Guest Judge Andy Hill (left) from Hill’s Mixtape presents HNC Applied Science students, Sarah Scannell, Kerri Burns and James Riley who formed team Cinthol, from SERC’s Lisburn Campus with their award for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the College’s Project Based Learning Enterprise Final

Eight enterprising teams gathered at South Eastern Regional College (SERC) recently to compete in the final of the College’s Project Based Learning (PBL) Enterprise Showcase 2019.

The Showcase follows Enterprise fortnight, when hundreds of students from across the College take part in a competition designed to provide them with valuable employability skills. Students form teams to find solutions for real-world business scenarios or business ideas tailored towards vocational areas, which they present to judges. Eight teams won the opportunity to pitch their ideas, Dragons’ Den-style, to a prestigious panel of judges - Sue Gray, Permanent Secretary for the Department of Finance, Terence Brannigan, SERC Entrepreneur in Residence, Andy Hill from Hill's Mixtape and Stephen Addy from Ards and North Down Borough Council - to be crowned champions. To add to the pressure, the pitches were streamed live via the SERC Media Centre.

The Award for Innovation and Entrepreneurship was scooped up by Team CINTHOL who created a green tea infused with cinnamon and mint specifically designed for those living with diabetes to help manage blood glucose levels. The team was made up of HNC Applied Science students Sarah Scannell, Kerri Burns and James Riley from SERC’s Lisburn campus.

Downpatrick Campus students from the Level 3 Health and Social Care, Alexis Rooney, Nicola Hanna, Mia Angell, Conan Lennon, Catherine Hickey and Aislinn Armstrong joined forces to become the SERC Day Centre team.   Their concept of an over 60 daycare centre at the College to target isolated groups and aid their learning, saw them walk away victorious with the Award for Environment.

Finally, Team Soup Dragon Kitchen’s, idea of pop-up street food, specialising in healthy and tasty soups by Level 3 Professional Cookery students Aaron Boreland, Joe Ellesmere, Gary Cowan and Max Smith from the Bangor Campus won the Award for Enterprise.

Michael Malone, SERC Director of Curriculum and Information Services said, “At SERC, we are committed to providing our students with a range of opportunities to increase their employability skills which will complement their vocational courses of study. Our Enterprise fortnight kicks starts that process and has become a tradition at the College, providing an enjoyable way for students to embrace College life, network with other students and start to think about real-world issues and entrepreneurship. Through PBL they are thinking outside the box, problem solving, inventing and reinventing and the results show their hard work. Every year I am left amazed at the high standard of innovative ideas from our students.”

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