A third year mechanical engineering student, Conor Lynch, has taken up a second student Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) role in the Blackstone LaunchPad programme at NUI Galway. Blackstone LaunchPad is a campus-based entrepreneurship programme at NUI Galway, designed to support and mentor students, staff and alumni – regardless of their subject, experience or discipline.
Lynch set up his business at 11 years old, woodturning from his home in Tullamore, Co. Offaly. He is largely self-taught, having learned many of the techniques for woodturning from magazines and YouTube, but he has also had some exposure to some of the best woodturners in Ireland. He has work in private collections in America, Australia, France and Mexico, and one of his pieces was presented to President Mary McAleese in 2011. He sells his craft pieces in local stores and online.
In 2014, Conor was featured on RTÉs ‘Junior Dragons Den’, where he secured the €2,000 bursary and mentoring from Dragon Peter Casey. Also in 2014, he was featured on RTÉs Nationwide while exhibiting at the National Crafts and Design Fair (now known as Crafted) at the RDS in Dublin.
Commenting on Lynch’s work, Natalie Walsh, Executive Director of Blackstone LaunchPad at NUI Galway, said: “We are delighted to expand our student EIR programme to include Conor, he is a fantastic role model for other students on campus who are interested in developing their business idea and has a wealth of personal experiences and practical advice to support his fellow students. Being a third year student he also fully understands the challenges faced in terms of managing a student workload and getting a business up and running. Conor has been supported by our programme since 2015 and it has been amazing to see his professional and more importantly, his personal development grow so much over these few years.”
Pictured above: Neil Ferguson, Programme Manager, Blackstone LaunchPad; Conor Lynch, NUI Galway Student; Mike Wiebolt, Blackstone New York; and Natalie Walsh, Blackstone LaunchPad, NUI Galway