On 11th May 2009 finalists were invited to participate in an event inspired by the television series ‘Dragon’s Den’, which took place in the Helix Theatre. Finalists has the opportunity to ‘pitch’ their innovation to the ‘Dragons’ who subsequently quizzed them on their innovations. The panel comprised: Bobby Kerr CEO of Insomnia and one of the Dragons from the Radio Telefís Éireann (RTÉ) series Dragon’s Den; Eugene O’Loughlin, representing ILTA; Kate Guy of The Regional Support Centre of Northern Ireland; and Jenn’s partner Adam McAuley from DCU.
After much deliberation the panel decided to present the inaugural award to the Trinity College Dublin (TCD) Bridge to College (b2c) initiative, submitted by John Lawler on behalf of the b2c team. This initiative aims to provide students from disadvantaged secondary schools with an innovative learning experience facilitated via technology. The programme is designed to engage young people in creative, technology-mediated projects, mentored by volunteer third level students. Further information on the b2c initiative is available at https://www.tcd.ie/Community/students/volunteering/campus/b2c.php.
John Lawler and project participants accepted the award at the Irish Educational Technology Users’ Conference in the National College of Ireland on May 22nd. Jenn’s partner, Dr Adam McAuley of DCU presented the winners with two pieces of specially commissioned artwork created by Majella O’Neill Collins of Sherkin Island, Co. Cork.