Saturday 21 January 2017

'I missed medicine but now I am enjoying building a business'

My Story: Johnny Deane | BESS, TCD

Patrick Kelleher

Published 22/08/2016 | 06:00

MatchDay’s Johnny Deane (seated, centre) with Dylan Scully to his
right, Jack Boyle to his left and Ian O’Riordan jumping behind him.
‘I started to realise what I really wanted to do in terms of working
around technology directly because of the people I met during my time at college,’ says Johnny.
MatchDay’s Johnny Deane (seated, centre) with Dylan Scully to his right, Jack Boyle to his left and Ian O’Riordan jumping behind him. ‘I started to realise what I really wanted to do in terms of working around technology directly because of the people I met during my time at college,’ says Johnny.

Johnny Deane is about to go into his final year in Business, Economic and Social Studies (BESS) at Trinity College Dublin (TCD).

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The 21-year-old from West Kerry graduated from Gaelcholáiste Chiarraí in 2012 with 615 points - but still missed out on his first choice of Medicine because of his HPAT results.

Despite the initial disappointment, it worked out well for Johnny. He loves his course and has had the chance to develop his own start-up company through LaunchBox, a Trinity initiative for budding entrepreneurs.

His project was one of 13 selected for a three-month accelerator programme in Trinity this summer. The teams work with the aim of delivering investor-ready ventures by the end of the three months.

Johnny says his time at Trinity has been phenomenal, although when he first arrived he still didn't know what he wanted to do.

"I was enjoying the subject and the extra-curricular learning here, and I was doing a lot of sports and I thought it was a great community. I started to realise what I really wanted to do in terms of working around technology directly because of the people I met during my time in college."

The start-up he launched with his friends through LaunchBox is called MatchDay, a real-time sports game that you play while watching a game.

MatchDay allows you to predict what's going to happen next, and if you guess correctly, you can claim prizes. Johnny is committed to bringing it further and developing it. He has even turned down jobs after graduation to focus on it.

He says that he could never have gotten as far as he has with MatchDay without the LaunchBox programme.

"They've given us office space, funding, expertise and knowledge around the start-ups industry. They've been really helpful. When you come to college you don't really know exactly how to build a business, but you know what questions you need to get answered, and they answer them for you."

Johnny believes that this year's Leaving Cert students should keep "an open mind for everything".

"You won't know everything that's out there when you're in sixth year, so when you're going into third level, ask yourself is third level for you, should you take a year out first."

Irish Independent

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