Minister of Education & Science, Batt O'Keeffe, TD Applauds `job creators of the future' at Young Entrepreneur Programme Business Boot Camp

Young Entrepreneurs Today over 500 young entrepreneurs gathered at the Brandon Hotel, Tralee for the Young Entrepreneur Programme Business Boot Camp - and provided hope for the future of Ireland Inc.

Minister for Education Bat O⿿Keeffe described the drivers of the programme ⿿ the Institute of Technology, Tralee and Shannon Development - as ⿿a national role model of joined up thinking between education and enterprise.⿝

⿿⿝Entrepreneurship forms a central focus of the campus and the Young Entrepreneurs Programme is unique in this country in forging the entrepreneurs of the future through its exciting curriculum,⿝ the Minister added.

Michael Carmody, President of IT, Tralee said: ⿿These students are the job creators of the future. If only five per cent of the people in this room today build successful businesses you⿿re looking at up to 500 new jobs. That⿿s why programmes such as these are the real drivers of economic recovery.⿝

Marie Lynch of Shannon Development said:  â¿¿Kerry Technology Park has companies expanding at the moment moving out of our incubation centres and into larger premises on campus and many are recruiting and bucking the economic trend. It shows a focus on entrepreneurship and innovation can bring results even in tough times .⿝

Leading Irish entrepreneurs and business people gave expert advice to students during the one-day Business Boot Camp. Among the speakers were; founder Director of the Communications Clinic Terry Prone, Irish Times Managing Director Maeve Oâ¿¿Donovan and Cully & Sully founder Colum Oâ¿¿Sullivan.

The Young Entrepreneur Programme is the brainchild of businessman Jerry Kennelly and has been developed by the Institute of Technology, Tralee (IT, Tralee) and Shannon Development. Now in its second academic year, the programme targets second and third level students and aims to foster and nurture the entrepreneurs of tomorrow.

Other speakers of note included:
â¿¢ Joe Daly, founder of Valentia Island Farmhouse Dairy, who turned his dairy farm into an entrepreneurial enterprise
â¿¢ Colm Healy, MD of Skelligs Chocolate Company, an award winning maker of handmade chocolates
â¿¢ David Slattery, owner and manager of Slatteryâ¿¿s Travel, one of the largest Irish-owned tour operators
â¿¢ Cathal Oâ¿¿Connell, founder of Paddywagon Tours, the second largest backpacker tour operator in Europe
â¿¢ Joanna Gardiner, MD of Ovelle Pharmaceuticals
â¿¢ Hugh Reynolds, Director of New-Game Technologies and co-founder of leading gaming software company, Havok