My story: 'I got involved, I met as many people as possible, I tested my comfort zones'
Mark McGeough | Trinity College
Mark McGeough is graduating this year, but already he is developing a solid business plan.
The 22-year-old chose Business Economics and Social Studies (BESS) at Trinity College, Dublin because economics was his favourite subject in school, but also realised that it was broad enough to "lead me down other routes".
The former pupil of St Michael's College, Ballsbridge, Dublin got stuck into in all aspects of college life. His extra-curricular activities included the surf club, ultimately becoming its captain. He was also a member of the Student Managed Fund, an investment vehicle run by students where he was able to apply what he was learning as well as getting an understanding about real-life problems. "I got involved in various charity events, met as many people as possible and tested my comfort zones."
While doing an internship last summer, Mark got to know fellow TCD undergraduate, Raef Tyrrell, who was studying business and computer science, and they realised that they shared an ambition to run their own company.
They weren't long back in college, when Mark approached Raef with a business idea, where they would pool their talents. "I said I didn't have experience with computer science. He said he would love to get involved."
They had their eye on Launchbox, Trinity's programme for student entrepreneurs and, while the original idea and some others didn't work out, "eventually we got to where we are".
They have spent summer 2017 on Launchbox, working on their company, Ekho, which uses iBeacon technology to allow visitor sites to create fully immersive multimedia experiences, while also collecting data on visitor behaviour to help tailor a better experience.
"We look at ourselves as a business services company. We want to help create a really engaging experience for visitors and get information back about how they walk around and what they like," says Mark.
They are putting their postgraduate study plans on hold for a year to devote more time to Ekho and have plans to work with the Science Gallery on an exhibition in October.
Mark has deferred a place on a management programme at Imperial College, London, while Raef is postponing an internship with major accountancy firm EY.