Being asked to judge on the Enactus Ireland National Competition panel this year was an honour and privilege. I witnessed innovative leadership first-hand and I was energised by the enthusiastic young entrants with original approaches to complex challenges.
If you haven’t heard of Enactus, it is a global non-profit community which combines the worlds of academia and business acumen. This community of student, academic and business leaders is committed to using the power of entrepreneurial action to tackle the problems of today whilst creating the leaders of tomorrow.
The Enactus Ireland National Competition involves third level students creating, and implementing, socially sustainable entrepreneurial projects. Students get involved because they get a chance to develop the skills necessary to work for a corporate organisation or set up their own social enterprise. Business leaders like me support the projects with resources, expertise, and enthusiasm. And I can assure you I was enthusiastic when I saw the calibre of work being produced by these young innovators.
Nine third level institutions across Ireland took part this year. The final round consisted of well-thought out, original projects from DCU, Trinity College, UCD and UL. As part of the judging panel we were looking for evidence of entrepreneurial leadership, innovative ideas, addressing gaps in the market, use of business principles and projects that had an overall sustainable impact. The DCU team was chosen as the winner for 2020.
A project I was particularly interested in was from one of the DCU teams, Dyselx.ie, which provides software and online tools for the dyslexic community. The team at Dyslex.ie used the latest technologies to design a three-step process that automatically tailors computer settings to help improve reading speed. Their aim is to ensure people with dyslexia are achieving their maximum potential online through this simple tool. Dyslex.ie developed a strong partner base during project initiation including the likes of Microsoft and had already begun making a positive social impact using technology.
Other factors that impressed me by this team were the values they exhibited during the planning process which were akin to that of our team at Cubic Telecom: enthusiasm, helping others, results focused and being thorough.
Overall, I was blown away by the high standard of technical skills, strategic thinking, organising, and planning all teams exhibited during this process. Many of the groups had the ability to think outside the box to address social needs in a sustainable way.
For Cubic Telecom is it an inspiring event to be involved with and an opportunity to spot emerging talent in the technology sector. Cubic has been a long-time supporter of continuous professional development and keeping its finger on the pulse of adopting new ways to address technical challenges. Innovation is at the heart of everything we do at Cubic. If you are interested in applying for a role at Cubic Telecom visit our careers page here. I wish the winners from DCU every success as they go on to represent Ireland in the Enactus World Cup later this year.