Celebrating Student Entrepreneurship despite Global Pandemic

On August 26th, 29 young entrepreneurs were congratulated on successfully completing the Student Inc. Accelerator Programme at CIT, UCC and IT Tralee.

The Accelerator Programme runs from June to August and is set up to encourage students to develop and grow their innovative ideas and start their own business. Students receive €4,000 in funding (purchase equipment and a wage to offset a summer job), expert training, mentoring, office space and the opportunity to learn from and pitch to entrepreneurs and investors.

Speaking on the day of the showcase, that was streamed live from the Rubicon Centre where the recorded pitches of the students were played, Carole O’Leary, Programme Manager said, “This year’s programme had to be adapted in response to Covid-19 restrictions and the need to social distance.  My colleagues at UCC, IT Tralee and I worked in conjunction with the Technology Enhanced Learning Department in CIT to design a way to deliver the programme online and ensure students received the full benefit of the programme. As all training modules, one-to-one expert mentoring sessions and regular review meetings were delivered virtually over the summer, the online teams put a lot of thought into new ways of maximising the daily contact between the students and the support teams in the three colleges”.

“Developing a new business idea can be a lonely place, particularly during a pandemic. In normal times office space is allocated to each student in their respective incubators with access to their start-up communities, so we ensured plenty of social interaction each week, in a trusted environment, to help alleviate isolation and compensate for the lack of face-to-face contact. Fortuitously many of the CIT and IT Tralee participants were able to avail of the Rubicon and  Tom Crean Office Spaces during the second half of the programme. We were delighted  that we kept Ireland’s longest running student accelerator programme running and were very proud of the 29 new entrepreneurs who pitched on the day.

The showcase had an online audience of 150 guests from all over Ireland, including guest speaker James Whelton, an Irish computer coder, venture capital advisor, and co-founder of CoderDojo.


Shauna White of Komforoo was awarded winning pitch which was selected by an online voting system through Zoom.

More information on the Student Inc. Programme:

Carole O Leary 

Apply to Ireland’s Longest
Running Student Accelerator