Mary O'Riordan, Southern, presenting the Limerick Person of the Month award to Chris Kelly, Pinpoint Innovations, with Limerick Leader managing editor, Eugene Phelan and Clayton Hotel boss Pat Reddan
A TRAILBLAZING young entrepreneur has been named Limerick’s Person of the Month for December.
Chris Kelly, 21, from Clarina, a former Crescent College Comprehensive student, founded Pinpoint Innovations, which has developed a solution for providing better conditions for patients at University Hospital Limerick.
He has augmented a patient and bed tracking system leading to increased efficiency and fewer cancellations, which has been taken on by hospital management.
His company, Pinpoint, employs five people, and has plans to create two more positions in the near future.
Reacting to his win, Chris was delighted.
“I was absolutely shocked when I got the call. I feel I have been nominated on behalf of my customers. There is a big team behind this project. It’s amazing, and I’m just chuffed really,” he said.
It’s the second award in just a few months he has won, scooping the title of Limerick’s best young entrepreneur at a ceremony last November.
As for the future of the company, Chris reveals three new projects will launch soon.
“I cannot say too much more at this point though,” he added in an interview with the Limerick Leader at the Clayton Hotel, which co-sponsors the Person of the Month award.
“We have a factory up and running in Kildare, and we are always expanding. We’re on the look out for computer programmers,” he said.
The young entrepreneur acknowledges recruitment can be an issue, however, as Pinpoint is effectively up against multi-national firms in a relatively small pool of talent.
“There are very few people qualified in the particular niche of software we do. It would be great to see more people take up programming and have more people available to take up these jobs,” Chris said.
To this end, he welcomes the introduction of computer science to the Leaving Certificate in some schools.
He also wants to see more coding competitions to encourage teens to get involved in programming and computer science. Carrying the torch for the next generation of Limerick’s entrepreneurs Chris admits has its pressures, but is something he takes in his stride.
“It’s what we want to do at the end of the day. I love that quote: ‘if you do what you love, you will never work a day in your life. That’s very true for us. We really love what we do,” said the youngster.
Asked what advice he’d give to aspiring entrepreneurs, he said: “Just give it a go. Ask questions, ask for help along the way. You have to start somewhere. You’re never going to know everything, you’ll never have all the answers from day one. Just get out there. Talk to your customers, keep asking questions, keep reading and keep learning.”
Chris took a moment to thank Nissan, for which he is a NextGen ambassador for.
As part of this, the motoring giant has provided him with a car, something he acknowledges is crucial for him to get to meetings around the country.
The Limerick Person of the Month award is sponsored by the Limerick Leader, media agency Southern, and the Clayton Hotel.
Chris is now in with a shout of being named Limerick’s person of the year at a gala ceremony next month.