Waterford tech wizard, 13, heads to Silicon Valley

Last year he was the youngest person in Europe to develop an app for the Apple store. Now a Waterford schoolboy is about to become the youngest speaker at the world’s largest conference for entrepreneurs, being held in Silicon Valley.

The rise of the young tech wizard is one of Ireland’s latest success stories and 13-year-old De La Salle first-year student Jordan Casey will be representing this up-and-coming cohort at the annual TiEcon conference in California, joining representatives of the likes of Microsoft, Twitter, Amazon and LinkedIn on the guest list.

Jordan featured last week on Junior Dragons’ Den on RTÉ television, thanks to the success of his Casey Games venture, and has attracted support from Enterprise Ireland, Waterford City Council and City Enterprise Board for his trip across the Atlantic in a fortnight, such is the faith in him by those in the know.

He will be part of a panel addressing 4,000 hotshot businesspeople from across the globe during the conference on May 17 and 18, thanks to contacts built up after a year of seminars, conferences, innovation awards and four successful game launches for the Waterford teenager.

“Every time I do a conference I’m nervous at the start but, when I get into it and start talking, the nerves go away,” Jordan said yesterday.

The theme of his address will be ‘Things I learned the hard way as a young CEO’, reflecting on his business success since the age of nine when he first started putting content on the web.

Jan 2012 saw the release of his ‘Alien Ball v Humans’ app, described by Apple executives as a version of the classic Space Invaders game, while last October he released ‘Save the Day,’ the official game for National Children’s Day in Brazil. Since then there has been ‘Greenboy Touch,’ his first so-called “complex game,” and the multi-player ‘Food World,’ and he is aiming for an October release for adventure game ‘My Little World’.

TiE, who organise the conference, are a global, not-for-profit organisation focused on supporting entrepreneurship through education and networking.

“It’s a great opportunity and I’m trying to organise different things for when I’m there,” Jordan said of the five-day trip.

“I have a lot of different meetings and I’m going to a few offices.”

Jordan’s parents, Clyde and Louise, are “very proud” of their son, particularly given he is self-taught in programming code.



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