The National Student Enterprise Award Finals take place virtually on Friday May 14 and Laois has three entrants.
Two are from Portlaoise CBS, one in the Senior and one in the Junior category, while the remainder is from Scoil Chriost Ri.
Antoni Calka, Clinton O’Eijofor and Ar Rahim SK MD are from M-Pouch in the Junior Category while Niamh Conroy of VirtuTrain is in the Most Creative Business Idea Video Competition.
M-Pouch make Eco Friendly pouches from recycled materials for storing face masks when not in use.
While Colm Byrne, Aaron Dooley and Adam Ramsbottom make up O•Glo who are in the Senior Category.
O•Glo is handcrafted candle holders made with a unique concrete pouring process.
Speaking ahead of the final on Friday, the lads from O•Glo spoke about how beneficial the competition has been for them and thanked all the people and businesses who have helped them along the way.
They said: “The Student Enterprise Awards has been an amazing journey for us and opened many doors.
“It has been so beneficial to us. During these covid times it has helped keep us busy, kept us connected, created memories and fun times and at the same time allowed us to build new skills and contacts. It has been fantastic for our personal wellbeing.
“We were so lucky to have our O•Glo’s in so many stores in Laois and some in Kildare and Carlow. Without these stores we wouldn’t be as successful.
“So a big O•Glo thank you goes to All Books, Laois Pharmacy, Brackens Gala, Downey’s Centra, Portlaoise Parish Centre and Flanagan’s Convenience Store in Portlaoise.
“The stores in Stradbally include SuperValu, Chemco Pharmacy and Stradbally Town & Country. In Kildare we have them stocked in Sanctuary Synthetics/Grassland and in Kane’s Gala Burrin in Carlow.
“A big thanks to the staff and students in our school, St Mary’s CBS for so much support, to the people of Portlaoise, Ratheniska and beyond who have really rallied around us.
“To our parents who have kept us on our toes throughout the process and drove us to different stores to check stock, thank you.
“We would also like to thank the Laois Local Enterprise Office and Garry from Whizzkids for their support and guidance too.
“We’d like to wish M- Pouch the very best of luck in the Junior Category who are three students in First year here in CBS. And also Niamh Conroy who is representing Scoil Chriost Ri.”
In the Creative Business Video Category, Niamh Conroy of ‘VirtuTrain’ will represent Scoil Chriost Ri.
She explained how that part of the competition works and what her project entails.
Niamh said: “The idea of the competition was to come up with a business idea to make life easier during Covid, plan out all of the details and how it would run, then present it all in a short two minute video as a business proposal.
“My company idea was VirtuTrain, an app designed to fulfil people’s training needs during the lockdowns. Due to the closure of gyms and sports teams not being allowed to train, many people resorted to doing home workouts.
“There are many different fitness apps available such as Nike Run Club, MyFitnessPal or even YouTube to search up workout videos.
“However VirtuTrain would offer a platform where people could have all their online fitness needs fulfilled in one app.
“The app would have 8 tab functions, the “Home Screen”, the “timetable” where you could join your live calls with sports teams etc.
“The “home workouts” page where people can browse through workout videos. The “meet buddies” where people can meet others online doing similar exercise plans to help regain the social side that we lost with the closure of gyms.
“The “recipes page” where people could browse recipes sorted into categories of special diets such as paleo or vegan. This page could also encourage people to make small improvements to their diet when starting new workout programs.
“The “chat function” where teams or individuals can message to schedule online training sessions, and finally the “call function” where teams and individuals could start or schedule a video call.
“The app would work on a monthly subscription scheme, and once individuals pay the sign up fee, they would receive a free set of dumbbells and a yoga mat as a gift to get them started.”
The Student Enterprise finals can be viewed on Vimeo on Friday at the link here: Real Nation – LEO National Awards – May 2021 on Vimeo
Best of luck to all involved!