Limerick student's innovation award for financial bright idea

Maria Flannery

Reporter:

Maria Flannery

Limerick student's innovation award for financial bright idea

John Whelan, A&L with winner Sarah McCarthy, University of Limerick

A LIMERICK student has won a top innovation award for her idea to connect Irish technology start-up businesses with foreign financial companies.

UL student Sarah McCarthy won the 2016 A&L Goodbody Bold Ideas Student Innovation Award, after she proposed to establish the Irish Fintech Investor Market, or IFIM.

Sarah’s winning idea would link technology businesses with established foreign financial companies who are looking to make a low risk investment in Ireland.

“My bold idea is that the IFIM would act as an online tool to connect Irish tech start-ups with potential foreign investors,” said Ms McCarthy, a third year Law Plus student.

“The start-ups and the investors would both be vetted and authorised by the IFIM. The investors can make an informed decision based on profiles of the start-ups and can choose to invest with them either online via Bitcoins or via direct communication," she added.

The site, which would facilitate foreign investment in Irish tech companies, would build on Ireland’s reputation and success on the international stage.

John Whelan, Partner and Head of A&L Goodbody's International Technology Group said: "Bold Ideas is about inspiring creativity and bold thinking among Ireland’s brightest minds and giving them the space to develop their own ideas on how to tackle the issues that Ireland faces today.

“Sarah's idea to establish the Irish Fintech Investor Market impressed the judges as an innovative way of tackling future challenges to Foreign Direct Investment,” he added.

As first prize winner, Sarah will receive €4,000 in cash and an internship in A&L Goodbody’s Head Office in Dublin. The firm will also make a donation to a charity of her choice.