A YOUNG Bandon man has gone from winning the Young Scientist of the Year to being the boss of his own start-up company and securing over $1m in seed capital in the space of just a few months.
It’s been a remarkable year for 18-year-old Greg Tarr, a former student of Bandon Grammar School, who wowed judges at the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition (BTYSTE) in January with his project that uses a sophisticated artificial intelligence software programme that can efficiently detect ‘deepfake’ media with state-of-the-art accuracy.
And the awards are still coming in as Greg recently took home third prize at the European Union Young Scientist Competition (EUCYS), which was incidentally won by Ballincollig students Cormac Harris and Alan O’Sullivan, also former winners of the BTYSTE.
On top of that, Greg founded a start-up called Inferex, which is building infrastructure to increase the global impact of AI (Artifical Intelligence).
Greg has also managed to raise more than $1m in seed funding from a combination of Irish, European and American investor funds and angel investors. Speaking to The Southern Star, Greg said his life has been ‘hectic’ over the past nine months since he won the BTYSTE top prize.
‘I was delighted that Ireland came first in the European competition and I’m so proud for Cormac and Alan. It’s great to see a social science project claiming top prize,’ said Greg.
It wasn’t long after winning the BTYSTE competition that Greg was inundated with job offers from tech companies with mind boggling salaries, but he was determined to go his own route and in doing so is bypassing going to college.
‘Within two months I had lined up a few institutions to invest in my start-up and raised well over $1m from institutional investors from around Ireland, Europe and the US and I also had an accelerator investor and angel investors.’
Greg is planning to move to Dublin from his home in Bandon and is already hoping to recruit AI (artificial intelligence) engineers from around the world.
‘My main focus at the moment is on hiring staff for my start-up so it’s exciting and I’m looking forward to wherever this takes me.’