Monday, 4 July 2016

Digital teenage entrepreneur inspires Future Creators

Harry McCann, a seventeen-year-old digital entrepreneur, who set up a company called Kid Tech in 2013, established the first Digital Youth Council in Europe in 2014 and is co-founder and editor-in-chief of an online news site called Trendsterpress, today inspired and welcomed a new generation of digital entrepreneurs into the digital community.  Delivering a keynote speech at The Digital Hub’s 2016 Future Creators graduation and showcase event, McCann shared his key tips and gave a glimpse into what it takes to become a successful digital entrepreneur.

‘’Take the opportunity you have been given by the scruff of the neck, run and don’t look back until you’ve gotten everything you have dreamt of.’’ McCann continued: ‘’Say yes to every opportunity no matter how scary, doing something before you even know how.  Everything about being a young digital entrepreneur is exciting, because that’s what digital is, that’s what building the future is, exciting. The Future Creators programme has helped shape the students here today as young digital entrepreneurs.  Therefore, the most important piece of advice for all the young people graduating today is don’t be embarrassed or ashamed of your achievements.’

Citing what defines great entrepreneurs from average entrepreneurs, McCann said it’s often down to “how well they rise, when they fall.  Everyday, hundreds of digital entrepreneurs take that leap of faith with what they think is the next big thing and many fall.  However, those who decide to get up and continue jumping and falling, jumping and falling, are the ones who will eventually land on their two feet.”  

Established in 2011 by The Digital Hub and delivered with the National College of Art and Design (NCAD) and H2 Learning, the Future Creators programme aims to equip young people (aged 13 to 16 years old) from Dublin 8 with digital skills, including coding, app development, robotics, digital photography and filmmaking. The programme also works to enhance their exposure to STEM subjects and to build their confidence, so they may consider pursuing a career related to digital skills.

Twenty-two young people received special certificates of recognition at a special graduation ceremony for this year’s participants, held in NCAD today.  The work they created over the course of the year was on display, including 3 retro computer games that were presented in a retro style arcade design showcase.  A short film produced by the students, entitled ‘The Bunker’ about a post-apocalyptic world taken over by zombies was also screened at the ceremony.  Two of the students, Ciara Gannon and Dylan Jackson gave a short talk on their experience with the programme.

Research undertaken among participants of this year’s Future Creators programme highlighted that over half of the graduates found the programme to have strongly influenced the career path they would now like to pursue. The film taster session ranked as the most popular this year with approximately 75% of graduates selecting the film module as their favourite course, with the remaining 25% of graduates choosing the coding module.

Speaking at the event, Gerry Macken, CEO, The Digital Hub said: “For the fifth year running The Digital Hub is once again delighted to see the programme grow.  It is great to continue our work and relationship with NCAD and H2 Learning to provide young people in the local area with the opportunity to learn more about the world of digital media. We are very encouraged by the large number of students who have participated in the programme who have indicated their intention to now pursue careers in digital media.’’

Bernard Hanratty, Acting Director of NCAD commented on the programme, saying“The 22 young creatives who received Future Creators Certificates today attend local schools in Dublin that are linked to the NCAD Access Programme.  They have been immersed in digital media projects over the academic year, engaging with industry and with the NCAD in studio-based, learning environments and we are delighted to showcase and celebrate their achievements today at NCAD.”

The students participating in the 2016 Future Creators programme, included 11 females and 11 males, from the following schools in Dublin 8: CBS Synge Street, CBS James Street, Presentation Secondary School Warrenmount, St Patricks Grammar School, Mercy Convent, Inchicore and Loreto College, Crumlin.
Deric Ó h’Artagáin, Ireland AM Weather Presenter from TV3 Group, was the guest MC at today’s event.

Further information about Future Creators is available at: www.thedigitalhub.com/futurecreators