Bank of Ireland Business Generation Challenge           

September 29th 2017

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The Business Idea Generation Challenge took place in the creative zone on Friday the 29th of September with a group of 32 students from UCC. It was a 12 hour intensive day where we were tasked with creating solutions around two given themes, Law technology and Sustainability.

The day started at 7.30am with the essentials- breakfast and coffee! We were then introduced to a number of speakers. Gillian Keating from Ronan Daly Jermyn spoke to us about the challenge within the law industry and the development Artificial Intelligence (AI).  She put it to the group to devise innovative ways in which AI can be positively incorporated to improve law services. Dr Paul Bolger of the UCC environmental institute, spoke about the environmental challenges we face in today’s world and asked us to think about how we could create initiatives for a sustainable future and tackle the problems of climate change.

With the themes in mind, Páidí O’ Reilly from the Cork University Business School presented on business idea generation. His talk was based on ‘escaping old ideas’ and applying different frames of thought to develop new ideas and solutions, a challenge many face when developing innovative concepts. Not tying yourself to one idea, he said was key to the process. Dr. Damien Organ spoke about the customer value proposition, a clear statement about the positive outcomes of your product/service and how this is key to developing a viable business. Finally, Jeremy Hayes spoke about Business Model Canvasses, a template to give you a visual model of how a business, product, or service works.  This canvass was then used later in the day to develop the group ideas.

By 11 O’ clock the groups were formed and the challenge was set to develop a business.

Although challenging, once the group decided on the idea, and seeing how to develop the concept was a total buzz! Throughout the day we had mentors work with us to further develop our ideas and offer advice. At 6pm we were given 1 hour to finalize our presentations for the panel of judges, 3 cash prizes were up for grabs: €1000 for best team, €1000 for best presentation, and €2000 for Best Overall idea. Each group were given only 4 minutes to present to the panel in which we had to identify the problem and provide a viable solution.

My group based our idea around law technology to create an online platform to help small exporting food businesses overcome international food laws and regulations. To top off the day we were awarded over all best team, winning €1000 between four of us.

Within a 12 hour timespan, you get the opportunity to develop skills you didn’t think you had and learn how to work with new people under pressure.  It was one of the best things I have got involved in with college and was extremely rewarding. Some of the groups are now going onto further develop their business ideas.  It’s a great day to meet new people, challenge yourself, develop new skills and all whilst getting free food and a chance to win cash prizes!

 

 

 

 

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