| | |

Tippy Talk (Robert Laffan) - Wins €10,000 overall prize - Student Entrepreneur 2015

With over 600 entries, he makes the final 50, then the final 10 and now 1st place overall winner of the Student Entrepreneur Awards: http://studententrepreneurawards.com

A past pupil of CBS Sexton Street, Limerick, and very proud family man. The most humble and grateful limerick man you could meet. The surprise on his face says it all as the overall winner was announced with a €10,000 prize at the University of Ulster.


It was a tough 2 days process up in Belfast, preparing Tippy Talk, with presentations and stalls. We even put some Belfast sight seeing in there to keep Robert relaxed. We were afraid his heart would stop beating he is so relaxed as it is!!

However all the hard work, passion and drive behind his project paid off. Robert just finished his final year in Industrial Automation and Robotics in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering. His Tippy Talk creation was inspired by his daughter Sadie who suffers from Autism. A condition that makes it very difficult for Sadie to communicate verbally…and now that may change…and for all those families too that experience what Robert and his wife Emily experience on a daily basis.

The Dept. of Electrical & Electronic Engineering, School of ASET and LIT College were very proud of his achievement when he made the last 10. But to win over all has now taken the whole experience to a new level. This national event will now be hosted by LIT in 2016.


Supervisor Ian Foley said "it was great to see the recognition/support for his project throughout this process…but to win it…wow... that has put the icing nicely on the cake… a busy year for him ahead and a lot more work and the College/Department are all here for him again".

Dr Alan Kavanagh said “ You couldn't know a better Limerick man…a family man…a mature student that found it very tough to come back to college…and most importantly, didn’t give up…I was so happy to follow/help him throughout this journey… he gave me one of the greatest human gifts of all….”Gratitude"… already looking forward to continuing the exciting journey ahead with him…"


Robert said “ We had 2 great days up in Belfast…and great company with Alan too…hard work, but I had come this far and had nothing to lose…judges were tough and yet very, very supportive… they gave advice/guidance on Tippy Talk that you can only get from the experience of those that have already been there…looking forward to an amazing year ahead and to be immersed into the whole field of entrepreneurship... been surrounded by creative thinkers/solutions… I know the technology behind my idea may change but I proved that the concept/idea worked…onwards and upwards...

Again, I am both humble and grateful for all the support from my family, class mates and Lecturers at LIT, especially Maura Clancy, Trish Jones and Roisin Quinn for suggesting I enter the competition, Ian Foley (FYP supervisor), Dr Alan Kavanagh (Mentor & Video) & Liam McCarthaigh (Video & Sound) and Irene Caulfield and Gillian Barry (Business Plan/Presentations)"



Study @ LIT

Current Students

Campus Life

Enterprise & Research


Flexible Learning
International Office
Services & Facilities
Learning Support
Online Resources
Financial Assistance
Art & Design
Business & Humanities
Sports & Recreation
Clubs and Societies
Student Union
Student Radio
Culture & Community
News & Events
Enterprise Ladder
Hartnett EAC
National Franchise Centre
Research @ LIT
Postgraduate Courses
Research Centres
Development Office
European Projects
Staff Search
Contact Details
Academic Calendar
Governing Body
Information Compliance
Sign In