Ireland’s longest running student entrepreneurship accelerator programme, Student Inc., kicked off this month at Munster Technological University’s start-up incubators, the Rubicon Centre in Cork and the Tom Crean Centre in Kerry. This year, for the first time since the programme’s inception in 2011, Student Inc. participants at MTU will be supported through the O’Regan Scholarship programme, which is being funded by MTU alumnus and entrepreneur, Brendan O Regan. Brendan was founder and executive chairman of Zenith Technologies, which was acquired by Cognizant in 2019.

Speaking at the launch of the scholarship programme on June 7th at the Rubicon Centre MTU, Mr. O’Regan said:

I am delighted to support the next generation of MTU entrepreneurs at the start of their business creation journeys, and I look forward to seeing many of their ideas translating into new businesses, driving employment and regional development over the years to come. I built an international business based in Cork, but it wouldn’t have been such a success without having MTU on our doorstep. We had twelve people in the management team at the time of selling Zenith to Cognizant, including those leading our operations in the US and Asia, and they were all ex-MTU graduates. It would be great to see this year’s Student Inc participants enjoying similar levels of success.

The Student Inc. programme was first developed on MTU’s Cork campus (then CIT) eleven years ago, with the overarching goal of encouraging student entrepreneurs to assess the feasibility of their business ideas and start businesses in a safe and nurturing environment. Running annually from the beginning of June to the end of August, it is a full-time immersive programme that provides students with seed funding and access to a network of entrepreneurs, trainers, mentors and investors across the South-West region. In addition to receiving €4,000 in cash, student entrepreneurs gain access to expert mentoring and training and free office space in their respective university start-up incubators.

Since its inception, Student Inc. has gone from strength to strength. From its origin on MTU’s Cork campus, the programme was rolled out to University College Cork and MTU Kerry campus in the summer of 2019, and further to Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (now part of Atlantic Technological University), University of Limerick and Limerick Institute of Technology (now part of Technological University of the Shannon) in 2021. The expansion of the programme was supported by funding won under the Innovation and Transformation Programme funded by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) in 2018. The expanded programme ensures that all higher education students in the partner universities have the opportunity to see if their business ideas and inventions are viable as commercial opportunities or social enterprises. All students in participating universities, regardless of their year of study or academic discipline, can apply for a place on the Student Inc. programme.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Student Inc. team at the Rubicon Centre worked closely with the Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) Department on MTU’s Cork campus and the E-learning Development and Support Unit (EDSU) on MTU’s Kerry campus to create and implement an innovative online version of the Student Inc. programme. As a consequence, participants in the 2022 Student Inc. programme can now enjoy a hybrid experience, participating in online training and mentoring while attending their on-campus incubators for the duration of the summer period. 

Michael Loftus, Vice President for External Affairs at MTU, said: 

We are very grateful to Brendan O’Regan for his generous support of MTU student entrepreneurs. Brendan has had an amazingly successful career which has been differentiated by his incredible achievements on the entrepreneurship front. Over a period of many years, he has always been determined to support MTU and its students in a broad range of ways. It is fitting that one of the most entrepreneurial members of our alumni would now support the development of the next generation of entrepreneurs in MTU, an area of strategic focus and differentiation for our university.

Carole O’Leary, Project Manager at MTU’s Innovation & Enterprise Office, said:

It is wonderful to see how the Student Inc. programme has grown so successfully over the past decade. We are very much looking forward to following the progress of this year’s cohort of twenty student entrepreneurs who were chosen for the programme from over ninety student applicants. 

The students come from a wide variety of courses including culinary arts, public relations and software development, and range from undergraduates who have just completed first year through to those undertaking Masters’ programmes. This year’s participants are developing a great mix of innovative business ideas covering sectors such as fitness, food, medical devices, software, clothing and service industries. Some of the businesses that will be developed over the summer months include a revolutionary speculum for cervical checks, an insect-based food and a wellness resource app for mothers who are coping with the loss of a baby.

Two former Student Inc. participants, Tracey Ryan of Bia Beauty, who participated in the first ever Student Inc. programme in 2011, and Dylan Hennessy of Frostbyte Cocktails, who completed last year’s programme, spoke at the scholarship launch during which they outlined their entrepreneurial paths since participating in Student Inc. and imparted useful entrepreneurial insights to the new 2022 cohort of Student Inc. entrepreneurs.

For further information about the Student Inc. programme, please contact Carole O’Leary, Regional Programme Manager for 3rd Level Student Entrepreneurship, [email protected]



Student Inc. EntrepreneurUniversity CourseInnovative Idea
  1. Abbie Orchin Moloney
4th Year

BSc. Environmental Science, 

University of Limerick.


ECO GLAS is a company idea that will provide sustainable and innovative solutions to global environmental issues, starting with domestic wastewater treatment. The first product, the ‘ECO GLAS Septic Tank Retrofit Box’ system will adapt and upgrade non-mechanical septic tanks to treat effluent to the same level as a new system, as well as the added bonus of regular maintenance of your septic tank through the ECO GLAS subscription service. The subscription service will be user-friendly. Customers will be able to schedule their septic tank maintenance and annual desludging over the phone, on the website or app. There are 500,000 non-mechanical septic tanks in Ireland that discharge effluent containing harmful bacteria and contaminants into the ground and ground-water table on a daily basis.

  1. Aoife Twomey
4th Year

BSc. Nutritional Sciences

University College Cork 


An artisan stoneground cashew nut butter with vanilla and probiotics, with the possibility for expansion into other flavours and nut types. My business name is Cnó Beo, Irish for Living nuts, to emphasise the Irish element of the product and the live probiotic addition.

  1. Conor Hall
2nd Year

MSc. Fintech Innovation

Munster Technological University


As people become more eco-conscience, there may be a demand to help off-set their carbon footprint for their online shopping. Similarly, businesses will soon have to report their carbon output as the carbon economy becomes more regulated. The purpose of this product is to allow online businesses to report on ESG metrics and provide a service for customers to off-set their online orders. The envisaged solution is to develop a platform that a) allows businesses to track their carbon and b) provide a service that will connect customers with carbon off-setting projects and initiatives.

  1. Conor Quill
4th Year

MSc. Corporate Finance

University College Cork


I have already established an online platform on the app Depop, where I have made €2000 in sales since the start of this semester. I want to source and buy quality stock in bulk, but to do so involves sourcing stock abroad (Italy & UK) and is quite costly.

  1. Daineadh Power
3rd Year

BEng. Biomedical Engineering

Munster Technological University


Tulipa is a modern, universal take on the vaginal speculum, aiming to reduce the overall discomfort involved in cervical examinations while increasing the number of women who avail of the cervical screenings. Introducing a new reusable, sterilisable speculum design along with a sterile single-use polyisoprene sleeve which is exclusive and compatible only to Tulipa.

  1. Divya Shree Srinivas
Masters in Data Science & Analytics

Munster Technological University


Digi Mouse is a digital mouse where a smart watch acts like a mouse.

  1. Ethan Morrissey
Masters in Biomedical Engineering

Munster Technological University


Aerolief would be an active system that would be inserted into the ear like an earplug that would adjust the pressure in the ear canal to reduce the stretching of the eardrum. This would alleviate the pain experienced during take-off or landing of the plane.

  1. Evan Quinn
Masters in Software Development

Technological University of the Shannon


One-of-a-kind automation clients for customers who require artificial intelligence systems in their daily operations. I will focus on artificially intelligent automation systems in computer vision, natural language processing, and other relevant domains. As part of my Master’s to PhD progression, I’m working on a Real-time Intelligent Automation System for Computer Vision Applications, which has the potential to expand into selling customized automation clients to speed up mundane workplace tasks.

  1. Hattie Kearney
3rd Year

Business & Event Management

Technological University of the Shannon


Mumpkin is a wellness resource app for mothers. Mumpkin is designed to provide support in all aspects of motherhood. From talking to health experts (lactation consultants, physiotherapists, mental health coaches), baby activity classes, mom meet-up groups to healthy recipes and workout videos and finding local creches / day-cares, Mumpkin will be there to assist mothers and give them confidence and happiness throughout their motherhood journeys.

  1. Idowu Akinyimika
3rd Year 

BSc. Software Development

Munster Technological University


Network Performance and Optimization by building software redirection programme.

  1. Kyle Tenkrooden
3rd Year

BSc. Software Development

Munster Technological University


The product I propose is a fitness application to:

  1. Log each workout – record the exercise, reps, sets, RPE, resting timers etc.
  2. Advanced analysis on your progress
  3. Daily/weekly challenges – 
  4. Have the application identify when you need to rest each muscle group. 

In the future, I’d like to expand on this aforementioned application by building a social media platform for the frequent gym goers. This will be a similar concept to the famous Strava application dedicated to runners and cyclists.

  1. Laith Cesar Hatamleh
1st Year

Digital Humanities & IT

University College Cork


eCampus is a program that aims to digitise university Identity cards. It aims to create a virtual ID card NFC enabled that would be installed in native mobile wallets like Apple Pay and Google Pay.

The second step would be to digitise LeapCard into a virtual card with the eTransport program.

  1. Lisa Donovan
Masters in Play Therapy

Munster Technological University


I plan to set up a play therapy service in an area of socio economic disadvantage on the south side of Cork City. I want to offer the service in the community at a low cost or sliding scale so that the families who really need support can access it.

  1. Luke Mulligan  
4th Year


University College Cork


I want to create an app, an interactive platform where individuals who’ve experienced this pain and suffering can get support off each other, give each other advice whether that’s tips on how to deal with their condition mentally or physically. I’ve suffered from restless legs, severe neck/shoulder/jaw pain, I’ve spent months in hospital. I was suffering for years, it’s only now I’ve gained the mindset to turn everything into a positive, learn from every dark moment. This business will be built around helping other people, no one likes talking about their pain, it’s easier to do so behind a screen. I hope to create a communication platform where people feel safe to do so. Sometimes advice off other people who have gone through something similar can be far more valuable than advice off a doctor. In my experience, doctors are hard to get in contact with, costly and very emotionless. I am certainly not looking for someone to use this app to replace a doctor, that is not my goal. This should be in conjunction with medical advice. Further down the line, I would hope to get doctors and physios on board. If they could spend 15/30 minutes a week, to approve or like comments on what people are suggesting, this would give creditability to the app.

  1. Michael Creaven
Masters in International Entrepreneurship Management

University of Limerick



The idea is for a toy and game for people with intellectual disabilities who live in respite care. It’s designed to promote gentle exercise and provide stimulus while having a low barrier to entry to try and doesn’t require the learning of rules or concepts. The toy consists of two devices. One device is hidden, the “Hider”, and one device, the “Seeker”. A person with intellectual disabilities (ID) could use the “Seeker” to find the “Hider”.

The “Hider” will be hidden under one of four cones and the player can continue to look for the “Hider” until they find it. Both devices communicate with one another, and the “Seeker” increases or decreases the intensity of feedback depending on the proximity to the “Hider”. The feedback will be in the form of colour, sound, or vibration, depending on the needs and preferences of the individual.

  1. Paul Daly
4th Year

Business Information Systems

Atlantic Technological University


This application is an idea that I have had for many months now and I had previously been working on the model, before commencing this application form. The overall basis of the application is an employee app, that works off the principle like current dating applications, with location of all users the primary key factor for the model to work. Employers and potential employees will have individual accounts set up on the application. Employers will make available the position they need filled, in the shortest timeframe possible, available for potential employees to accept or decline. The application will be contacted to both parties’ location services on their phone, allowing both parties to be able to see who the closet potential employee to them is and the level of qualifications and experience they have.

  1. Sancho Criado del Rey Machimbarrena
Masters in Food Business & Innovation

University College Cork


The purpose of this project is to conduct an in-depth market research, and from there on, design a product, a marketing strategy and a business model that will successfully serve as an introduction to insect-based foods int the Spanish food system.

  1. Shane Lydon

Mechanical Engineering 

Atlantic Technological Univesity


This device could potentially offset a % of our international energy dependency. A modular power generation device that acts like a bladeless wind turbine and can be attached to any existing tree to convert kinetic to electrical energy. Currently device is finished the ideation phase and awaiting funding to create a working prototype.

  1. Shona Holahan
4th Year

BSc. Food Marketing & Entrepreneurship

University College Cork


Flow by Sho will aim to address the problem of high levels of stress and anxiety experienced young adults. The business will offer yoga, meditation and breathwork classes, as well as events and retreats. The business will provide value by helping its customers to improve their wellbeing. It will also provide an opportunity to make friends and connect with likeminded people in a safe and non-judgemental environment e.g. through a group discussion element at the end of classes, and through events such as yoga and brunch, group hike with meditation, etc.


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