Deloitte announces Ireland’s Top Technology Talent!
UL student Philip Hayes wins third level competition with hybrid social networking and online dating site
Published 11 June 2012
Deloitte, the leading business advisory firm, is delighted to announce that Philip Hayes from New Inn in Tipperary is the 2012 winner of the Top Technology Talent Competition. The competition sought innovative ideas from university students at all levels across Ireland on how technology can solve a business problem. Philip, who is 21 years old, has just completed his final year in University of Limerick where he studied Business Studies.
Pictured (from l-r) are: Brendan Jennings, Managing Partner, Deloitte, Philip Hayes, winner of the Deloitte Top Technology Talent Competition and judging panel member Paddy Holahan, technology and business entrepreneur.
Philip’s winning idea was entitled Goforagoo.com – a novel social networking website that explores aspects of user interaction both on a virtual level and on a physical level, thereby differing it from current social networks. It is aimed at 18 – 35 year olds, with a particular initial emphasis on third level students. The technology the site would utilise includes Web 2.0 and cloud computing. In addition, geosocial networking will play an integral part, in relation to organising user details such as locations and interests, in addition to targeted advertising.
Harry Goddard, Partner, Technology Integration, Deloitte said: “Congratulations to Philip on being named Ireland’s Top Technology Talent. Myself and the other judges were not only impressed with Philip’s idea, but also the fact that he had developed his technology strategy in terms of exploiting the capabilities of cloud computing, Web 2.0 and geosocial networking. In addition, he had given serious consideration to the business model. From his marketing strategy to potential investors, buy in from venues, additional revenue streams and international expansion possibilities, we were all in agreement that he had presented a comprehensive proposal and that Goforagoo.com has great potential.”
The winner of the Top Technology Talent competition could choose either a €1,000 prize or four weeks’ paid work experience in Deloitte’s technology integration practice. The purpose of this is to enable the winner to further develop their idea if they so choose, or to gain valuable technology and business experience with one of the world's largest professional services organisation.
Before the final decision on the winner was made, a number of shortlisted entries were invited to Deloitte’s offices in May to present their idea, ‘Dragons Den style’, to a panel of industry experts who then determined the overall winner. Along with members of the Deloitte Technology Integration team, Paddy Holahan, technology and business entrepreneur was on the judging panel. Before the final presentation, the shortlisted students also had the opportunity to receive feedback on their idea and guidance on their final presentation from designated mentors from Deloitte, thereby benefiting from practical advice from experienced technology consultants.
Commenting on his win, Philip said: “The idea for Goforagoo.com came to me as I felt there was a gap in the social networking market. Sites such as facebook gives users the chance to speak to people they already know, while twitter allows users to talk to people they may never know. The goal behind Goforagoo.com is to give people the chance to speak to new people and make new friends with people they could know.”
Harry Goddard concluded: “This year we were, once again, thoroughly impressed with the response that we received from university students throughout Ireland. There were a number of excellent ideas for the judging panel to consider which made it a challenging task. The competition proves that entrepreneurial spirit, along with the technological knowledge and innovation, is in abundance in Irish universities. I believe this potential will prove itself to be a considerable resource for the knowledge economy here in Ireland.”
Reflecting on his participation in the competition, Philip commented: “I would encourage any student to submit an entry into the Deloitte Top Technology Talent competition in years to come, as the whole experience, from the drafting the business plan, to presenting it to the esteemed judges has been a priceless one for me".
Details on the competition can be found at www.deloitte.com/ie/toptech.
Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, a private company limited by guarantee, and its network of member firms, each of which is a legally separate and independent entity. Please see www.deloitte.com/ie/about about for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited and its member firms.
The information contained in this press release is correct at the time of going to press.
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