Cookstown’s young start-ups impress at the bank

Eamon McGuckin Manager Bank of Ireland, Roisin Monaghan Business Advisor Bank of Ireland / Cookstown Rotary, Sandra McKenna Cookstown Rotary, Ann McKenny Head of Business Studies Holy Trinity College, HTC Pupils  FJ Canavan; Miguel Heatherington; Dorian Dascalu; Daniel Wojtek; Rhiannon Loughran; Serena ONeill
Eamon McGuckin Manager Bank of Ireland, Roisin Monaghan Business Advisor Bank of Ireland / Cookstown Rotary, Sandra McKenna Cookstown Rotary, Ann McKenny Head of Business Studies Holy Trinity College, HTC Pupils  FJ Canavan; Miguel Heatherington; Dorian Dascalu; Daniel Wojtek; Rhiannon Loughran; Serena ONeill

Students from Holy Trinity College and Cookstown High School impressed judges at Cookstown’s Bank of Ireland branch with their business ideas.

Taking part in a competition for a share in £500 support from the bank the 17 and 18-year-olds proved that age is no barrier to setting out on your own.

Firt place winner Miguel Heatherington with one of his replica game-inspired weapons

Firt place winner Miguel Heatherington with one of his replica game-inspired weapons

From online sales, to solar phone covers, recycled wood pellets, graphic design endeavours and even replica game weaponry - the youngsters wowed judges with a wide range of ideas - many of which have already sprung into action. Organised by Cookstown’s Rotary Club and supported by Bank of Ireland, the cross-community initiative was designed to encourage, foster and mentor young people to consider starting their own businesses.

Initiated by Bank of Ireland business advisor Roisin Monaghan, she said: “Mid Ulster has a lot of talented and bright people, punching above our weight in terms of education standards, work ethic and aspiration,” she said.

“Bank of Ireland is keen to encourage and support, with a suite of tailored packages to help start ups (and) we are delighted and honoured to be main sponsors.

“I was really impressed with the ideas and commitment shown by pupils,” she added. A number of students from both Holy Trinity and Cookstown High applied to get to the interview stage, when they were interviewed by a panel of three.

Holy Trinity's Dorian Dascalu took third place for his already profit-making graphic design business

Holy Trinity's Dorian Dascalu took third place for his already profit-making graphic design business

First prize went to Holy Trinity College student Miguel Heatherington who has been making replicas of weapons featured in computer games across the world.

“The way I’ll be making them, they’ll be half price from the next competitor,” he told the Mail.

“I have had this hobby for about a year. I have bought the machinery and all myself - it’s actually in my granny’s shed.”

Second place went to Cookstown High School’s Jack Scott for his personalised phone covers and Holy Trinity’s Dorian Dascalu took third for his graphic design business.