14th November 2012
By Bryan T. Smyth
Most recent college graduates are out looking for jobs, but not 22 year old UCC Business Information Systems Graduate, Brendan Finucane.
The young man who is Fianna Fail’s unelected representative for Rochestown has founded his own company Vconnecta which has just launched their new political canvassing application for iPhone and Android, Mobile Ecanvasser. The idea for the app came as a result of his college final year project for which he developed the prototype Android version. Ecanvasser is an administrative tool for door-to-door political canvassing whereby the canvasser can mark off each house that has been canvassed, leafleted, and take down voter queries all the while assessing voter sentiment on the door step. Further features include customisable surveys, canvassing guidelines and in app messaging so the canvassing team are in constant contact with each other whilst out canvassing. All the data collected is then automatically submitted to a secure online based dashboard called the Hub where customised reporting tools drill down into the data and display the information visually in various formats including Google Maps.
Brendan said: “If used effectively, our technology will be able to show the politician where his/her Number 1 votes are located, which houses to avoid, and most importantly where the swing voters are to be found all within 2 weeks of polling day.” Brendan went on to say: “Our technology provides a comprehensive voter relationship management system which is unprecedented in the Irish and UK mobile political technology market”.
Since the company has been formed in early July it has seen the support of the South Cork Enterprise Board, UCC, and the UCC Ignite Programme based in the Western Gateway Building.
Brendan commented on the level of support received to date: “Receiving the support of the Enterprise Board, and gaining a place on the Ignite Incubator Programme has been fantastic, and underlines the fact that Cork really is a great place to start a business due to its incredible entrepreneurial environment”
On hand to launch Mobile Ecanvasser in the Ignite Innovation Centre, Leader of Fianna Fáil, Micheál Martin TD commented: “Ireland has always been one of the most entrepreneurially active countries in Europe. There is always a need to create and enhance a positive culture environment conducive to entrepreneurial activity in Ireland no matter what state the global and domestic economy is in.
Entrepreneurs such as Brendan Finucane of Vconnecta and Stephanie Lynch of ontheQT.ie are seen as local champions who have demonstrated the courage and the capacity to create successful enterprises that created employment for themselves and others. These companies are true examples of how ambition, determination and inventiveness of entrepreneurs who have taken on the challenge of starting and building competitive businesses in challenging times”.