners, Baker McKenzie and Women in Business, for enabling the programme to happen. We’d also like to extend a sincere thanks to Enterprise SU Entrepreneur in Residence, Helen Keys, who supports the girls in mentorship throughout the programme. We wish the cohort the best of luck for the future!”

Rory McLaughlanEach team took away a share of £1000 as a prize for their business ideas that had been pitched to a panel of judges and all the female students received a years’ worth of free Women in Business membership allowing them to develop their careers and network with fellow women in business through the organisation. 

In another initiative aimed at fostering entrepreneurship, Enterprise SU held a Dragon’s Den competition in Belfast’s Ormeau Baths. The competition, sponsored by MCS Group, QUBIS, Santander Universities, Tughans Solicitors, and the Engineers in Business Fund, saw 12 competitors braving the den to pitch their business ideas to a panel of business experts. 

In advance, Enterprise SU provided a range of business support workshops and specialist mentorship to ensure that the students were well prepared for their final pitches.

Peter Gillan2After a day of incredibly impressive pitches and much deliberation, the judges decided to split the £20K funding pot between three student businesses. Final year Mechanical Engineering student Peter Gillan was awarded £10,000 for his business, ‘Atlas Smart Tech’ which aims to transform the fitness industry with a smart adjustable dumbbell.  First year Finance student Rory McLaughlan was awarded £5,000 for his business, ‘Shirt in a Box’ – a mystery football shirt company which he set up in 2021.  Computer Science student Aaron Martin was awarded £5,000 for his business ‘Develamo’, a collaboration and social hub for developers.  

Overall winner Peter Gillan said “QUB Dragons’ Den has proven invaluable for our business. We entered the competition last year with just an idea so it was exciting to come back this year with a functioning prototype. The funding and mentoring will allow us to commercialise the SmartBell. Thanks to it, we can stay on track with our plan to launch this summer.”

It’s great to see a university being so committed to entrepreneurship and encouraging students to develop both their enterprise and employability skills like this. We’re already looking forward to seeing what the next academic year brings!

If you’d like to find out more about Enterprise SU and the support they offer to QUB students, follow @enterprisesu_ on Instagram, or visit their website



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Published on: 27th May 2022

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