SWEDU Dublin: Meet the Team!

Over the past two years, I’ve had the pleasure of working with Ireland’s best community leaders to make Startup Weekend Education a success. Ruta Danyte, Amy Keith, Nubi Kay, Daniel Paul and many others ensured that I was challenged and pushed to learn new skills while organising the events with them.

I’m thrilled to introduce the new wave of community leaders – an incredible international team of passionate self-starters. Here’s who’s on board for #SWEDUDUB!

Allen Thomas Varghese

Allen is well known to many of you who are involved in data and coding. He is a full stack developer and community engagement specialist with over eight years of experience in web and mobile. Allen dedicates much of his free time to others – organising technology meetups and workshops in data science. We’ve worked together before and we haven’t had an argument yet, which says a lot for his patience! He is a meticulous mentor, speaker and ideas enthusiast, securing Udemy as the venue for Startup Weekend Education. There’s a ping-pong table…just saying!

Rachel Fay

A self-confessed multipotentialite (Google it!), Rachel joined Learning Tech Labs earlier this year and immediately made a difference scaling the community. As a startup lover and tech enthusiast, Rachel has worked for several early-stage start-ups while completing her Masters in Communication and Media in Paris. She decided to step out of her comfort zone by working in business development for growth stage software company in Dublin. Rachel brings her marketing expertise to Startup Weekend Education, so keep an eye on our social media content. Follow us at @SWEDUDUB! She told me to say that…

Katalina Aguilar

An ardent advocate for? lifelong learning, Katalina is another organiser of Learning Tech Labs, bringing her unique pedagogical approach to the e-learning scene. This will be Katalina’s second Startup Weekend Education, having been influential to last year’s event at DoSpace. She has a Bachelor’s in Communication in Guadalajara, Mexico and recently completed a Master’s in Learning Technologies. Katalina has a passion for technologies used to design and support the learner experience. Not one to aim low, she aims to begin improving education in South America later this year.

Karla Araque

Karla is the financial lead for this year’s event. Although new to Startup Weekend Education, Karla brings a wealth of knowledge to the team as the Hub and Community Success Executive at Versari, where she supports innovative scaling solutions to learning technology companies. With a BEcon and MSc International Business, Karla is another passionate lifelong learner (are you noticing a theme?). She has continued to build on her success with personal development courses in the fundamentals of computing and is now an organiser of one of the fastest growing edtech communities in the world, Learning Tech Labs.

Galina Rakanova

Galina is a senior UI/UX developer with over 18 years of experience in e-learning, graphic and web design and development. She specialises in online advertising and is our graphic designer for the event. We first met through Twitter, where she advocates for curriculum change in Irish education. After being inspired by Galina’s desire to make real solutions to the challenges facing educators, we have also planned to organise Ireland’s first DigCit Summit. This summit will aim to unite organizations, educators, industry, parenting experts and students to promote positive digital citizenship!

HuíChí Man

HuíChí brings endless energy and drive for success to our team. Crucially, having founded her own startup, Reecescribe, HuíChí will also add her entrepreneurial knowledge to participants during the event. Recently appointed as the event producer and relationship manager at UXDX, HuíChí specialises in business development and marketing with diverse exposure to IT and services sector. She has successfully connected Startup Weekend Education with other influential tech and start-up communities in Dublin.

Remember these names! 😉

Having been an organiser in 2015 and 2016, I’ve seen the benefits of being involved in these events. They have been the springboard for my personal development and learning in education and technology. In 2015, I was an unemployed builder and my learning curve was steep. This year, I’m excited to be lead organiser for Startup Weekend Education 2017. As the Innovation Pioneer at Rehab Group and founder of Learning Tech Labs, I hope to give back to a community which has helped me to achieve the potential that I didn’t recognise in myself.

Join us: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/startup-weekend-edu-2017-tickets-34635464607

Follow us: @SWEDUdub

Momentum at Startup Weekend Education

Ireland’s first Startup Weekend Education is almost over. Seven impressive teams have battled it out late into the night to get the chance to pitch their products to a panel of judges and special guests.


Nothing was going to stop these enthusiastic entrepreneurs from making waves. Innovative ideas, and coffee, flowed at the Bank of Ireland in Grand Canal Square.


A big thanks must go to Gary (@gary_leyden), our special guest speaker on Saturday. Gary is an investor in early stage tech startups and as director of NDRC LaunchPad, leads Ireland’s #1 tech accelerator.



With so much energy being used, refueling throughout the event was essential and KC Peaches (@kcpeaches) supplied us with a plethora of food!



Tension and excitement started to rise as teams developed, divided and merged as the weekend continued.


Not that it was all work and no play, there was time for plenty of joking!



Teams were guided throughout the weekend by organisers, mentors and guest speakers, including lead members of the edtech, education and business communities.




Teams have been under the eagle eye of Richie (@RichieDonelan) from IrishStartUp.TV.

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Let’s hope everyone took Nick’s advice on pitching! As CEO of Sprintfire, he knows the tricks of the trade! Here we go… See you on the other side!

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Dublin Startup Weekend Education: 2 Weeks Out

Last week, the Startup Weekend Education team infiltrated the home of Versari Partners, with the help of Amy Keith, our newest member. This was our final chance to meet before the event kicks off next month. With less than three weeks to go, things were picking up speed and there was much to do, such as make coffee and take selfies.

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Selfie at Versari Partners: (R-L) Nubi, Daniel, Amy, Nana, Ruta and David.

Selfies aside, we have a lot to share with you. Irish graphic designer, Tamara Stone (@TamaraMarieDSGN), has created our new logo for the event and designed the banner featuring the impressive Samuel Beckett bridge. We have also taken control of the Dublin Startup Weekend Twitter account (@SWDub), so make sure to follow us to keep updated.

Startup Weekend Logo
Startup Weekend Education Logo
Startup Weekend Banner
Startup Weekend Education Banner

We are delighted to announce that Bank of Ireland, Versari Partners, Irish Startup.TV and SuppliesBox.com have kindly sponsored our event. Dublin-based The T-Shirt Company printed our hoodies so keep your eyes peeled for us wandering around Dublin. Don’t be afraid to stop us and say hi!

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Not only do Irish companies sponsor us; we will be joined by a host of influential Irish-based change-makers, such as guest speaker Gary Leyden (Director at NDRC LaunchPad) and facilitator Jessica Falkenthal (EdTech Marketing Strategist & Startup Coach). Judging the final pitches will be Martyn Farrows (Director at Learnovate Centre), Dr Claire O’Connell (Science Writer and Journalist), Vicky Godolphin (Head of Digital at Accenture Ireland) and Stephen Moran (Innovation Manager at Bank of Ireland).

No pressure then.

Thankfully, you will have the opportunity to work with inspiring mentors and coaches who are leading the way in their respective fields: Gene Murphy (E.I.R. at Bank of Ireland), Cristina Luminea (CEO at Thoughtbox), Conor O’Sullivan (CEO at Adaptemy), Maggie Green (Founder at The School Door), Kathryn Parkes (Director of UX & Design at Swrve), Kareem Mostafa (Marketing Professional), Nicholas Hynes (CEO at SprintFire) and Olivia Lavelle (Education Psychologist).

Find out more about who you will meet at Startup Weekend Education: http://www.up.co/communities/ireland/dublin/startup-weekend/7134.

Tickets are selling fast. As I type we have only a small number of early-bird tickets available for educators. Don’t let this opportunity pass you by. As Ireland’s first Startup Weekend that focuses entirely on education, each one of us has the responsibility of sharing our educational experiences, innovation and entrepreneurship.

Be the change you want to see: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/startup-weekend-dublin-edu-tickets-18153039229.