North West Teen ‘Kick Starts’ Pioneering Creative Industries Event

Kennedy Keeney-Robinson with Claire Burgoyne, NISP CONNECT Programme Manager at the Northern Ireland Science Park
Kennedy Keeney-Robinson with Claire Burgoyne, NISP CONNECT Programme Manager at the Northern Ireland Science Park

A self-starting teenager from Derry has joined five others from across NI in launching one of the biggest tech and creative economy events for young people this year, securing key speakers including BBC Click presenter Kate Russell, and Kyle Galway, founder of GetInvited.

Create:2014 is unique one-day conference, designed, curated and produced solely by 6 teens aged between 16 and 18, including the North West’s Kennedy Keeney-Robinson.

The event is planned for Derry on September 17, 2014, during CultureTECH week.

The ambitious youngsters have now turned to their roots in the technology world to make their vision a reality, by launching a crowdfunding ‘Kickstarter’ campaign with the aim of raising financial backing to fund the exciting new event.

As well as globally renowned speakers including Michael Sayman, a 17-year-old US developer and entrepreneur, the conference will feature hands-on activities, hosting over 150 local young people who will learn alongside delegates from across the tech and creative industries.

Kennedy, along with team members Sarah McBride, Matthew Carson, Jordan Earle, Joshua Kempton and Gareth Reid, hopes the Kickstarter campaign will raise £2,500.

17-year-old Matthew says, “Kickstarter is one of the newest and coolest online funding platforms. With donations from as little as £5 up to £1,000, the money raised will go a long way in ensuring Create:2014 is the best conference for young people in N.I this year and if this is a success, we are confident we can make this an annual event.”

The event is in partnership with the CultureTECH Festival (Northern Ireland’s largest tech/media event) and Generation Innovation (a peer-driven movement of Northern Ireland’s most ambitious young people, hosted by NISP CONNECT at the Northern Ireland Science Park).

18-year-old Sarah McBride, CEO of Create:2014, says it’s a chance for young people to catch the spark of opportunity:

“The tech and creative industries in Northern Ireland are incredible at the moment. There’s so much going on and so many ways to get involved. The problem is they can appear daunting and some young people are put off, not aware of how truly accessible these industries are.

“Create:2014 will allow the wider public, and in particular young people, to see exactly how dynamic the tech and creative scene here is.

“To us, the future success of Northern Ireland depends on people realising the potential of this sector and we see this event as a way of raising the profile of the creative economy. We’ll be talking in a language they understand, rather than through the usual boring careers fairs and information leaflets.”

Claire Burgoyne, NISP CONNECT Programme Manager said, “The young people we work with in Generation Innovation never cease to amaze us. This was entirely their own initiative and it makes perfect sense: the idea of peer to peer support, from young people for young people. By passing on the benefits of their own experiences, they can inspire the next generation following closely behind.”

Sarah McBride continued, “Although we are being supported by the Northern Ireland Science Park and CultureTECH, this Kickstarter campaign will be vital in ensuring we can produce the amazing event we are planning. We really need the support of the Northern Ireland community to make this happen.”

For more details about Create:2014’s Kickstarter Campaign, please visit