Mixing business with Physics
Student entrepreneur wins a place at Stockholm International Youth Science Seminar and the Nobel festivities.
Science and business are often seen as two separate spheres, but as Physics student Eimear O' Carroll explains, when you combine the analytical and problem solving skills of a scientist with a commercial opportunity it can be a recipe for success.
Restored Hearing Ltd produces an innovative sound therapy for sufferers of temporary tinnitus that is effective in just one minute. Using the physics of sound and how the ear responds to different types of sound, we have developed a non-invasive remedy for the ringing in your ears commonly experienced after concerts or listening to your iPod for too long.
Originating as a project for the BT Young Scientist and Technology exhibition, the Restored Hearing team comprises Rhona Togher and myself, who were two students on the project, and Anthony Carolan, the project mentor at the time. We won Runner Up Overall and the Health Research Board Award for Medical Innovation in 2009. When investigating funding for further research it was suggested that we market the therapy. We incorporated the company in May 2009, a month before our final high school exams, and Restored Hearing was born.
I have found running a business to be an extremely exciting and rewarding endeavour, if a bit stressful at times when university and working life clash.
Having fallen into entrepreneurship by accident I have found running a business to be an extremely exciting and rewarding endeavour, if a bit stressful at times when university and working life clash. I started working with Launch.ed, the University of Edinburgh student enterprise support service, last year and it has been an integral part of the development of Restored Hearing and my skills as an entrepreneur. My involvement with Launch.ed has led to developing winning business pitches, expanding my network and going to South Korea for the MIT Global Start-Up Workshop on its inaugural scholarship programme.
Rhona and I recently represented Ireland in the Intel/JAYE Sci-preneurship competition in Brussels. Ten international teams were given 24 hours to develop a business idea from scratch that was socially beneficial while being commercially viable. Second place was awarded to Rhona’s team for their noise reduction technology while I was awarded a place at the Stockholm International Youth Science Seminar. In December I will be travelling to Stockholm to present Restored Hearing and attend the Nobel lectures and the Nobel Prize ceremony.
We sell the Somtus TM therapy online and have spent the past two years developing the website, gaining national and international publicity for the company (including articles by the Institute of Physics and ABC News) and using physics to solve auditory problems.