National Competition




About the awards

The Student Entrepreneur Awards is a All-Ireland National competition and has been running now for over 30 years.

it is co-sponsored by Enterprise Ireland, Invest Northern Ireland, Cruickshank Intellectual Property Attorneys, Intel and Grant Thornton and are open to all third level colleges across the island of Ireland.

The Student Entrepreneur Awards encourage students to start their own business as a career option.

Annually about 500 third level students from colleges across Ireland apply.

The substantial prize fund includes €35,000 in cash prizes and €30,000 in consultancy fees which are available for winners to help them make a serious start at turning their idea into a commercial reality. In addition to winning the top prize, the winning team will also receive mentoring from Enterprise Ireland/Invest Northern Ireland to develop the commercial viability of their overall concept.

How to apply:

As always we recommend taking part in our local awards sponsored by our Local Enterprise Office (LEO) - South Dublin.

Open to all ITT Dublin students this preceds the national competition and uses the same business plan template. This environent of workshops and process of application and short-listing should then give you the leading edge when looking to compete nationally. we even assist you in making your initial video submission... 


Stage 1 – Create a video and submit your entry

We’re looking for great ideas with commercial and export potential. The first step is to submit a video that shows us how great your idea is.

Let us know…

  • What the product is

  • Who you think will buy it

  • How quickly you can commercialise it

  • Its export potential

  • Is there a competitor? if yes, why is your idea better?

If your idea is based on a research project funded by the State. Your project may be eligible to enter both the ‘Roots in Research’ Award category as well as the main Student Entrepreneur Awards category. There is a separate entry form for the ‘Roots in Research’ Award so you need to submit a separate entry for each category.

Remember – less is more!

Keep it short and make it memorable. 

All entries are submitted online.


See main website for details and dates.

Stage 2 – Submit a business plan

The top 50 entries received will be shortlisted and asked to submit a business plan.

Get help…

Practical advice is available from Enterprise Ireland and Invest Northern Ireland business mentors.

Third level academic mentors are also available to help you complete the business plan.

Download business plan template

Stage 3 – Final judging

Ten projects will go forward to the final.

You will be asked to present your idea to the judging panel in June at the previous winners location.

This day long session concludes with the Student Entrepreneur Awards ceremony.


Listen to past winners and the judges - watch the videos




Click here for all past National Competition Winners:



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