There is a special award for Innovation at the Student Enterprise Awards National Final and it is a significant part of the appeal on the day of the National Awards. It is refreshing to see new and exciting ideas coming from young people and many of these ideas can become very commercially viable businesses. Daft.ie started life as a student business and is still running today!
Because innovation has been identified by the Irish Government as being vital for the country’s future economic success, we need to offer new ideas to the market and ensure that Ireland is at the forefront of new and developing ideas. We are a creative people and solving problems is very much a part of our psyche so it comes as no surprise that we are capable of solving problems throughout the world. Creativity and innovation are closely linked and the possibility of making the ideas into a reality contributes to business success.
In business, innovation can be the difference between success and failure. Innovation is not just about having the ideas...
It’s also about developing these ideas and putting them into practice to achieve commercial success. These new ideas may be new products, new services or new ways of doing things. But that is not all about innovation. Sometimes innovation means finding a clever solution to a problem you are faced with and not letting the problem beat you.
Walt Disney kept going even though more than 300 banks he found one that said yes and the rest is history. Walt Disney didn't let it beat him when he got turned down for a loan to start Disneyland.
It is very hard to come up with a completely brand new product or service, but through idea generation techniques like brainstorming or attribute listing it can be possible to come up with a different spin on an existing product.
You can also be innovative in the way you package or market/sell your product/service. For example by changing the packaging for hand-made chocolates they can be sold at
different times of the year and to different types of people e.g. red ribbon for Valentine's Day, or miniature packs for a personal treat! You have probably all seen examples of how this is done and how big a difference it can make to sales.
The girls from Colaiste Eoin used their heads and came up with a product which supplied pens, pencils and other materials needed by first year students in their school as their project in the Student Enterprise Awards and did such a good job that they won the Junior Section of the Dublin City Finals.
We have included some guidelines on ideas generation and hope you find them useful. They are not exhaustive but if you wish to avail of our workshop on Ideas Generation we would be happy to visit your school to assist with the efforts. We have has some wonderful suggestions from our brainstorming workshops and they bring the "Thinking outside the Box" idea to each student in a very real way.
Innovation is not just about having the ideas but also about finding solutions to problems.
Click the links below for some fun exercises that will help you generate ideas: