Business students win funding for Heat Tracker and Hearbeat start-up ideas
Date Article Written:
Monday, June 16, 2014
GMIT Business students have won student enterprise awards and funding for two innovative start up ideas - an agricultural monitor called ‘Heat Tracker’ that helps farmers determine if cattle are in heat, and a baby monitoring device called ‘Heartbeat’ that could help prevent cot deaths.
The two student teams were awarded €500 each from Action Tuam (Beechtree Enterprise Centre). Over 140 students from counties Galway, Mayo and Roscommon competed in the company’s annual Enterprise Awards Competition. GMIT entered 46 teams.
The ‘Heat Tracker’ start-up idea was devised by students Barry 0’Farrell from Killenboy, Co Longford who is studying Business in Rural Enterprise and Agribusiness, John Kilboyle from Grange, Ballinlough, Co Roscommon, Sean Kilcoyne from Ringerraun, Castlebar, Co Mayo, and Stephen Cunningham from Drumreagh, Kilcar, Co Donegal, all studying a B.Sc in Agriculture and Environment Management.
They came up with the idea for the hand-held heat detection aid for cattle, to help farmers determine when cows are in heat. The product reads motion sensors that are placed around the cow’s neck and identifies which cows are in heat as well as their location on the farm. The information is taken from the collars via infra-red signals and uploaded to the farmer’s handheld device. The identification of the cows in heat is displayed on the screen. The process can be carried out in the field or shed and without any wires.
They were inspired to help farmers manage their time as it is recommended that animals in heat be tested several times a day and the animals could be four miles away from the farm. Heat Tracker allows farmers to reduce their time herding cattle while safe in the knowledge their animals’ oestrus cycle is monitored.
The ‘Heartbeat’ baby monitoring start-up idea was devised by third year Bachelor of Business (IT stream) degree students David Kilbride from Ballinalee, Longford and Niall Beirne from Drumshamboo, Leitrim.
It is based on the traditional baby monitoring device, but one which incorporates a wireless heart rate monitor. It involves a comfortable wireless body sleeve, which can be worn all day, measuring the heart rate of a baby. The heart rate monitor sends a signal to the wireless receiving portable monitor that alerts the child minder of any major change in the baby’s heart rate. The receiving monitor also acts as a traditional baby monitor picking up any noise made by the baby or in the baby’s room as well as displaying the baby’s heart rate on a LCD display.
David and Niall came up with the idea in a bid to help detect and prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) which on average claims 34 babies lives each year in Ireland.
The two winning teams comprised students from four different business degrees in GMIT’s School of Business. They came out of their class groups to form the teams, bringing different skills and knowledge to help them devise the best viable start up idea.
Jarlath Canney, Director of Action Tuam, says: ““ Our involvement with GMIT in promoting new innovative business ideas is a new direction for our community based company and we would hope to continue to help promote new business ideas into the future”
Deirdre Lusby, Head of Dept, GMIT School of Business, thanked Action Tuam for their sponsorship. “These awards and funding recognise the innovative and practical nature of our programmes. Our lecturers and competition mentor Ivan McPhilips have been mentoring our students for competitions for many years, and it’s always very rewarding to see the fruits of their labour.”
Ivan McPhillips, lecturer in Entrepreneurship and Innovation, GMIT School of Business, says GMIT students show a real flair for devising commercially viable business ideas and marketing plans. ”We’ve a very proud and distinguished record in winning awards in a wide range of third-level competitions and we’re delighted with their success in this, the Action Tuam Enterprise Awards 2014.”
For more information on programmes in the GMIT School of Business, see:
John Kilboyle from Grange, Ballinlough, Roscommon, Sean Kilcoyne from Ringerraun, Castlebar, Co Mayo, Ray O’Connor, Project Manager, Action Tuam Ltd, Anne Collins, Action Tuam Ltd, Ivan McPhillips, Marketing lecturer, GMIT, Stephen Cunningham from Drumreagh, Kilcar, Donegal, and Barry O’Farrell from Killenboy, Co Longford.