First year Marketing, Innovation and Technology student Rowan Copeland won the Enterprise Society’s Dragons’ Den earlier this month.
His winning CARdio monitor device works by attaching to a car seatbelt and tracking the motorist’s heartbeat to detect if they are too tired to drive safely. According to Copeland, his creation was an idea originally conceived in 2010 for the BT Young Scientist competition.
Copeland came up with the idea, which he took to the final round of the competition, after finding statistics showing driver fatigue causes thousands of road deaths in Europe every year. When he found there was a lack of preventative measures for this problem, he thought there “had to be something wrong”.
He has an “avid interest” in technology and said he always wanted to do something technology-based. Copeland also said that an “entrepreneurial flair” runs in his family and he has long been drawn to the advertising side of marketing in particular. He feels the uniqueness of the project was part of what appealed to the ESoc judges.
Copeland eventually hopes to start his own enterprise, and although he has received interest in his CARdio monitor, he said he “won’t necessarily take it forward as a business, but will keep it in the back of his mind”.
RTÉ’s Dragons’ Den has also announced it will devote one show in next year’s series to third-level students in the hope of tapping into student entrepreneurship. Entrants can apply until this Friday, December 20th.
Image credit: Carmel Sayers