Guide-A-Key from Desmond College Limerick & April Hawkins VP MetLife Foundation at European Final JA Company of the Year Competition Berlin
Berlin, Germany, 31 July 2015 Guide-A-Key, a team of student entrepreneurs from Desmond College, Limerick won the MetLife LifeChanger Award, sponsored by the MetLife Foundation, at the Junior Achievement Europe 26th annual Company of the Year Competition (COYC).
The Guide-A-Key team, comprising Emma Herbert, Seamus Hurley, Eoin Considine, Eamonn Browne & Diarmuid Curtin impressed the MetLife LifeChanger Award jury. Their combination of a passionate focus on social issues and determined commitment to sustaining a viable business through strong financial performance proved to be a winning formula. Guide-A-Key designed and manufactured a device, which helps people with limited dexterity to insert a key into a lock. The device is affixed to the area around the keyhole, allowing the user to simply slide their key into the top part of the device, which then guides the key into the lock.
Presenting the award, April Hawkins, Assistant Vice President, MetLife Foundation, said: “The MetLife LifeChanger Award recognises the student company that best embraces social impact, financial performance and innovation. Guide-A-Key delivered a viable business plan for today’s challenging markets, while demonstrating benefit to their local community, ability to be profitable and competitive, as well as innovation in their field. We are proud to play a role in supporting young people to get ahead in life. Through the MetLife LifeChanger initiative, MetLife Foundation and MetLife volunteers are helping thousands of students in building critical financial, work readiness and entrepreneurship skills.”
“It is great to have received the MetLife Life Changer Award, but the most important part is having been able to develop a simple device that can make a positive change in people’s lives. The JA Company Programme has been an amazing experience from start to finish, and we’ve been able to learn so many new skills along the way” reflected Diarmuid Curtin Guide-A-Key team member after receiving their award.
Over 350 COYC participants gathered in Berlin, Germany, between 28-31 July to compete with the best student entrepreneurs from across Europe. 37 teams representing 36 countries participated.