On Friday, 12th May, the Drogheda Young Innovators (DYI) Competition Final for secondary school students took place at East Coast Bakehouse’s Centre of Innovation. Twenty shortlisted projects from the original 100 applications, were reviewed in details by the judges. The overall winner was Blathnaid Murphy, a student at Our Lady’s College, Greeenhills, who impressed judges with her business, “Daisy’s Pawsome Bowties”. Blathnaid, at twelve years of age, is the youngest winner of the DYI competition.

The judges of the Drogheda Young Innovators (DYI) competition were (from left): Geoff Fitzpatrick of Jack Cody’s Brewery, Alison Cowzer of East Coat Bakehouse, Cormac Bohan of State Street and Sean McEntee of The Mill Enterprise Hub.

Prizes were also awarded in each of the three categories (Science/Technology, Business, and Social Enterprise) for both individual and team entries. This is the fourth year of the awards which focus on all aspects of Innovation.

According to Breanndán Casey, BDM of The Mill Enterprise, “This competition has gone from strength to strength each year, and with circa 100 applications, it’s fair to say that Innovation is alive and well in Drogheda. We work with our partners State Street, Coca-Cola International Services, East Coast Bakehouse, and Fitz Scientific to visit all nine schools in the region to highlight the innovation that is currently occurring locally, and to ensure that students have an opportunity to flex their creative muscles”.

Over 50 students had an opportunity to question a panel of local innovators including Alison Cowzer of East Coast Bakehouse / Dragon’s Den, Geoff Fitzpatrick of Fitz Scientific, Cormac Bohan of State Street, and Sean MacEntee of The Mill Enterprise on starting and growing a business, and how to ensure that innovation remains a focal point of your business. Alison Cowzer of East Coat Bakehouse commented “I am extremely impressed by the innovation on display today across all three categories. The standard is very high, and I can see how the judges had an extremely difficult process to pick the winners. Based on the level of innovation displayed, Drogheda’s future is very bright”.

Organised by a voluntary group of local business people, teachers, and The Mill Enterprise Hub, the competition challenges Drogheda’s students to think about an innovating career in science, social enterprise, or business.

The 2017 winners who received their certificates and cash prizes included:

  • “Daisy’s Pawsome Bowties” – Overall winner of DYI 2017, Our Lady’s College, Greenhills (Blathnaid Murphy).
Blathnaid Murphy of Our Lady’s, Greenhills, the overall winner of the Drogheda Young Innovators (DYI) competition with her company “Daisy’s Pawesome Bowties” receives her awards from Geoff Fitzpatrick of Jack Cody’s Brewery. Photo: Andy Spearman.
  • “YAMA music portfolio” – Business Group Category, Our Lady’s College, Greenhills
Our Lady’s College, Greenhillls students Emma O’Brien and Eleanor McHugh whose project ‘Yama Portfolio’ won an award in the finals of the Drogheda Young Innovators (DYI) competition.
  • “Daisy’s Pawsome Bowties”– Business Individual Category, Our Lady’s College, Greenhills.
Blathnaid Murphy of Our Lady’s, Greenhills, who won the Individual Business category and was also the overall winner of the Drogheda Young Innovators (DYI) competition speaks about her company “Daisy’s Pawesome Bowties” at the presentation ceremony at East Coast Bakehouse.
  • “Help Bees – Throw Seeds” – Social Enterprise Individual Category, Scoil Uí Mhuiri (Patrick Dorian)
Patrick Dorian of Scoil Uí Mhuire, Dunleer who won first prize in the Social Enterprise Individual category of the Drogheda Young Innovators (DYI) competition with his project “Help Bees – Throw Seeds” receives his award from sponsors Alison Cowzer of East Coast Bakehouse and Cormac Bohan of State Street.
  • “Totem” – Social Enterprise Group Category, Drogheda Grammar School
Matthew O’Loughlin (left) Kaan Mese and Obefemi William Funmilayo of Drogheda Grammar School with their project called “Totem” at the finals of the Drogheda Young Innovators (DYI) competition.
  • “The antimicrobial potential of tree bark extracts” – Science Individual Category, Our Lady’s College, Greenhills (Niamh Ann Kelly)
The winner of the Individual Science section of the Drogheda Young Innovators (DYI) competition, Niamh Kelly of Our Lady’s College, Greenhills, is presented with her award by Geoff Fitzpatrick of Fitz Scientific.
  • “Edible insects for sustainable future” – Science Group Category, St. Oliver’s Community College

“It was great to have the diverse range of ideas this year, and more importantly, to see how the students have worked on their ideas over the past three months”, says Sean MacEntee, a Director at The Mill Enterprise Centre, “We also had 80 students attend the Innovation Workshop at Coca-Cola in March which gave students an opportunity to work on the innovation process.

“We expect at least 1 in 10 of Drogheda’s students will be running their own business when they finish education” says Geoff Fitzpatrick of Fitz Scientific. He continued “Blathnaid has already won a National Student Enterprise Award, and is the youngest winner of this competition. In the future, I’ve no doubt that these students will be employing people in Drogheda and making a very positive contribution to the local economy and community. This project gives them an opportunity to work on ideas and interact with like-minded students and entrepreneurs.”

Stephen Finnegan, Sean Savage and Ben Tracey from St. Mary’s Diocesan School with their mini company “Custom Crafts” at the Drogheda Young Innovators (DYI) final.
Matthew Lenehan (left) and James Ludlow from St. Mary’s Diocesan School whose company M&J Displays won through to the final of the Drogheda Young Innovators (DYI) competition.
Andrew McCormack from St. Mary’s Diocesan School whose project Mac Crafts was in the final of the Drogheda Young Innovators (DYI) competition.
Andrejs Telica and Matthew O’Connell from St. Mary’s Diocesan School whose project AM Productions with Cormac Bohan of State Street who was one of the judges at the Drogheda Young Innovators (DYI) competition.
Seb Lennon and Calum Agnew of St. Mary’s Diocesan School with their project “40 licks” was in the final of the Drogheda Young Innovators (DYI) competition.
Alex Finnegan and Ryan Farrell of St. Mary’s Diocesan School with their project “AR Crafts” at the final of the Drogheda Young Innovators (DYI) competition.
Jack Bogue and Dylan Gallagher of St. Mary’s Diocesan School tell Geoff Fitzpatrick, one of the judges of the Drogheda Young Innovators (DYI) competition, about their project called “Scentsational”.
Christopher Healy and Connor Brennan of St. Mary’s Diocesan School with their project “Common Scents” at the finals of the Drogheda Young Innovators (DYI) competition.
Patrick Dorian of Scoil Uí Mhuiri, Dunleer with his project “Help Bees – Throw Seeds” at the finals of the Drogheda Young Innovators (DYI) competition.
Jamie Winter, Nick Callan and Adam Callanan of Scoil Uí Mhuiri, Dunleer with their project “Pro Teen” at the finals of the Drogheda Young Innovators (DYI) competition.
Blathnaid Murphy of Our Lady’s College, Greenhills, who was the overall winner of the Drogheda Young Innovators (DYI) competition with her Daisy’s Pawesome Bowties mini company.
Matthew O’Loughlin (left) Kaan Mese and Obefemi William Funmilayo of Drogheda Grammar School with their project called “Totem” at the finals of the Drogheda Young Innovators (DYI) competition.
Drogheda Grammar School girls Megan Semple, Carly Gallagher and Alex O’Callaghan with their project Flash Photobooth at the finals of the Drogheda Young Innovators (DYI) competition.
Greenhills girls Jennifer Milne, Lana O’Connor, Laura Doorly, Rebecca McCullough and Katelyn Teelan with their project called “Bandit” at the finals of the Drogheda Young Innovators (DYI) competition.
Amy McGuire of Our Lady’s College, Greenhillls, with canine friend Doggie Denz at the finals of the Drogheda Young Innovators (DYI) competition.
Our Lady’s College, Greenhillls student Niamh Kelly explains her project entitled “The Antimicrobial Potential of Tree Bark Extracts” to Sean McEntee, one of the judges of the Drogheda Young Innovators (DYI) competition.
Our Lady’s College, Greenhillls students Emma O’Brien and Eleanor McHugh whose project “Yama Portfolio” was in the finals of the Drogheda Young Innovators (DYI) competition.
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