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Laura Drudy and Niamh Keogh, two drivers from the Geec, won the opportunity to travel to New York City for the Blackstone LaunchPad Techstars Training Camp and Demo Day through a campus competition run by Blackstone LaunchPad at NUI Galway. Read more about their experience below:

“The Galway energy-efficient car (better known as the Geec) is an eco-car designed and built by NUI Galway engineering students.” www.thegeec.ie

Already Ireland’s most energy efficient car, the Geec has the capability to travel from New York to Chicago for just 16 cents worth of electricity, over 500 times cheaper than any average diesel car today. Designed and built by undergraduate engineers, the team now wants the Geec to become the world’s most energy efficient vehicle. To prove the vehicle’s ability to compete on a global scale, the Geec competes in Shell Eco-Marathon, the world’s top ultra-efficiency competition, aimed at finding the world’s most energy efficient cars.

Aiming to get the knowledge and advice we need to bring our idea to the next level, we pitched the Geec to Blackstone Launchpad at NUI Galway with the hope of gaining a place at the Techstars Training Camp and Demo Day in New York. Last month, we were then selected as one of the two student ventures from NUI Galway for the event! Within two weeks we were in New York.

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The two-day event proved to be everything we expected and more. From the moment we arrived, we were surrounded by enthusiastic and positive entrepreneurs – all wanting to share ideas and learn as much as possible. The event space itself, Galvanize, was creative and fun. Its artistic, innovative design set the mood for the event. From start to finish, the event was jam-packed with mentoring sessions and talks from the Techstars and Blackstone Launchpad teams. Throughout all of this, we had the opportunity to meet new people, share our ideas and learn how to improve our project. There was a constant energy and drive to succeed shared by everyone present.

We also got the opportunity to hear Steve Schwarzman (Co-Founder, Chairman, and CEO of The Blackstone Group) talk about how he built the Blackstone empire. To hear him speak so humbly about his experiences was fascinating and truly inspiring. Overall we felt that we gained a huge amount from the experience, despite the limited time frame. Meeting other start-ups, seeing how they think and seeing what drives them to build their businesses showed us a new way of thinking. Talks and guidance on everything from marketing and funding to diversity provided us with the invaluable advice we needed to bring our project to the next stage in its development. Now just to implement it!

 

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