Cancer survivor who created teacher app while in treatment shortlisted for youth enterprise award

A cancer survivor who used his time in treatment to come up with a way to match schools and substitute teachers has been shortlisted for a youth enterprise award.

Kyle McLoughlin from Boyle, Co Roscommon, was diagnosed with leukaemia in 2011, a year into a management consulting job with Accenture after completing business and corporate finance degrees at NUI Galway and University College Cork.

After a year of treatment and recovery, then aged just 23, he got the opportunity to develop the project. In partnership with the National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals (NAPD), his software development company Posude set about establishing the database to connect second-level schools and teachers who are available for substitute work.

More than half the country’s 730 second-level schools are now registered, with 1,000 teachers regularly updating their availability.

Posude branched out when it became apparent that difficulties finding available and suitable personnel for short-term roles was not limited to schools. Its Pharmacist Link platform has been developed with the Irish Pharmacy Union to help find locums, and other applications are being aimed at improving document delivery and business intelligence for the small and medium enterprise market.

The success of Posude has earned Kyle McLoughlin a selection as finalist in the Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE) competition.

“While I’m a cancer survivor, this doesn’t define me. I want to show there is life after cancer and hope my story gives inspiration and belief to someone who is starting their journey with the disease,” said Kyle, now 28.

He is one of 24 finalists from 18 counties chosen for the national final at Google’s European headquarters in Dublin on March 5. All aged between 18 and 35, they will be competing for shares of a prize fund of €100,000 in three main categories.

A mix of established companies and newer business ideas, their initiatives cover a range of activities that include a blood test to help vets instantly detect infections in animals, an app addressing mobility issues for people with Parkinson’s disease, and cloud software to allow big organisations track their carbon footprint.

They have emerged from more than 1,800 entrants to come through county and regional finals run by the 31 local enterprise offices. Nearly one-in-10 of those who did not make the final have already received investments of €3,000 to €15,000 each, part of the €2m IBYE investment fund.

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