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And now that we have recovered from all the action and excitement of our first Galway Startup Weekend, we’d like to re-announce the winners (if you haven’t already seen our previous announcement) and thank everyone who took part and supported the event! The winning teams were:

  • Crowd favourite: Hours – a tool to enable part-time workers to find out their hours and to assist employers with scheduling them. They won our lovely Galway Startup Weekend larger-than-life 3D foam logo.
  • Third place: Arrow – an app that will help you find your way to an airport gate, with countdown notifications and handy tips along the way about where to eat, get wifi / plug in, etc. Flynn O’Driscoll will provide a legal health check and advice to the third place team worth €500.
  • Second place: What Paws Around – a site to help owners of dogs that have particular needs to find resources if, for example, they are travelling and are away from home. Delphi Adventure Resort have sponsored a team building day and overnight accommodation for the second place team worth around €750.
  • First place: FriendShip It!! – facilitating shipping price sharing by friends who are interested in reducing the high shipping costs for individual items through paired purchasing on sites like Amazon, but also allowing local suppliers to jump in and deliver an order cheaper/faster. Galway Technology Centre are providing a fantastic office package for the winning team which is worth €2500 over 12 months.

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We want to thank our sponsors, without whom it would have been very difficult to make this weekend happen. Our Platinum Sponsor was Bank of Ireland; thank you so much for your support this weekend. We thank WestBIC, Storm Technology, Vulcan Solutions, and Flynn O’Driscoll, all of whom were Silver Sponsors. We also thank our In-Kind Sponsors: the Galway Technology Centre, Blacklight.ie, the Radisson Hotel and Spa Galway, JE Cairnes School of Business and Economics at NUI Galway, ITAG – the Information Technology Association of Galway, HP, Snap Happy Studios, Delphi Adventure Resort, and Smyths.

We had a great team of mentors helping the teams over the weekend: Dave Barry, Alan Burke, Mark Campbell, Mike Conroy, Dorothy Creaven, Declan Droney, Keith Farrell, Tom Forde, Donncha Hughes, Ian Knight, Damien McCoy, Laura Myles, Greg Osborne, Mark Quick, and David Ryan.

We also want to thank Adam Haun – Senior Regional Manager with Startup Weekend / Up Global – who is based in Seattle and joined us for this event. Thanks also to Eli David from StartupBlink and Michelle Clarke of HeadUpMate who gave inspirational and useful talks to attendees. We also had a great massage option for our startup team members and organisers from Mobile Massage Galway, and some tasty SMRT orange / cocoa bars from James Cunningham. Dave Cunningham from Counterweight Ireland / Yoga Shala and local incubator StartX6 calmed things down with a yoga session for all attendees on Saturday at 4.

I’d like to thank all of my fellow organising team who put in a huge effort to get us ready this past weekend and in the run-up to it: Michael Campion, lecturer in the JE Cairnes School of Business and Economics at NUI Galway, who were also the venue hosts; Tara Dalrymple, founder of Mission Possible and Busy Lizzie; Michael FitzGerald, founder of OnePageCRM; Paul Killoran; founder of Ex Ordo; Noemie Martin-Pascual, Marketing and Product Manager at Ex Ordo; and Laura O’Connor, who is a recent Masters in IT graduate from NUI Galway. Thanks also to Gene Murphy from Startup Ireland who spurred us on, rang us regularly, and kept us on track with his support.

We also want to thank our great team of volunteers who helped all throughout the weekend right up until the last empty cups were tidied away: Ciara Deane, Ciara Loughnane, Darren Kearney, Emily Mannix, Jane O’Connor, Paul Mulhern, Rose Barrett, and Tom Murphy. Thanks also to the staff of NUI Galway – security, caretakers – and also to the nice people at Friar’s Restaurant / Café Togo for the fantastic food and service. Go raibh míle maith ag TG4 (Sinéad agus Ian) don phíosa ar an nuacht dé Sathairn faoin Startup Weekend anseo i nGaillimh.

And of course, thank you to all the participants who have worked so hard this weekend. We had people joining us from Bologna in Italy, and even from far-flung Dublin and Kilkenny!

It’s worth nothing that we had about 33% women taking part in the Galway Startup Weekend, and we are particularly proud to see an improving ratio of women to men, given the traditionally-low numbers of women (around 15%) at recent large tech events. The leaders of the first and second prize teams were women, and all three of the judges’ prizes went to teams that had women as members.

We had six fantastic judges: Aideen Bergin, Senior Business Manager from Bank of Ireland; Ollie Daniels, who is the recently-appointed CEO of the national Insight Centre for Data Analytics; Breda Fox, head of the Galway Local Enterprise Office, and I also found out recently one-time director of The Point; Paul Gilson, a serial medtech entrepreneur who has raised over 60M of venture capital, and is currently CSO of Novate and Veryan Medical; Maurice O’Gorman from the Galway Chamber of Commerce, who until recently worked for 22 years in capital markets in the Middle East; and Barry O’Sullivan, CEO of Altocloud and former SVP at Cisco, who is also one of the judges on RTÉ’s Dragon’s Den. Their valuable time was very much appreciated.

We hope you all enjoyed the weekend, and we look forward to seeing you again at the next Startup Weekend event in the West!

John Breslin