This piece was originally published in Irish Tech News, 11th August 2016. Full story here.

By Catherine Duggan

Entrepreneurship, creative thinking and innovation were highly demonstrated by the teams who participated in The Innovation Academy’s UCD Lean LaunchPad event held in UCD, Dublin on Thursday evening 4th August, 2016.

Attended by Mary Mitchell O’Connor, Minister of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, and other invited business organisations, six teams presented a diversity of problems and solutions which ranged from software, diet, emerging technologies, nutrition, social entrepreneurship, grieving and healing. Prepped and ready to go the teams began to share their ideas.

The Community Engagement team were first up. They presented their innovative software solution which they believed would enable organisations to collaborate and share information more effectively and efficiently.

With the rise of the problem of obesity in Ireland, Team Fatballz shared their solution.  Their aim was to raise awareness about the benefits of a Ketogenic diet (good fats, low carbs) and also to create a revenue stream for their company by creating and selling Keto friendly snacks for children.

From what we eat to what we see and feel.  The Optical Illusion & Technology (OIT) team opened up the exciting possibility of partnering with large technology companies based in Ireland to use emerging technologies to provide a unique interactive, 3D, VR/AR museum.

Back to nutrition, and the unusual idea of including Irish seaweed, (regarded as a superfood, rich in vitamins and minerals), as an ingredient in brow soda bread was presented by Atlantic Harvest Breads.

Social entrepreneurship is a very welcome development across the world and especially in Ireland. The Rippled Sand-Responsible Clothing team presented their solution to raising awareness about the environmental and the humanitarian issues in the clothing industry. Their aim was to create a new clothing brand called ‘Responsible’ which is about who, where and how the clothes we wear are manufactured.

Finally, team Eternal Whispers spoke about their solution to support people getting through the grieving process by helping them to keep and hold onto memories of their loved ones.

Using the LeanLaunch Pad principles created by Steve Blank and adapted by Raomal Perera. Each team carried out their own Customer Discovery by ‘Getting Out of the Building’, talking to customers/clients, receiving customer feedback, and either validating or pivoting their solutions.

A judging panel then had to make the difficult decision of who would be the winning team. After much deliberation Atlantic Harvest Breads were announced as the winners.

Congratulations to all the teams who presented.  Special thanks to Raomal Perera.  Raomal mentored, coached and lead participants through the Lean LaunchPad programme which is part of The Innovation Academy’s UCD Postgraduate Certificate in Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Innovation. This is a Higher Education (HEA) Springboard course.