Local entrepreneur leads the way at annual graduation

November 21st, 2013   

Entrepreneur, Simon Cole, helped to inspire Belfast Metropolitan College higher education students as a guest speaker at its annual graduation ceremony.

Local entrepreneur leads the way at annual graduation

The Co-founder and Chief Technical Officer of Automated Intelligence shared his personal experiences of professional success and passed on useful advice to the new graduates who are progressing onto the next stage in their education and careers. The College’s annual graduation celebrated the achievements of over 1,000 graduates and welcomed 2,000 guests over three ceremonies.

Simon spoke to graduates from the School of Electronic and Computing Technologies, the School of Engineering and Construction, and the School of A Level, Adult Access and Languages as he recalled his journey to creating a successful software company in the information management market.

Since launching in 2010, Automated Intelligence has grown to a profitable business with an extensive client list including The Department for Education, British Red Cross and Statoil Fuel and Retail. Simon was an EY Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist and the company was recognised at the Ulster Bank Business Achievers Awards as Best Business Start Up in Ulster in 2012.

Marie-Thérèse McGivern, Principal and Chief Executive of Belfast Metropolitan College, congratulated the new graduates and thanked Simon:

“Belfast Met is extremely proud of each of our graduates and we would like to thank and congratulate everyone of them on their dedication and passion for learning. We are delighted to offer a special occasion that allows our graduates to celebrate their achievements with those who have supported and assisted them throughout their studies, from family and friends to lecturers and support staff in the College.

“It is an absolute privilege to welcome Simon as a guest speaker at Graduation 2013. We hope that his journey will help to inspire and motivate our learners as they move into the next stage of their personal and professional lives.”

Local entrepreneur leads the way at annual graduation

Simon Cole, Co-founder and CTO of Automated Intelligence, added:

“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to share my story with Belfast Met’s newest graduates. I hope that by example, our next generation of leaders realise that they can create their own opportunities by innovating and developing fresh ideas and following their passion. In addition, as a growing business with a programme focussed on entry-level recruitment, is also important to actively encourage young people – irrespective of their qualifications and training to consider IT as a viable career option. I hope that I have provided inspiration from my business success story to help the graduates build upon the futures that they have already started to create.  ”

Joining Simon as guest speakers, Belfast Met welcomed Eleanor McEvoy, Founder of Budget Energy, and Mary McCall, Founder of TreatTicket.com. Inaugural Honorary Fellowship Awards were also conferred to Mark Pollock, spinal injury pioneer, Alan Clarke, Chief Executive of the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, and Ann McGregor, Chief Executive of the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce.