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Kieran O'Neill started his first company when he was just 15 years old
Kieran O'Neill started his first company when he was just 15 years old
psu.com
psu.com

Press Release - 05 August 2008

Student dotcom entrepreneur wins national award

Kieran O’Neill, an undergraduate from the University of Bath, has been awarded UK Student Entrepreneur of the Year at the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA), a virtual competition held online. He will now travel, all expenses paid, to represent the UK in the GSEA global finals held in Chicago (5-6 November 2008).

Kieran, who started his first company when he was only 15 years old, beat competition from students from Portsmouth, Worcester, and Durham universities amongst others, to become the UK award winner.

The business administration student from the University's School of Management, made international news when he sold his web company Holy Lemon for $1.25 million (£630,000) in June of last year. The innovative video sharing website, which boasted over 100,000 daily hits, is similar to YouTube.com, but was founded two years before the latter site was launched.

“The website started off as a way of showing Flash animations I had made, and just grew from there,” said Kieran, who was formerly chair of the University’s entrepreneurs’ club, BANTER.

“I designed the early sites in my bedroom at home and the trick was learning how to effectively stream user-generated video clips through a browser.

“It is what you see everywhere now, but then it was a really novel idea – particularly for humour websites.

“Being the UK winner feels like a fantastic achievement amongst so many talented students, but it would be incredible to win the global award. I am really looking forward to Chicago.”

Since selling Holy Lemon, Kieran co-founded PlayStation Universe, with business partner Seb Hayes. The online magazine for PlayStation fans now boasts 1.5 million monthly users.

The panel of judges from the Entrepreneurs’ Organisation were also impressed by Kieran’s involvement in an online games discussion community called PS3 Forums. The website has more than 85,000 members, features three million conversations and holds over 150,000 new debates each month.

Kieran also launched a third website with Seb Hayes and another partner, Ben Phillips, titled Playfire.com, which offers social networking facilities for video gamers.

Siobain Hone, student enterprise co-ordinator in the University of Bath Students' Union, said: "We are delighted to see a former chair of BANTER win this award.

"While Kieran is at the top end of entrepreneurial activity, he should be a huge inspiration for the many students who have great ideas for enterprises. We wish him well at the global finals."


The University of Bath is one of the UK's leading universities, with an international reputation for quality research and teaching. View a full list of the University's press releases: http://www.bath.ac.uk/news/

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