anthony_solon.jpgI am originally from County Leitrim in the West of Ireland. I obtained a B.Sc. in Computing from the University of Ulster in 2002. During final year of this Degree I wrote a dissertation on mobile computing which gave me my initial interest in doing a Ph.D. in the mobile tech area. With encouragement from my potential supervisors, Prof. Paul McKevitt and Dr. Kevin Curran, I applied to start reading for a Ph.D. following completion of my Degree. I was successful in being offered a place on the Ph.D. program but unfortunately this was not accompanied with a scholarship! Not one to be controlled by external forces (e.g. Faculty boards), especially when its comes to something this important, I wasn’t deterred and started reading for a Ph.D. in Oct 2002, later to be titled “Bandwidth determined mobile multimodal presentation“.

In hindsight being self-funded was certainly not the least stressful way of obtaining a Ph.D. To support my studies I started a tutoring enterprise in Magee which turned out to be in high demand! In March 2005 I was offered a Research Associate position on Northern Ireland’s ‘Wireless City‘ flagship project at the University of Ulster (Magee campus) in Derry. I worked in the ‘Wireless Technology Research Centre’ aspect of the project until December 2006. I submitted my Ph.D. on the same day that I completed my RA contract and made a clean (some would say overdue!) break from Magee.

In addition to writing my thesis and working fulltime as an RA in 2006, I also starting working on a startup project – REHEAT. I was runner up in the University of Ulster’s ‘Innovation Generation’ competition with this project. I also entered REHEAT’s first business plan into Northern Ireland’s prestigious 25K entrepreneurship competition. Being a finalist in the 25K competition was an invaluable experience and gave me the initial impetus to proceed commercially with REHEAT.

Having obtained my Doctorate in 2007 I was subsequently offered one of twelve UK places on the Kauffman Foundation’s Entrepreneurship Fellowship program, which commenced in July 07. This blog provides details of this program, including training received from the NCGE in the UK during the first 6 months, in addition to time spent training in the States with the Kauffman Foundation, during the last 6 months. Feel free to follow (and comment on) the blog for further details of my experiences during the Fellowship (July 07-08), which is supported by NICENT and INI.

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