‘Eco ReRoute’ announced as winner of BT Young Scientist Business Bootcamp

A project that examines the bus routes at a local school to see whether they are operating in the most efficient way has been announced as the winner of the BT Young Scientist Business Bootcamp 2024. Now in its 15th year, the Bootcamp was set up by BT Ireland to support BTYSTE finalists with developing their project ideas into commercial enterprises under the guidance of BTYSTE alumni, BT Ireland mentors, and expert judges.

The winning project developed by Ava Gaffney, a 4th year student from Ballinamore Community School, Leitrim, was originally developed as an entry in BTYSTE 2024 and examines the local bus routes to school to see whether or not they are operating in the most efficient way. Members of the winning group also included: Alec Hannan, a 5th year student from Gonzaga College, Dublin, Caragh Killeen, a 6th year student from St Joseph’s Community College, Clare, and Séan Murphy, a 4th year student from Colaiste Mhuire, Westmeath.

Harry O’Leary, a 5th year student from Gonzaga College, Dublin has been named as ‘Best Individual’ at the BT Young Scientist Business Bootcamp 2024.

The BT Young Scientist Business Bootcamp delivered in partnership with Nova UCD, took place from March 4 – 7, and involved 26 students representing 10 counties, from across the island of Ireland. The participants were shortlisted from the prize winners at BTYSTE 2024, with six projects selected from the exhibition for the students to work on and develop at Bootcamp. The students engaged in a four-day intensive programme that included workshops on business development, marketing and commercialisation. They also had the opportunity to hear from BTYSTE alumni who have launched successful enterprises. On the final day the students pitched their project to expert panel of judges who volunteered their time.

Judges this year included Shay Walsh, Managing Director of BT Ireland, Dr Tony Scott, co-founder of the BTYSTE, Catherine Howard, Vice President, Technology, at IDA Ireland, and Brian O’Donovan, Work and Technology Correspondent at RTÉ.

Shay Walsh, Managing Director of BT Ireland, which organises the bootcamp, said, “Now in its 15th year, the BT Young Scientist Business Bootcamp provides finalists at the exhibition with the skills and insights to encourage them to turn their projects into commercial enterprises.

“As the demand for STEM skills continue to grow each year, we know that the skills and advice that the students receive here will be instrumental in the development of Ireland’s future workforce, ensuring that Ireland continues to drive innovation as a market leader.”

Pat Guiry, UCD Professor and Chair of the Young Scientist Charitable Trust said, “We were absolutely thrilled to host the students from the BT Young Scientist Business Bootcamp here at Nova UCD this week. Nova UCD is a hub for new ventures and entrepreneurs, making it a very fitting location for the next generation of future entrepreneurs to develop their project ideas into commercial enterprises.

“I would like to extend my congratulations to the winners, and all those who took part, and wish them well as they continue throughout their education, and with their future careers.”

Since the Bootcamp began, several participants have gone on to become successful entrepreneurs, including Protex AI, betterexaminations.ie, and Evervault.

For more information on the BT Young Scientist Business Bootcamp, please visit BTYS Business Bootcamp – BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition or follow @BTYSTE on Facebook, Instagram, X, YouTube, or Snapchat (username BTYSTE).

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