A crowdfunding project has been launched to raise money for the McShane Young Digital Disruptor Award (MYDDA), a new foundation aimed at giving young people the chance to “realise dreams of a future” within the world of digital.

The initiative has been set up in memory of affiliate marketing pioneer Nicky McShane (Iapino) by family and friends and seeks to raise £10,000. Early support has seen over a quarter of that figure met since the page launched last night (January 30).

According to the MYDDA’s JustGiving page, the foundation will seek to encourage school children to investigate digital, the career options it provides and to empower them to think dynamically about the opportunities it brings to everyone’s lives.

This will culminate in an annual competition, the award helping those involved to create digital products – including games, websites, apps or technological solutions – with the most innovative teams able to pitch their products to leading digital figures and receive potential funding.

“We hope that The McShane Young Digital Disruptor Award won’t just keep her [McShane’s] memory alive, it will enable us as an industry to help young digital pioneers to realise their own potential, build new tech and find the career of their dreams,” commented McShane’s close friend and associate, and one of the initiative’s creators, Julie York.

Alongside the competition, the MYDDA will also bring together a panel of “successful, clever and hugely inspirational people” to provide a mentoring programme, helping to build a legacy of “driven, hardworking and fun” individuals to carry on McShane’s enthusiasm for all things digital.

‘Fun, tenacious and driven’

Conveying hopes that digital marketing organisations and individuals would see the MYDDA as a worthy cause for fundraising – both now and in years to come – PerformanceIN director Matthew Wood, said, “Nicky McShane was a pioneer of affiliate marketing and crossed many peoples paths during her time with us.

“We would like to celebrate her energy, passion, and drive by creating a foundation to help the next generation of digital pioneers.”

With members of the industry calling her one of the affiliate industry’s “most exuberant and progressive” individuals and widely regarded for her ability to inspire and energise her teams, McShane played a key role in defining a number of new business sectors, as well as leading a series of successful online companies.

She sadly passed at home over Christmas 2017 aged just 47. Her funeral will take place Friday, February 2. If you’d like to donate to the MYDDA, you can do so via the JustGiving page here.

“Nicky had a boundless energy for our industry. Digital marketing was her passion, and her enthusiasm and hunger for it were infectious,” said York; “If we can also transfer her fun, tenacious and so-very-driven approach too, then she’d be delighted.”