Startup of the day: StudyBuddy
**Founders:** Richie Whelan, Kevin Glynn and Declan Egan
**What it does:** allows students to temporarily block access to social networks, websites and programs that can distract them from studying
**Funding:** NDRC and Nicola Byrne (11890 founder)
It used to be the television, but now it's the computer: how do students resist the temptation of dossing off on Facebook and Twitter instead of studying?
One cadre of entrepreneurial students believes it has the answer. Using a combination of IT know-how and marketing initiative, three UCD business students have come up with StuddyBuddy, a system that allows you to temporarily block or disable timesink websites, social networks and games on a PC or laptop.
"We've been in the same position," said Richie Whelan, co-founder of StudyBuddy.
"You come out of the college library and end up admitting to friends that you've just wasted an hour chatting on Facebook when you should have been studying."
What StudyBuddy does is to allow you to plan for temptation-free periods in which to concentrate on nobler things. You can pick which websites or social networks you want to temporarily block and set a time-frame for their non-access. Once initiated, the process cannot be reversed, even by uninstalling the StudyBuddy application.
The idea came from the collective experiences of the three co-founders: Richie Whelan, Kevin Glynn and Declan Egan.
"We came up with the concept last year and offered it around in UCD," said Whelan. "We were amazed that 500 people ended up using it, 350 within the UCD campus. That got us thinking that there was definitely a commercial market for this."
Aside from a third-level study aid, StudyBuddy is considering the service as a parental control mechanism for parents of secondary school students, too.
"It's just as easy to schedule the program to only allow access to certain websites and social networks in narrow time periods, too," said Whelan.
The company is also looking at other applications to be included in StudyBuddy's blocking capability, including installed games, iTunes, gambling applications and other potential timewasting pursuits.
StudyBuddy has recently gained a place in the National Digital Research Centre's Launchpad programme, which involves €20,000, deskspace and mentoring. The company is also backed by Nicola Byrne, founder of 11890. It has recently taken on a full time executive, Gavin Hayes.
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