Union Hall instructor has finally ‘mastered' old sailing problem

September 22nd, 2019 6:25 PM

By Southern Star Team

Carole O'Leary of CIT with David Forde from Union Hall at Pairc Uí Chaoimh, where 30 student entrepreneurs were congratulated on successfully completing the Student Inc Programme. (Photo: Brian Lougheed)

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A UNION Hall student was among the young student entrepreneurs who successfully completed the Student Inc Programme at Cork Institute of Technology, University College Cork and Tralee Institute of Technology.

The programme was set up to encourage student entrepreneurs to develop and grow their enterprising ideas into fully-fledged businesses.

It is Ireland’s first student accelerator programme and has been delivered in CIT since 2011. Students are provided with on-going mentoring and regular review meetings to check on progress of their business idea with each student completing an investor ready business plan.

David, who works as a sailing Instructor, noticed a problem with corroding aluminium masts used in dinghies and other small sailing vessels. 

The masts frequently break due to corrosion, causing a safety hazard and creating huge repair costs, he said. 

He began to manufacture and sell replacement aluminium masts at a reduced price and then decided he wanted to fix the problem entirely.

So, using a college material science project, he worked out a solution for the problem: carbon fibre provided a lighter, stronger, and lifetime alternative. 

Long-term David’s business, GameFace plans on building a new younger brand for all things sailing by targeting the unserved segments of the industry, including surfing and kayaking.

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