Ideation — in a combination of the words, Idea and Creation — this was the title of a two-day course for over one hundred Transition Year students from Kinsale Community School, held in The Trident Hotel.
The programme, provided by Intel, was administered and guided by members of Kinsale Lions Club on March 6 and 7.
The, mainly, fifteen year-old pupils were given the opportunity to have a practice at developing their own ideas into viable new business possibilities. The subject was ‘Health and Well Being’ and each team of six was comprised of a mixture of those expressing an interest in business, in design or in technology.
The teams brainstormed their way through a process of understanding the opportunity, identifying problem areas and choosing their best ideas for solving those problems. Then, the programme guided the way that the students could become the entrepreneurs of the future by researching the market, establishing the uniqueness of the idea, working out the costs of production and forecasting the anticipated profit available.
The ideas included: exercise accessibility for the disabled; drug information to the under fifteens; a ‘cane of information’ for the visually impaired; an easy method of using the computer for the isolated elderly; combating anxiety and suicidal tendencies amongst teenagers; promotion of healthy lifestyle choices.
Once the teams had decided upon their ideas and developed the possibilities, they composed visual explanations and rehearsed their ‘pitch’, to be given to a panel of local, professional consultants and business people in their own Dragon’s Den – quite daunting at such an age.
Yet with great enthusiasm and remarkable maturity, each of the eighteen teams presented to the judges very confidently and then waited to hear the finalists. After a close competition, Lions’ President, Eamon Jackson, announced the winning team.
Hugh Whelan, Rhona Hurley, Paco Bosh LLoveras and Araceli Zapata won the Kinsale Final with their presentation of an App access called Not Alone, an idea for an anonymous contact website for troubled teenagers who could converse or post problems with other affected young people. They demonstrated the business possibilities as well as showing a responsible sensitivity to an important problem.
This team now will represent Kinsale in the All Ireland Final and the winners of that will travel to Silicon Valley in California, Intel’s headquarters, for a week of excitement.
Principal Fergal McCarthy thanked the Lions Club Team who had given so much of their time and expertise in their continuing supportive role for Kinsale Community School.