Kate Madden (20), who is going into her third year of Food Marketing and Entrepreneurship founded FenuHealth, a company which creates supplements to help prevent and alleviate stomach problems in horses and ponies with her sister Annie (18).
Speaking to, Kate said she is "over the moon" to have been awarded First Runner Up in the prestigious Global Student Entrepreneur Awards.
"The university mentioned it to me and when I looked into it more I decided it was worth a shot.
"I won the nationals and then got through to the globals," the Meath native explained.
As First Runner Up, Kate has received a $10,000 prize and a scholarship to take part in the EO Accelerator Programme.
"We have a few more products that are ready to go out on the market, but obviously right now is just not the right time to be pushing new stuff, so we will definitely be using the prize money to develop them even more so that when we do decide to release them they’re 100% ready and will sell," she said, also adding that FenuHealth is hoping to break into new international markets.
The origin story of FenuHealth goes back to 2015 when Kate and her sister Annie submitted a project for the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition.
The sisters grew up around ponies and horses and have had an interest in all things equine-related ever since.
"We’ve grown up with horses. My grandad breeds racehorses.
"We were the kids that were horse riding before we were walking," she laughed.
Explaining where she and Annie saw the market opportunity to develop their supplements, Kate said stomach problems are ubiquitous in horses and the sisters wanted to develop a solution to this.
"Humans only produce acid when we eat.
"Horses’ stomachs produce acid all the time.
"Stomach issues are an almost universal problem affecting racehorses, sport horses and ponies in the field.
"It’s estimated that 90% of racehorses have stomach/gastric problems," she said.
"Our product, which is 100% natural can be fed to a racehorse right up to, and on, the day of a race."