TU Dublin students to represent Ireland at Red Bull Basement final

10 Nov 2021

Harsh Chandra and Clara Fargas. Image: Tommy Dickson/Red Bull

Harsh Chandra and Clara Fargas developed a platform that aims to help schoolkids make more informed choices about college and careers.

Two young entrepreneurs who are students at TU Dublin have been chosen to represent Ireland at the 2021 Red Bull Basement global final.

This competition aims to give students from all over the world the chance to showcase their tech and entrepreneurial skills.

In the Irish finals, Harsh Chandra and Clara Fargas impressed the judges with their career guidance platform Careers XP. Inspired by college dropout rates, CareersXP aims to provide practical information about a range of different courses to help sixth-year secondary school students make a better-informed choice if they decide to go to college.

“Many college freshers are led to make uninformed decisions which leads to poor performance, stress and dropouts,” said Chandra.

“With CareersXP, we plan to tackle this problem with a practical approach by allowing students to ‘try courses’ before applying to them. This creates a unique and personal experience helping them to gain insight and narrow their search to find the right fit for them.

“We aim to create a platform that helps sixth-year students to overcome the fatigue and pressure of choosing a college course and a career,” he added.

‘Huge opportunity’

Chandra and Fargas will now attend the competition’s global final in Turkey, where they will pitch their idea alongside 44 other country finalist teams.

To prepare for the experience, the two Dublin students will receive mentorship and support to continue developing Careers XP. They will present in front of a panel of entrepreneurs, tech and innovation experts and visionaries from around the world.

“It is a huge opportunity to be selected to represent Ireland and TU Dublin at the Red Bull Basement Final and we are so excited to be able to travel to Turkey in December,” Fargas said.

The mentorship, workspace and support will be a real leg up for the project as we continue work on the prototype ahead of the final. This is a real game changer for us as students and for our project. We look forward to great things to come.”

Last year’s winners of the Red Bull Basement global final hailed from the UK. Lava Aqua X’s idea for a water-saving clothes washing machine scooped the top prize.

This year’s winner will be announced on 15 December after an intensive few days of final workshopping. Currently, all finalists are in the development phase with mentors, having made it through the selection process in their countries.

The initial application process began in September. Students who wanted to take part had to upload a one-minute video of their idea to the Red Bull Basement website. This year, there were 4,041 applicants in total.

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Blathnaid O’Dea was a Careers reporter at Silicon Republic until 2024.