Overview: The #GameOn Innovation Bootcamp 2023, organized as part of the SMART4FUTURE project, was a resounding success in fostering innovation and sustainability within the academic and industry spheres. This comprehensive event aimed at bridging the knowledge gap between industry and learners while promoting deep-tech entrepreneurial endeavours.

Participant Breakdown: The bootcamp attracted a diverse range of participants, totalling approximately 150 students, 12 industry guests, 13 college alumni, and 15 Griffith College staff. This diverse group comprised students, academic staff, and industry professionals, all converging for a unique and collaborative experience.


  • Students: A significant portion of attendees consisted of Griffith College learners, bringing youthful enthusiasm and fresh perspectives to the event.
  • Academic Staff: The presence of Graduate Business School educators and program directors added depth to the discussions, creating a nice blend of academic and practical insights.
  • Industry Participants: The inclusion of Griffith College alumni, guest industry experts and interested professionals elevated the discourse, providing invaluable real-world perspectives.

Highlights: The bootcamp spanned three days, each offering distinct experiences:

  • Day 1 (Oct. 3): A public event held at Griffith College Dublin Auditorium, featuring keynote speakers and industry guests. Attendees gained insights into sustainability, innovation, and deep tech in entrepreneurship.
  • Day 2 (Oct. 4): A finalists’ workshop, where competition finalists engaged in mentoring sessions with Griffith College staff, refined their business pitches to meet competition standards.
  • Day 3 (Oct 10): A private event for GBS Hub staff, competition finalists, judges, and select Griffith College staff. The pitching event culminated in the announcement of winners and fostered deeper connections among participants and key industry guests.

Achievements and Impact:

  • Collaborations: The event facilitated increased collaboration between Griffith College and industry partners, opening doors for future projects and initiatives. Guest speakers and industry judges fostered deeper relations with Dogpatch Labs, Future Planet, LEP Biomedical, The Human Collective, National Asset Management Agency, and Enterprise Ireland. Local Catering provider was Brother Hubbard, contributing to high praises of the event with its sustainable and locally sourced produce.
  • Awards: The bootcamp’s success contributed to the nomination for The National Procurement Awards 2023, showcasing its impact on education procurement projects.
  • Recognition: Invitations to speak at prestigious events, such as the Higher Education Colleges Association (HECA) Research Conference, emphasized the positive reception and acknowledgment of Griffith College’s Research and Innovation Hub.
  • Support: Finalists included Aitong Yue (Masters in Accounting and Finance), Julie Sergent (Bachelor in Business), and Aleksandra Kantysheva (Pulse College Student)
  • Results: As a result of the Bootcamp, Griffith College GBS Hub is now supporting three sustainable and innovative startup ideas. Ana Paula Elias (Masters in Accounting and Finance) won 1st Place for her sustainable consumption app idea, Tugay Cengiz (Masters in Computing student) won 2nd Prize for his AI in Business Advertising pitch, and Abul Kashem Golam Shahriar (Masters in Accounting and Finance) was awarded 3rd Place for his innovative idea for the Irish pub industry. Our first prize winner, Ana Paula Elias, has gone on to register as a sole trader and is currently ramping up to make her business idea a reality.

Feedback and Future Engagements:

  • Student Excitement: Current students expressed excitement about the prospect of the bootcamp becoming an annual event, reflecting the positive impact on learners. Multiple LinkedIn and social media posts about the out-of-class learning experience and encouragement that students received was notable.
  • Industry Interest: The industry took notice of Griffith College’s commitment to innovation, leading to nominations and invitations to prominent conferences.

About the author : tereza.zugaj@algebra.hr tereza.zugaj@algebra.hr

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