Eight A1s puts software millionaire on track for Harvard


A TEENAGE entrepreneur who hit the jackpot last year when he sold his software company for more than €3 million has made headlines again after scoring one of the highest Leaving Cert results in the country.

John Collison from Monaleen in Limerick was one of 11 Leaving Cert students in the country who received eight A1s in the State exams.

The 18-year-old, who achieved 10 A grades in total, was still in transition year when he founded the software company Auctomatic with older brother Patrick. The company, which manages eBay accounts for high-level users, received backing from a number of private investors in Silicon Valley after the teenagers were refused funding in Ireland. Last year, Canadian firm, Live Current Media, offered the Limerick brothers $5million (€3.2million) for their company.

A student at Castletroy College in Limerick, Collison is planning to study science at Harvard University in Boston. “I was thrilled with the results. You always have doubts and imagine the most dismal scenarios but I am really happy . . . I certainly feel very privileged to be among the 11 [students who got eight A1s] and I’d love to meet the other 10 people,” he said.

The State’s highest achiever was, however, Rory Crotty (18), a student at Christian Brothers College on Sydney Hill, Cork city who clocked up nine A1s.

Castletroy College school principal Martin Wallace was one of the first people to congratulate Collison yesterday. “We are delighted at the school with all our Leaving Cert results, but obviously we are particularly thrilled for John. Results like this come along rarely,” he added.

“John is a very level-headed student who has a wide range of interests and in particular enjoys debating. Very often when you imagine the type of person who gets results like this you think of somebody with their head stuck in a book all the time, but John is a very sociable guy.”

Collison also managed to fit in the Science Olympiad while maintaining his focus on the State exams and, in addition, is a student pilot who has amassed over 40 hours’ flying time.