VegaNite, a student led startup building a sustainable social media application, won second place in the Varsity Sparks all-Ireland business idea competition. The VegaNite team, consisting of Maynooth University students Tobias Luken (BBS Entrepreneurship), Conan McLucas (BSc Product Design), Liam Reed (Bachelor of Arts) and Dublin City University student Tomas Baltrunas.
VegaNite wants to connect locals interested in sustainability through its social media application, inform its users of venues in the area that match their dietary or ethical requirements, and ultimately provide discounts to VegaNite users at those venues making it ‘realistic and attainable’ for the average consumer to live sustainably. VegaNite aims to provide a “home” to all individuals concerned with sustainability and environmental impact. “Whether you’re a Vegan or you avoid fast-fashion, in all cases we know that living sustainably can be lonely, confusing and costly” says CTO Tomas Baltrunas.
The competition, in partnership with Spark Crowdfunding, allocated ‘virtual funds’ to students from numerous third level institutions they could invest into their favorite business ideas. As part of the winnings the company has received €3,000 in cash prizes and mentorship from senior entrepreneurs.
“We’re incredibly proud of our placing,” says VegaNite CEO Tobias Luken when asked about the win. “I think we came into this competition expecting nothing, but working to attain everything, and our whole team ought to be proud of what we achieved”.