We were super lucky last week to get the chance to visit Mary Carty in the Blackstone Launchpad at NUIG. The Blackstone Launchpad is experiential entrepreneurship program open to students, alumni, staff and faculty; offering coaching, ideation and venture creation support. We went to visit Mary and some of her team as part of our work with Bizzworld and the Junior Entrepreneur scheme. It was great to meet Mary, an inspirational lady in the STEM and technology start up world, she is co-founder of the amazing outbox incubator Program which begin in London last summer with 115 11-22 year old girls including local girl, Cliona McGreal. Mary is the Managing Director of Blackstone Launchpad in NUIG now.
The pupils had a chance to speak with some entrepreneurs in the Launchpad all about their business ideas and heard lots of strategies on how to complete our project as well as how these people got around obstacles in their way when starting out. We heard from Edel Browne who won the BT young scientist a few years ago with an idea on how to help people with parkinsons follow a laser spot when walking and helping them to focus and wobble less when walking. She has now got her very own company!!
We also spoke to Jason who is setting up a service type business so he explained how he was doing this and what the difference between service and product type business is. It was great to listen to his suggestions for moving forward with our project were too!
We had a great day there and are inspired to move on, don’t just take my word for it, here is what the pupils had to say about it!!!
“I loved the lesson in how you dont let anything stop you from getting where you want to go if the first test of your idea doesn’t work, change it and try again!” – Tiernan G
“We got really cool copies that we are going to use for our company, we felt like real workers with these as there was a cool space to keep your pen when your on the go” – Mikey.
“I liked hearing how business people start making things at home using old things, we can all start something ourselves with what we have at home” Eva
“My favourite bit was Jasons STOP analogy, Sit, Think, Orientate and Plan – we will remember it whenever things aren’t going to plan” – Anna.
” I liked Edels idea it was amazing its amazing to hear how sensors like that can help someones quality of life” – Padraic.
“I loved the ideas they gave us to mock up our products it was great hearing how Edel and Jason had to do mock ups and Edels first one didn’t work at all and look how she is doing now after trying and trying again” Aoibheann
“”I learned that you should never stop and always keep trying” Cameron
“The Launchpad is really cool, I loved the chairs and benches and the whole area was super!” Cian
So there you have it a huge thumbs up from the Cloghans Hill team to the Launchpad crew, we really hope to come back and visit you again soon – and we will hopefully have our very own product with us!!!! Thank you Mary, Edel and Jason and all who are a part of Launchpad, the students of NUIG are lucky to have you!