Mark Birrane is a final year Sports Coaching and Business Management student at South East Technological University (SETU) Carlow campus. Mark attended the Student Entrepreneur awards in Tangent, Trinity College Dublin on Friday, 10 June 2022 promoting and showcasing his new business ‘SecretSnax’. SecretSnax is a range of high protein snacks that make for a healthier alternative as they are low in sugar while still containing necessary vitamins. Mark nominated himself for the awards ceremony after being made aware of it by his lecturers in SETU.

Mark has spent the last 12 months planning and setting up his business while also completing his fourth and final year of Sports Coaching and Business Management at SETU. “I was playing soccer for Athlone town in the League of Ireland, while finishing my thesis and starting up my business. I have had fantastic support from lecturers over the years here, but they went beyond the call of duty when it came to my final year, I cannot thank them enough for all their help.”

Over 1,000 business applications were sent to the Entrepreneur awards which then had to be narrowed down to just 50. Some of the businesses in the running were already established and selling their goods and services. Mark made it into the final 10 where he received a runner-up award for his ‘SecretSnax’ business. Mark is currently working towards launching the company in the coming months while also waiting on his final year exam results.

Mark holds an impressive number of qualifications already, he is a certified nutritionist, holds a UEFA B Coaching license and was awarded a Sports Scholarship with SETU. “I have a big interest in health and business. I feel it is important to work at something you have a passion for, and I can happily say that is what I am doing.”