Keeping it Lean with Gene!


This year’s TES Incubator program began in fine fashion.

Gene Murphy, a serial innovator, Bank of Ireland’s resident entrepreneur and an all-round nice guy, was the first of this year’s guest speakers.

Gene started the evening in fine spirit by grilling each of the teams for a 30 second pitch of their ideas and asking why they felt they should be taking part in the Incubator.

His first tip to all emerging start-ups was to develop their Minimum Viable Product and get out in front of their customers. He motivated the teams to start small and aim high.

David Ola, TES Incubator Manager, briefing the team

As it was our first event, the teams were all still a little unfamiliar with each other…

Que the quirky ice breaker!

The groups were mixed up and put into 4 teams, 8 random words were placed on the board and the teams were asked to come up with some interesting and quite frankly ground-breaking ideas.

The start of something new?

Team One was given the words “Chocolate Wi-Fi”. From these two completely random words the team came up with the idea of a free redeemable 15-minute Wi-Fi code for every chocolate bar a consumer purchased. Cadbury sales will skyrocket in the next few weeks with this news, you read it here first!

Team Two was given the tricky task of building a business based on “Submarine Cats”. They went straight into tackling the issue of the fear of water. To solve this, they introduced an exciting new adventure where people would link up with their new feline friends for comfort and take off in their yellow submarine. The spokesperson for the team believes, in the future, Submarine Cats can cure sleepless nights with the Kitty Nap hotel.

Continuing the trend of eradicating aqua-phobia, Team Three invented “Chicken Wave”, the first Chicken-inspired ‘Buoyance Aid’! Add to this their extended range of the ‘Roast Chicken Surfboard’ and ‘Chicken Wing Bath Toys’. It’s safe to say we can really see this idea taking flight (or an occasional swim)!

Team Four had the most impressive challenge, “Burrito Banter”. They decided to tackle both- the lack of lunch time conversation and the oversized burrito conundrum. “Burrito Banters! All-you-can-eat bite-sized burritos let you enjoy the delicious flavour without compromising on the conversation!”, pitched a team member. Seems like the perfect Tinder date to me, if I ever manage to get one…

Now, moving swiftly back to the real business, each team was given a blank Business Model Canvas and asked to fill it out with their original ideas, sadly not for their new world-beating concepts.

Gene and our Incubator Ambassadors helped each team through the Business Model, step by step.  

They focused on the ‘Needs, not the Wants’ of their market and looked at what set them apart from their competitors.

Gene concluded the session with inspiring anecdotes and examples of the ‘dos and don’ts’ of running a small-scale start-up.

We ended the night with some delicious Camile take away, and many thought-provoking ideas and concepts. 




Which of the four teams’ innovations did you like the best? Comment below!