Mercury ensures that student has the business world at his fingertips
NORTHERN Ireland’s biggest independent security company is lending its support to a budding young entrepreneur in a bid to help him secure a successful future in the business world.
Lisburn-based Mercury Security & Facilities Management presented Mark Ireland, a 16-year-old student from Strangford Integrated College in County Down, with a new laptop after he was short-listed as a finalist in a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style competition run by the Northern Ireland Science Park (NISP).
The Generation Innovation Internship Prize, in collaboration with local entrepreneurs Tom O’Gorman and Jim Finnegan, invited young entrepreneurs between the ages of 15 and 18 across Northern Ireland to submit their business idea with the final six receiving a two-month internship at NISP along with a £2,000 bursary to assist in the development of their idea.
From the total entries submitted, a shortlist of 25 were selected to present their idea in a pitch to a panel of experts and the internship sponsors, from which the six finalists were chosen.
Now Mark along with five other finalists is spending his summer participating in the Generation Innovation 2015 internship with assistance and mentoring from the NISP, before making his final pitch in September.
The overall winner will be the idea that is judged to have the “most commercial potential” and will receive a phenomenal prize of £10,000 and a further 12 months of mentoring to accelerate their business in getting to market.
Mercury Security director Francis Cullen said: “Mark first came to our attention at the age of 15 when he assisted his father in giving a presentation to the directors at Mercury. We were impressed not only by his knowledge of IT but the maturity and confidence he displayed.”
Mercury CEO Frank Cullen added: “When we heard of Mark’s progression we were delighted to be in a position to help him on his way to becoming a successful young entrepreneur. We wish him every success in his internship and final presentation.”
Finalist Mark, who lives in Greyabbey on the Ards Peninsula, was delighted with his new laptop.
“I’d like to sincerely thank all at Mercury for their generosity,” he said. “My old school laptop was definitely showing its age so this new one will be a great help for me in preparing my final pitch.”