NUI Galway Launches New Ideas Academy Summer Camp for Second Level Students

From left, Neil Ferguson, NUI Galway LaunchPad; Ena Brophy, BioInnovate Ireland; Natalie Walsh, NUI Galway LaunchPad; Aaron Hannon, Student Entrepreneur, NUI Galway; and John McGee, Head of Enterprise, Local Enterprise Office Mayo.
May 31 2019 Posted: 16:05 IST

NUI Galway in partnership with the HEA and Local Enterprise Office Mayo recently launched the Ideas Academy. The Academy is a new summer camp for second level students in senior cycle who want to create ideas that enhance the quality of life, and reimagine how ordinary problems can be solved in extraordinary ways. 

The one-week free summer camps will focus on developing the entrepreneurial and innovation mindset of participants experientially using tools including Lego Serious Play (LSP), design thinking and the lean canvas. The camp will be a positive environment for young entrepreneurs to develop, test and collaborate. The initiative is a cross campus partnership of LaunchPad, the student enterprise hub at NUI Galway, BioInnovate Ireland, the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics and the Discipline of Surgery. External partners are the Higher Education Authority and Mayo Local Enterprise Office.

The camps will run daily from 9:30am-3:30pm. The Ideas Academy Ballina will run from the 4-7 June in the Ballina Manor Hotel, and the NUI Galway based camp will run from the 24-28 June, the NUI Galway camp will be themed Medtech. Each camp is limited to 25 students per camp, are free to attend and lunch is provided for all participants. Both camps will run a final Idea Pitch competition with a €1,000 Prize fund for the top teams participating in each camp.

Speaking about the camp Natalie Walsh, Executive Director of LaunchPad at NUI Galway, said: “We have worked with multiple schools across the region in recent years and have been so impressed with their enthusiasm and innovation, the Ideas Academy was a natural next step for our programme and programme partners to engage in, one we are proud to be in a position to Launch in Galway and Mayo.”

John Magee, Head of Enterprise with Mayo County Council, said: “We are delighted to partner with the LaunchPad to bring the Ideas Academy to Ballina. Mayo has a fantastic entrepreneurial culture among our young people and this camp is an exciting opportunity for second level students to further develop their ideas in a structured setting. The week is free, fun and an incredible chance to learn from other inspirational young Mayo people.”

To register for the Ballina Ideas Academy visit Those interested in attending the NUI Galway Ideas Academy can register at Places for eligible participants will be awarded on a first come bases. For further information please contact


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