Walton Magazine founder wins Student Achievement Award
Janis Molloy and Laura O'Dwod from Tallaght IT with comedian Colin Murphy, who hosted the Student Achievement Awards
PhD student in chemistry at University College Cork (UCC) John O’Donoghue has won the ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ award at the first ever Student Achievement Awards run by the Union of Students of Ireland (USI).
With this event, USI is striving to promote public service and volunteering while also recognising the creativity and skill of individual students.
O’Donoghue started a new magazine in October 2012 focused on science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) PhD students and Irish science developments.
“The magazine was originally published as a UCC Postgrad Society publication but growing demand meant that we needed to do it as a standalone company,” he explained.
“So far we’ve published three issues, started a website [where we sell the magazines] and started the official formation of a company through the Companies Registration Office.
“We applied to Dragon’s Den in November and managed to win an investment to the tune of €20,000 as capital to start the company, Walton Magazine.
“Various websites, blogs and public figures [Minister for Innovation Sean Sherlock TD in particular] have come out to support us meaning traffic to our website is now hitting about 1,000 per month.”
Walton, named after the Irish Science Nobel Prize winner Ernest Walton, is the first Irish STEM magazine and after only six months it is being shipped to five countries.
Published in both print and digital formats, it now has 19 writers from four countries composed mainly of Irish PhD and Masters students living here and abroad.
“The CIT Rubicon Centre have also taken us on board for a six-week business training course and we’re currently applying to the UCC Ignite programme with the hope of securing office space to run the new company once I complete my PhD,” said O’Donoghue.