Sarah McCarthy from Cork, and a 3rd Year Law Plus student at University of Limerick has won the 2016 A&L Goodbody Bold Ideas Student Innovation Award, following her proposal to build on Ireland's reputation and success on the international stage.
With many legal, business and political challenges facing Ireland today, Sarah's winning submission puts forward the idea of establishing the Irish Fintech Investor Market (IFIM) which would connect Irish technology start-up businesses with established foreign financial companies, looking to make a low risk investment in Ireland.
This is the fifth year that A&L Goodbody has held the Bold Ideas competition, which saw over 1,200 members of the public cast their vote on Facebook for their favourite submission, following which the winner and runners up were selected by a panel of three expert judges.
Speaking at the awards ceremony, John Whelan, Partner and Head of A&L Goodbody's International Technology Group commented: "Bold Ideas is about inspiring creativity and bold thinking among Ireland’s brightest minds and giving them the space to develop their own ideas on how to tackle the issues that Ireland faces today. Sarah's idea to establish the Irish Fintech Investor Market (IFIM) impressed the judges as an innovative way of tackling future challenges to Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).
Presenting her Bold Idea at a prize-giving event in A&L Goodbody's Head Office in Dublin, winning student Sarah McCarthy said, "I'm absolutely delighted to win this award from A&L Goodbody. My bold idea is that the IFIM would act as an online tool to connect Irish tech start-ups with potential foreign investors. The start-ups and the investors would both be vetted and authorised by the IFIM. The investors can make an informed decision based on profiles of the start-ups and can choose to invest with them either online via Bitcoins or via direct communication."
As first prize winner, Sarah receives €4,000 in cash and an internship in A&L Goodbody’s Head Office in Dublin. The Firm will also make a donation to a charity of her choice.
The runners up in this year’s competition, Denis Flynn from Griffith College, and Ann Marie Geary from University College Cork both received iPad minis.
Judges for the 2016 competition were Sarah Lennon, Legal Counsel at Google, Jonathan Newman, Senior Counsel, and John Whelan, Partner and Head of A&L Goodbody's International Technology Group.
Pictured at the prize-giving of the A&L Goodbody's Bold Ideas Student Innovation Award 2016 are John Whelan, Partner and Head of A&L Goodbody's International Technology Group (judge).and Sarah McCarthy, University of Limerick (winner).