UCC student bags CorkBIC award for his music fundraising platform

19 Oct 2020

From left: Larry O'Donoghue, senior consultant at CorkBIC; Timothy Lehane, creator of Fanfund; and Cormac Sreenan, head of UCC's School of Computer Science and Information Technology. Image: CorkBIC

Computer science student Timothy Lehane has developed a platform called Fanfund, which enables musicians to raise funding from fans online.

University College Cork (UCC) student Timothy Lehane has been named winner of the CorkBIC Computer Science Entrepreneurship Award 2020.

The computer science student has developed a platform called Fanfund, which enables up-and-coming musicians to raise funds for future ventures while gaining exposure to potential new listeners.

The award granted to Lehane by CorkBIC and UCC’s School of Computer Science and Information Technology is worth €1,000. The objective of the award is to encourage and support entrepreneurial activity by computer science students based on their final-year projects.

Fanfund’s platform

Fanfund was developed during the Covid-19 pandemic, which has proven to be a challenging time for musicians who cannot play live concerts or go on tour to earn their income as a result of public health restrictions. The idea with the Fanfund platform is that artists can raise capital from existing fans and the platform’s user-base to fund prospective concerts or merchandise.

“I felt highly motivated towards realising my idea, as I had a definitive objective to work toward,” Lehane said.

“For that reason, I’m very grateful to be in receipt of the CorkBIC Computer Science Entrepreneurship Award 2020. The award is a fantastic opportunity to validate the integrity of my idea with people who have real industry experience.”

Lehane plans to further develop the software platform, with the goal of marketing it towards musicians in the near future.

The runner-up for this year’s award was Aidan Miskella, whose project involved the development of a software platform that enables companies to recruit and manage temporary employees.

Larry O’Donoghue, senior consultant at CorkBIC, said: “The panel could see a real entrepreneurial quality in all finalists and we hope they continue on their entrepreneurial journey.

“We were genuinely very impressed with the calibre of students and how comprehensive their projects were, with some being very close to being suitable for prototype testing.”

Kelly Earley was a journalist with Silicon Republic