TU Dublin Students Win €10,000 Grand Prize

30 Aug, 2019

Three TU Dublin Product Design students have been crowned winners of Accenture’s Leaders of Tomorrow competition, following a final showcase event on Wednesday.

David Furlong, Daniel Izquierdo Hijazi and Sophie O’Rourke are all studying Product Design at TU Dublin; a multidisciplinary course developed to produce graduates who can oversee the complete development cycle of a product. Along with their teammates - Meg Brennan (UCD), Harry Shanahan (UCC) - David, Daniel and Sophie set up The Hydro Co. - a green-tech start-up aspiring to make reusable coffee cup cleaning both convenient and profitable for businesses.

The idea is based around a 5-second revolutionising cleaning solution which uses steam-power to clean reusable cups, making it one of the most sanitising and convenient solutions in the market. Saving businesses up to 13 litres of water used in a standard dishwasher per employee per day, it lowers cleaning costs, builds on sustainability efforts and makes reusable cups even more attractive to use.

Members of The Hydro Co. winning team are Meg Brennan (UCD) who is responsible for start-up's technology; Harry Shanahan (UCC) who takes care of finance; and the three TU Dublin students - Sophie O’Rourke who manages the team’s operations; Daniel Izquierdo Hijazi who is the commercial lead David Furlong who focuses on all things design.

The Leaders of Tomorrow programme, now in its 12th year, is designed to foster entrepreneurship in third-level students and recent graduates, helping them to collectively transform innovative, early-stage ideas into start-ups. In 2018, the format of the programme evolved to support student entrepreneurs of all stages, even those without an idea or start-up, by teaming applicants with other talented individuals to develop a big idea. The prize for The Hydro Co. includes €10,000 in seed-funding from Accenture, a stand at Dublin Tech Summit and workspace at WeWork Labs for one month.

Commenting on the win, Graham Healy, executive sponsor for Leaders of Tomorrow said, “This year’s winner, The Hydro Co., is a profit with a purpose company who is determined to promote the use of reusable coffee cups to improve the carbon footprint of businesses and individuals through their unique steam cleaning technology."

For more about Leaders of Tomorrow, visit www.accenture.com/LOT