A SPARK of genius could lead to two Kilkenny secondary school students becoming millionaires. Without any marketing or publicity, the duo have already sold 150 of their unique T-Ties.
They have patents pending for the simple yet hugely effective invention and with the support of the school and the County Enterprise Board behind them, there is hope for the future of this country. The T-tie is a piece of acrylic cut out to resemble the shape of a tie knot. It is placed inside the knot and then the tie is tightened around the ‘shaper’ to secure it inside and keep the knot in shape.
The two St. Kieran’s College transition year students, Michael (Mihails) Naikandrovs who is 17 years old) and Conor Evans (16) came up with the idea set up the business to compete in the young entrepreneur competition run in the school by the Kilkenny County Enterprise Board.
It was michael who came up with the idea to solve and everyday problem of many pupils and businessmen, keeping the neck tie knot in its proper shape throughout the whole day and alan was quick to see the potential in the . After their previous mini-company failed, they were sitting in class brainstorming as their teacher Mr. Paul Fitzgerald went through previous winners and their ideas. Eventually Michael came up with the design for the shape of the ‘Tie Shaper’. The two entrepreneurs immediately gave up on the old idea and began expanding the new mini-company which included a visit to Patent’s office o safeguard their intellectual copyright. They then entered the school’s young entrepreneur business competition and were among four mini-companies chosen to represent the school in the county competition. After a tough day of representation and judging, T-Ties managed to get the first place in the senior category. And have won themselves a place in the All Ireland Business competition in Croke Park on Thursday.
Michael said that he and Conor were listening to Mr Fitzgeraldtalking about previous winners and their ideas when he thought of random shapes on ties and came up with the idea to solve the problem. Conor said they decided to immediately drop their original idea of selling shock pens (prank toys) to fellow students. It was the right choice.
They have already sold 150 T-ties in the city, 50 to Frank Wall’s Mans’ Shop, 50 to Duggan’s Monster House and 50 to a unit in the Market Cross shopping centre hopefully
Teacher Paul Fitzgerald said the competition has proven a great success in encouraging young people to come up with their own ideas not necessarily for profit, but for longer term gain, giving them a good business acumen.
Bernie McCoy is the co-ordinator of the project with the enterprise board and she is delighted with the success and his hoping for big things on Thursday.