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After a hugely successful debut back in November of 2014, Startup Weekend Limerick is back. Taking place from April 10th-12th once again on campus at the University of Limerick, in the fantastic Nexus Innovation Centre. Startup Weekend Limerick will bring together designers, developers, marketers, entrepreneurs and dreamers for an a unique experience the likes of which has  never been seen in the Treaty county before November last.

The event in November was one full of high energy, commitment, innovative concepts, hustle, bright ideas and new friendships. The ripple effect has been clear for all to see.  A core group of “Startup Weekender’s”  have emerged to build a strong, youthful network. They hold a common bond in that they all took part in this fantastic weekend and they all share a common goal of wanting to solve problems with innovative business ideas. We hope with the upcoming weekend we can help build upon this.

The startup and entrepreneurial ecosystem in Limerick is getting stronger with each passing day. Events like Startup Weekend, WASUP & 3D Camp are fantastic to help nurture the talent and innovation. The more of these types of events we have in this great City of ours the better. Only positive things can come of this.

Behind us volunteers, who give up our time to run these events, are businesses and organisations who, like us, understand the impact that these events can have in our region. They dig deep and put their hands in their pockets so some of our best and brightest can come together for a no talk, all action, fast paced weekend, designed for those who want to leave their mark on the world.

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The main sponsor for all the Startup Weekend’s throughout Ireland is Bank of Ireland. Their vision  and support for Irish Startups is second to none and without them these weekends would not be possible. Their generosity has meant that literally 100’s of Ireland’s best and brightest have been able to come together to form teams, validate ideas, grow their networks, receive expert mentorship and build startups. Sponsoring Startup Weekend is only the tip of the iceberg for Bank of Ireland and the Startup Community. They realise the importance indigenous business has to play in our recovery and have set up equity funds to provide startups with the support they need. The Start-Up and Emerging Sectors Equity Fund has been created for innovative and energetic young enterprises. Managed by Delta Partners on behalf of Bank of Ireland, their €17m fund has been created to support Irish start-up or early stage businesses.

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The Nexus Innovation centre is regarded by many as Limerick’s premier incubation centre and have been supporters of Limerick’s Startup Weekend since the word go. It is here that Startup Weekend participants will spend 54 hours working on ideas from April 10th – 12th. Situated on campus in the heart of the beautiful University of Limerick the Nexus centre is home to some of Limericks hottest up and coming startup companies.

The centre is a purpose built environment that combines: individual offices, shared desk space, collaborative work spaces, a startup studio, small intimate meeting rooms, an impressive boardroom, high specification bio-labs and a reconfigurable lobby/exhibition space. Nexus, however, is about so much more than space, it’s about community! Nexus continues to develop member-focused services that enable startups to accelerate their development in a highly connected and open environment. Leveraging knowledge, research and experience in the areas of entrepreneurship, technology and management.

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Around Noon, a sandwich and snack provider from Newry in County Down are back for a second round of providing hungry Startup Weekend participants with delicious sandwiches, wraps and salad pots for the duration of the weekend. Their Scribbles range went down an absolute treat back in November and participants are in for plenty of tasty delights once again. Their CEO Gareth Chambers and his wife Laura attended Startup Weekend back in November and provided invaluable advice and mentorship to the teams.

What started as a small business 25 years ago, set up by Gareth’s mother has grown into one of the most successful food companies in Northern Ireland. Their message is “Look after the world, we know there is only 1 world so we do everything we can to protect it”. With plans to expand to the UK in the near future, we only expect great success from Gareth, Laura and all the team.

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When we contacted Roy Finucane of TaxAssist Limerick about supporting Startup Weekend Limerick he really did not need much persuasion. Understanding the benefits that events like startup weekend will bring to Limerick, Roy was only too happy to help out in any way possible. TaxAssist is a perfect partner as they specialise in startups, small businesses, sole traders, limited companies & partnerships.

TaxAssist Accountants in Limerick City provide a wide range of accountancy services including tax returns, payroll and bookkeeping. They are a part of the largest network of accountants who offer a huge range of experience and expertise to small businesses right across the Republic of Ireland.

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Martina Murphy is a Limerick woman who studied Law at both the University of Limerick and the Law society of Ireland. An experienced litigation lawyer and principal of www.martinamurphy.ie, Martina is a firm supporter of local initiatives in Limerick and has kindly supported the Startup Weekend movement.

Martina’s past and present clients include companies who sought advice on drafting commerical agreements, franchise agreements, trade mark and licensing matters, lease agreements, commercial injunctions and technology law. She is especially interested in clients who are starting their own business and require advice on setting up companies, tax related matters, trademark or other regulatory matters. Startups at the weekend can expect some quality advice from Martina.

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Tadhg Kearney has been at the heart of the Limerick business landscape for over 30 years. His jewellery offerings have dazzled thousands and his unrivalled focus on customer service has contributed to a huge list of loyal brand advocates. A bigger yet not well known part of his business is the bespoke jewellery he handcrafts for his clients. He works one-on-one to create a piece that is truly unique and intimately reflects the client’s personality.

His passion and drive as a jeweller has translated into a civic duty to ‘get the community working in Limerick’. He is committed to helping the local business ecosystem in Limerick as he believes that ’employment and education are key contributors to a flourishing society’. Proof of this commitment to the education and commercial ecosystem are the positions, he has held at Limerick Chamber of Commerce, University of Limerick and Plassey Campus Centre.

When the team at Startup Limerick approached him about supporting the event, he was very willing to lend his hand in support of a ‘key driver for economic and social improvement’.

 

To all our supporters and sponsors I would like to say a huge THANK YOU from myself, the organising team and all the participants. Without your generosity, support and belief in what we are trying to achieve, Startup Weekend Limerick would not be taking place. Because of you, our best and brightest minds both yound and old will have the opportunity to achieve something so very special. Take a business idea from concept to reality in just 54 hours. One thing is for sure, because of Bank of Ireland, Around Noon, The Nexus Innovation Centre, Martina Murphy, Tadhg Kearney Jewellers and TaxAssist Limerick, Startup Weekend Limerick is going to be one hell of an event!

Stephen Dunworth