Reusable Braille Translator Project Wins 2020 BTYSTE Business Bootcamp Held at NovaUCD

Pictured (l-r) at NovaUCD are; Cian Flaherty, Ruairi Mullally, Maura Madden, Rhys Mordaunt and Alison Egan, winners of the 2020 BTYSTE Business Bootcamp (Fennell Photography).

Reusable Braille Translator Project Wins 2020 BTYSTE Business Bootcamp Held at NovaUCD

A team of five students from Dublin, Westmeath, Sligo and Kildare were announced as the winners of the 2020 BTYSTE Business Bootcamp held at NovaUCD for a project titled ‘The reusable braille translator’.

Alison Egan, Castleknock Community College, Dublin, Cian Flaherty, Colaiste Mhuire Mullingar, Westmeath, Maura Madden, Ursuline College, Sligo, Rhys Mordaunt, Institute of Education, Dublin and Ruairi Mullally, Patrician Secondary school, Kildare joined together to create a reusable device which enhances visually impaired peoples’ reading and web surfing experience by converting text into braille form.

Ben Loughnane, a third-year student from Kinsale Community School, Cork was announced as the individual winner for his project ‘Electric Paint- how much graphite is needed to heat your home?’.

The BT Young Scientist Business Bootcamp was established in 2010 by BT and is delivered in partnership with NovaUCD to give students the commercialisation skills they need to develop their BT Young Scientist and Technology project ideas.

The culmination of the four-day programme, now in its 11th year, involved a total of 29 participants with the students pitching their business ideas to an expert panel of judges.

Congratulating all participants, Shay Walsh, Managing Director, BT Ireland, said, “Massive congratulations to all the students who took part in the BT Young Scientist Business Bootcamp this year and specifically Alison, Cian, Maura, Rhys, Ruairi and Ben on their winning projects.”

“The Business Bootcamp has been an integral part of the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition programme for eleven years, and in that time, I am proud to say that many of our alumni have gone on to huge success in business. What is even more significant is that some of these successful entrepreneurs returned this week to share their experiences with our new bootcamp graduates, to offer guidance on how to take an idea and transform it into a business proposition.”

Professor Orla Feely, UCD Vice-President for Research, Innovation and Impact said, “We are delighted to continue our partnership with BT Ireland to deliver the annual BT Young Scientist Business Bootcamp, which is now in its 11th year, at NovaUCD.”

“The aim of the 4-day Business Bootcamp is to help the students to deepen their entrepreneurial thinking and also their understanding of the key steps required to translate innovative STEM ideas and projects into sustainable and scalable businesses.”

“I would like to congratulate the overall winners, and all the students who participated in the 2020 programme and I hope to see their projects transformed into businesses in the very near future.”

The final project pitches were judged by; Shay Walsh, MD, BT Ireland, Dr Tony Scott, co-founder, BTYSTE, Will Goodbody, RTE Business Editor, Ann O’Dea, founder of and FutureHuman along with Evelyn Smith, Senior Commercialisation Specialist, Enterprise Ireland.


6 March 2020

For more information contact Micéal Whelan, Communications and Media Relations Manager, NovaUCD, UCD Research and Innovation, t: + 353 1 716 3712 or e:

Editors Notes

The participating students were mentored by BT personnel for the duration of their time on the Business Bootcamp. Speakers at the Bootcamp include past BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition winner Shane Curran, Kate & Annie Madden from FenuHealth, who now runs a successful business after participating in the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition in 2015, past participant Jack O Connor, who is now a UN Youth Ambassador, Danny Hobbs who founded while participating at Business Bootcamp and Prof. Orla Feely, UCD, Vice-President for Research, Innovation and Impact.