Android app for election canvassing wins student contest

4 Apr 2012

Ben Honan, Students' Union president at University College Cork, with Brendan Finucane, a final-year student who won the 'Dragons' Den'-style competition for his Android app innovation

Brendan Finucane, a final-year student in business information systems at University College Cork (UCC), has taken first prize in a Dragons’ Den-style competition for his app, which uses Google Maps to check off homes during election canvassing.

The Entrepreneurial and Social Society, along with the Students’ Union and Ignite programme at UCC organised the Young Entrepreneurs Startup competition.

Six students participated in the finals of the competition where they pitched to a panel of judges comprising Cullen Allen of Cully & Sully; Sean O’Sullivan of South Cork Enterprise Board; Brian Flaherty, business information systems (BIS) lecturer at UCC; and Ronan O’Dughghaill of the Ignite programme at UCC.

Election app

Finucane received a prize of €3,000 for his app, which draws upon Google Maps to check off individual homes that have been canvassed, leafleted and have registered individuals to vote in elections.

He said the main users of his app would be political canvassers and candidates that have a mobile Android device.  

He said the app would also pinpoint locations through the use of a check-in button, as well as enabling the colour coding of pins to indicate the status of the home in relation to canvassing. Finucane has also created a secondary tool to check voter registration.

Connecting students with local businesses

Student Kieran Nestor took home a second prize of €1,000 for his business idea of Student Connect, a service to connect students to link up with small businesses and start-ups, when they are working on college projects.  

Other pitches included a personal genomics web suite and platform to assess the likelihood of genetic diseases;, a hybrid of traditional and industrial art production; a group electricity buying scheme for SMEs; plus a buy and sell website for students.

The Ignite programme at UCC has also offered the six finalists free incubation space for the summer so they can progress their business ideas.

This competition and awards programme has been spawned off the back of a new pilot module in entrepreneurial studies at UCC. Any student of any discipline can participate in the business module.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic