BT began the first Northern Ireland BT Young Scientist business bootcamp in association with Queen’s University Belfast this week. A three day mentoring and skills camp, the business bootcamp is designed to provide students with practical skills and knowledge to help them turn a project idea into a viable business opportunity.
Twenty six students from across Northern Ireland were selected to participate in the business bootcamp this week, all of whom participated in the 2015 BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition in January. Over the three days the students will be guided by BT Business mentors who will offer them practical training in intensive commercialisation, marketing, team-building and how to prepare a business pitch.
Commenting on the launch of the first local BT Young Scientist business bootcamp, Peter Russell, General Manager of BT Business in Northern Ireland, said: “The BT Young Scientist business bootcamp has been hugely successful in both Dublin and in Abu Dhabi and we are delighted to now bring it to Belfast for the first time. The programme is a crucial step forward in equipping our young entrepreneurial students with practical knowledge and skills to prepare them for the business world.
He added, “As well as organising and sponsoring the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition for the past 15 years, BT is also a major investor in Northern Ireland and a renowned global leader in innovation. So we understand first-hand the importance of developing and nurturing the talent and skills of young people as they are who will ultimately drive the growth of our local economy. I wish all the students the very best of luck this week”.
Minister for Education John O’Dowd said, “This is a wonderful opportunity for local young people to further embrace and enjoy the all-important STEM subjects, science, technology, engineering and maths. During the three day bootcamp, the students will get valuable experience in how to turn their ideas into a potential business opportunity and therefore receive a unique insight into the career prospects and economic prosperity available through STEM.”
James Leckey from James Leckey Design, is one of the inspirational speakers who will address the students this week. He added, “I am delighted to be involved in the first BT Young Scientist bootcamp in Belfast. It is a great initiative which highlights the importance of engaging young people in activity that will develop their creativity and potential. As a pioneer in research, design and development, I understand the benefit of this world renowned competition as it really does give students the unique platform to shine among their peers.”
Students taking part in the BT Young Scientist Business Bootcamp will be tasked with developing an outline business idea for one of five projects. Each team will work with dedicated BT Business mentors who will coach them to develop their business plans and presentation skills The bootcamp will culminate on Wednesday when the teams will present their business plans to a judging panel comprised of academics and senior business professionals.
Now in its 52nd year the BT Young Scientist &Technology Exhibition is the longest running STEM* event of its kind in the world. Preparations are currently underway for the 2016 exhibition which will take place from 6th – 9th January, 2016 at the RDS in Dublin. To enter, the individual or group must submit a one-page proposal outlining their project idea before the closing date of 29th September, 2015. Entries can be made in any one of four categories: technology, social and behavioural science, biological and ecological science or chemical, physical and mathematical science.
As well as the incentive of getting a project shortlisted and experiencing a week at the exhibition in Dublin, there are over 120 teacher and pupil awards to be won, including cash prizes, international trips and the overall title of BT Young Scientist & Technologist(s) of the Year. For more information on the exhibition and for details on how to enter, log onto www.btyoungscientist.com.
*STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths
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