10 ideas to be pitched at the #SWDub Finals

It’s the final day at the November edition of Startup Weekend Dublin and the clock gets closer and closer to the 54-hour mark.

SEE: #SWDUb recap from the first and second day.

Starting from 15 ideas, teams have pivoted, rebranded, closed shop, joined forces and here are the final 10 to pitch at the #SWDub Finals.

10. Baffle is an on-line raffling platform, Done-Deal style.

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9. Utripia wants to customize your perfect trip
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8. Elected allows voters better learn and engage with politicians

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7. Cajou connects home cooks with guests around a city

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6. Behabit is a parenting aid to turn good behaviour into habits

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5. Find Me helps you stay connected to your pet wirelessly

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4. Cooler is all about real-time, geo-located, targeted promotions

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3. Yes! Buddy Fitness is your motivation mate

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2. Gift Me is a fun efficient way crowdfund presents that your friends will love

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1. O! Seppe is an interactive, tailored, cost effective staff induction solution

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All the best to all the teams pitching. Follow @SWDub for live updates from the finals and tweet us your favourite ideas using the hashtag #SWDub.








Day 2 at #SWDub – Lean. Mentors. Pizza

SEE: A recap of the first day at #SWDub

One of the many valuable things attendees get from the Startup Weekend is the quality of speakers with wide range of expertise that come to share their knowledge. These speakers range from investors, accelerator managers, and product developers to founders and successful entrepreneurs.

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The second day of #SWDub kicked off with a presentation by NRDC‘s Gary Leyden. He covered the Lean Canvas touching on the need for participants to focus on potential customers – walking up to them on the streets, targeting them through Facebook and LinkedIn ads, or even cold calling others for validation.

Other touch points included the need to aim at launching scalable ventures and to get this, there’d be need to be focus on ‘who‘ more than ‘what‘. Key metrics for scaling include –  Acquisition, Activation, Retention, Revenue, and Referal. In addition locking down the a revenue model by asking the question of pricing – Who’s going to pay for it? is very important.

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Startup Weekend Dublin also attracts a very high calibre of coaches and mentors with expertise and background in design, business, and technology. We reached out to 10 of them for tips and here’s what they said.

 SEE: 10 tips from mentors at the #SWDub

It was very evident and impressive to see all the teams make progress in validating their ideas, forking out MVPs and even pivoting and rebranding. No doubt the final pitches tomorrow will see amazing ideas on showcase.

Thanks to our sponsors at Google (for Entrepreneurs), Dominos Pizza and Red Bull, we were treated to very tasty meals and big thanks to Slattery‘s who gets to host us for after-drinks and networking party.

Excited about tomorrow? Bring on the final pitches!

Final Pitch Tickets here.








10 tips from mentors at the #SWDub

Startup Weekend Dublin attracts a very high calibre of coaches and mentors with expertise and background in design, business, and technology. We reached out to 10 of them for tips and here’s what they said.

10. Don’t ask prospective customers if they will use your product. They almost always say Yes. Instead, ask about their experience, find the pain points and see if what you offer is really a solution – Louise Caldwell

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9. Co-Creation is very important when it comes to execution – David Tighe

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8. Never be afraid to ask – Lisa Domican

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7. Always remember to know nothing – Conor Nolan

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6. Tell a story, goddammit – Ed Fidgeon Kavanagh

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5. Have a killer tagline – Chico Charlesworth

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4. Kill every bias and expectations; and when it comes to coding, less is more – Adrian Mihai

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3. People are lazy and will keep doing the same thing, so build software that’d help them do things efficiently –  Ian Lucey

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2. Forget about the tech today and just focus on the consumer’s needs – Alex Beregszaszi

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1. Focus on one thing and keep it simple – Paul Watson & Serena Fistch

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All Photos credits to Compfight CC








A recap of the first day at #SWDub

The November edition of Startup Weekend kicked off in Dublin on a very high note. It was interesting to see a good number of entrepreneurs – designers, developers, and business people gathered for an amazing weekend.

It sure didn’t take long before the ideas started flowing. The ‘Half Baked‘ activity just went to show how creative people could be on the fly with ideas like Green Samurias, Unicorn Shampoo, and Baby Microphone – solutions to real life problems with interesting business models too. 

SEE: 5 tips going into Startup Weekend

An amazing dinner was made possible by our sponsors Burritos & Blues and Tom Crean’s; and really cool schwggs from Google (for Entrepreneurs) and Bank of Ireland.

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It was great to see people pitching startup ideas and forming teams across different areas including health, mobile, communication, social media, enterprise, productivity, educationtravel and more during the night. You can check out some of the favourites ideas here.

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Perhaps the most important word for the evening was from event judge and Googler, Anatolyl when he said:

Day 1 of Startup Weekend – #SWDub ended with 15 teams looking to build products and solutions, validate, and pitch to a panel of judges at the end of the weekend.

Follow their progress on Twitter and Vine – @SWDub and tweet us your experience using the hashtag #SWDub.








5 tips going into Startup Weekend

The June edition was my first experience with Startup Weekend Dublin and it was worth my while as you can find in my daily recaps here, here, and here.

It’s great to be back this time as a co-organizer working along side a team that allowed me develop both an idea and myself under 54 hours. So in retrospects, here are 5 tips I’d like to share with you going into the weekend to start something amazing.

 

1. Be open to new ideas

My favourite ideas pitched at the last Startup Weekend where those that were thought up during the weekend, so be open to coming up with and listening to people with new ideas. It’s definitely easier to have a new team excited about an idea they all chipped in to form than another just one person brings to the table with an attempt to get a buy-in from others.

 

2. Be friendly and get talking

Smile. Walk around. Say hello to people. The weekend is meant for more of collaboration than competition. Get talking to other people, volunteers, organizers, the photographer, and the chef. They may just be the future customers that will validate your idea or give that priceless feedback. Everything to gain and nothing to lose by being friendly.

 

3. Leave the building

I cannot stress this enough. Get out of the building and get talking to prospective customers. If possible go ahead and make a sale. One thing you want to get out of Startup Weekend is to validate your idea and business model. So spend a good time having customer interviews. Call people up for feedback  and cold call to make sale if need be.

 

4. Network with mentors

These folks are industry leaders, technical superstars, business gurus, growth hackers, and more – and they will be hanging out with you all weekend. Use them! I remember last Startup Weekend when just a 2 minute conversation with a mentor cracked open the code on our business model.

5. And most importantly, have fun

No matter what happens this weekend. Don’t forget to have fun. Work hard but play harder. Don’t go running home and missing out on after-drinks. Take a break, ride the seesaw and try the gaming console. There’s also a #swdubselfie competition so don’t miss out on that.

That’s all for now. Follow @swdub on twitter and vine and share your experience with the hashtag #swdub.








Code of Conduct

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Like the tech community as a whole, the Startup Weekend Dublin team and community is made up of a mixture of professionals and volunteers working on every aspect of the mission – including mentorship, teaching and connecting people.

Diversity is one of our huge strengths, but it can also lead to communication issues and unhappiness. To that end, we have a few ground rules that we ask people to adhere to. This code applies equally to all those participating in our events (organisers, mentors, judges, sponsors, facilitators and attendees).

This isn’t an exhaustive list of things that you can’t do. Rather, take it in the spirit in which it’s intended – a guide to make it easier to enrich all of us and the technical communities in which we participate.

This code of conduct applies to all events managed by the Startup Weekend Dublin team (pre and post Startup Weekend events included). In addition, violations of this code outside these spaces may affect a person’s ability to participate within them.

If you believe someone is violating the code of conduct, we ask that you report it by emailing dublin@startupweekend.org or directly, by engaging with the organisers.

Be friendly and patient.

Be welcoming. We strive to be a community that welcomes and supports people of all backgrounds and identities. This includes, but is not limited to members of any race, ethnicity, culture, national origin, colour, immigration status, social and economic class, educational level, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, age, size, family status, political belief, religion, and mental and physical ability.

Be considerate. Your work will be used by other people, and you in turn will depend on the work of others. Any decision you take will affect colleagues and you should take those consequences into account when making decisions. Remember that we’re a world-wide community, so you might not be communicating in someone else’s primary language.

Be respectful. Not all of us will agree all the time, but disagreement is no excuse for poor behavior and poor manners. We might all experience some frustration now and then, but we cannot allow that frustration to turn into a personal attack. It’s important to remember that a community where people feel uncomfortable or threatened is not a productive one. Members of the Startup Weekend community should be respectful when dealing with other members as well as with people outside the Startup Weekend community.

Be careful in the words that you choose. We are a community of professionals, and we conduct ourselves professionally. Be kind to others. Do not insult or put down other participants. Harassment and other exclusionary behavior aren’t acceptable. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Violent threats or language directed against another person.
  • Discriminatory jokes and language.
  • Posting sexually explicit or violent material.
  • Posting (or threatening to post) other people’s personally identifying information (“doxing”).
  • Personal insults, especially those using racist or sexist terms.
  • Unwelcome sexual attention.
  • Advocating for, or encouraging, any of the above behavior.
  • Repeated harassment of others. In general, if someone asks you to stop, then stop.

When we disagree, try to understand why. Disagreements, both social and technical, happen all the time and Startup Weekend is no exception. It is important that we resolve disagreements and differing views constructively. Remember that we’re different. The strength of SW comes from its varied community, people from a wide range of backgrounds. Different people have different perspectives on issues. Being unable to understand why someone holds a viewpoint doesn’t mean that they’re wrong. Don’t forget that it is human to err and blaming each other doesn’t get us anywhere, rather offer to help resolving issues and to help learn from mistakes.

Original text courtesy of the Speak Up! project.








Global Startup Battle #GSB2014

During the weekend prior to and following Global Entrepreneurship Week (Nov 17-23), hundreds of Startup Weekend events are hosted around the world and teams from each event can compete regionally or by theme with one another via a global video competition.

What exactly is GSB?

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  • The biggest startup competition in the universe 🙂
  • More than 200 simultaneous events and programs over 10 days
  • Where we will have over 30,000 entrepreneurs in over 100 countries rally together in the name of innovation and community each year
  • A life changing event with a legacy of high performing, long lasting teams emerging

How is this upcoming Startup Weekend different than any other?

In a 10 day period, there will be over 200 other Startup Weekends (including our event in Dublin) happening at the same time all over the world, and every team from those events will be eligible to compete in Global Startup Battle (GSB).

How is the GSB World Champ chosen?

Global Startup Battle 2014 adds an exciting new regional layer that allows you to compete first against those in your city, then those near you (in one of 6 global regions), and then globally. All along the way, judges, mentors, coaches, your city, your Organizers, and the UP team will be supporting your quest to be Champion.

Check out the official Global Startup Battle information pack here.

Round 1:
Best of the Cities
Teams who place in the top three at their local event are eligible to compete to be one of two regional champions.

Round 2:
Best of the Regions
A free for all where your team seeks votes and the love of judges. 50% of your overall score is determined by votes, the other by judges.

Round 3:
GSB Champ Crowned
2 teams from each region will emerge and square off against the rest of the Regional Champions. From the final 12 (6 regions x 2 Regional Champs), the final Champion will be named.

But it’s not only the winners who get to participate in GSB. There’s also a Track Champion competition. Details here.

Important Dates

Nov 14-16 – Global Startup Battle weekend 1
Nov 21-23 – Global Startup Battle weekend 2
Nov 26 – Voting begins (theme tracks)
Dec 3 – Voting ends
Dec 4-5 – Judging
Dec 6-7 – Scoring/Admin
Dec 10 – Winner Announcement

See you all next weekend! Oh… and there’s a hashtag battle happening as well. Would be cool if you could use #GSB2014 during the weekend! o/








Dublin Startup Weekend – Shane Grimes Part 2

This post is continued from here.

Saturday is when you really start going and there are a huge number of varied mentors and advisors about during the day to give you input and advice (and to drive large buses through some of the holes in your business plans). We went through many lean canvases, talked through and round the ideas and finally ended up full circle about midday but we learned quite a bit on the way there.

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From a technical point of view there is always an urge to just build something straight away as the time frame is so short and having a functioning MVP by the pitch time is one of the judging criteria. Depending on what the idea is your MVP might be a landing page to gather signups, it might be a data gathering program, it might be an app and it might a piece of hardware. Your MVP will depend on your team and if it’s software related you’ve got some tools to help you with setting yourself up over the weekend including a free domain and some server time.

But the end product of the weekend is going to be your pitch on stage so if what you’re doing doesn’t add value to that goal then maybe rethink if you should do it. Does what you’re building contribute to validating your idea and will it enable you to start gathering data (signups, users, products etc)? If so then go forth and build, if not, maybe check your premises.

Validation of your assumptions, goals and business plan is really the focus of the first half of Saturday; what is it we’re solving and do people want it? Identify your customers and get out and talk to them is a good step and it can help you identify if your value proposition is attractive to them.

There’s ongoing talks throughout the day from some great speakers and if you can split your team to take in those talks and build those learnings into your process as well as taking on board your mentors advice you’ll be making the most of the weekend.

The second half of Saturday is then really a hell for leather run at finalising your strategy, building out your MVP and working out how to clearly tell the story of your product in the 4 short minutes you’ll have on stage.

Oh and not to forget the tasty Google food to keep you going throughout the day and the few drinks at the end of the day to carry out your post-mortem.

Sunday is more of a minor panic mode as you work towards finishing your pitch with those presenting practising and getting feedback from mentors. Before you know it you’re in the Google auditorium and watching twenty or so pitches up on stage along with doing your own and then it’s all over, winners announced and everyone on stage for a picture and celebration.

And it seemed like only a moment ago you walked in the door on a Friday evening whereas now it’s Sunday and even though everyone can’t win the judge’s prize everyone who has taken part has had some fun and learned something new along the way.

It really is a great experience and you’ll meet plenty of interesting people and listen to some cool ideas throughout the weekend. Technical people and designers are in pretty high demand when it comes to the team forming stage as everyone wants someone to build or design their mvp but if you’re a non technical person have no fear you’ll get just as much out of the weekend.

Startup Weekend is as much about idea validation and learning how to take an idea from a random thought through to validation as much as building something. A killer pitch is really an idea with a defined and reachable market, a well thought out business case, a great looking slide deck and an MVP. How you decide to define all those is up to you.

So make the most of your time by learning from your team-mates, mentors and speakers and you’ll be making the most of what a great weekend has to offer. It’s not the destination that matters it’s the journey!








Dublin Startup Weekend – Shane Grimes Part 1

We came, we learned, we built, but mostly we had fun. This was my first Startup Weekend after finally having an open weekend at the same time and I’d hoped it was going to be as good as previous feedback had suggested. Thankfully it turned out to be even better.

Before I start rambling on about my first startup weekend it goes without saying that these events don’t organise themselves and all the organisers, mentors, speakers and sponsors deserve special mentions for putting together what was a great weekend. It’s no easy task and they’re giving up their time to create a great event and they did a splendid job indeed.

For the uninitiated the premise is simple, gather a bunch of people who are interested in starting businesses, solving the world’s problems or just building stuff together. Everyone who has an idea gets up and pitches their idea to the masses, votes on the best, splits into teams to work on those ideas over the weekend and pitches the final products on the Sunday

What’s not to like? Cloistering yourself away for a weekend with a bunch of other smart people in the confines of google HQ to see what can be achieved if you work on an idea over the space of a single weekend. As it turns out, you can achieve a hell of a lot!

I arrived Friday evening a little bit late as I was coming from the airport and there was a big crowd milling about feasting on the typical startup event sustenance of pizza and beer. If it’s your first Startup Weekend I’d advise you to arrive early and talk to as many people as you can about their idea or your idea that you’ll be pitching. If you’re pitching an idea it’s good to get some awareness out there already and you’ll start getting people interested in your idea. It’s also pretty difficult to remember so many pitches so any recognition you have at this stage is good.

So after some getting to know people and a few beers it’s time for an intro and some pitches. Pitches are short and you really need to be able to communicate your idea in as short a time as possible so go for the trusty “Here’s a problem and here’s how I’m going to solve it”. If your idea is interesting and the pitch resonates with people then hopefully you’ll get enough votes. The ideas ranged from a solution to clean up oceans to a interactive voting system for nightclub music.

I pitched a marketplace for getting jobs like cleaning and delivery done for people that didn’t have the time, one that I came up with the previous week while lamenting the need for ironing and having no clue where to find someone who might take away my need to complete this arduous task! And yes if that’s the most major of my problems in life then things aren’t too bad.

After pitches everyone votes on their favourites and as with meeting people at the start it’ll do you good to get out there and canvas for peoples votes. It’s difficult enough to be memorable amongst over 50 ideas so there’s no harm in being vocal about reminding people what it is you’re doing again.

After the best get chosen it’s all about creating the teams. Alas my job marketplace idea didn’t make the cut and I joined up with Conor Mulloy who was gathering a team aiming to be the surveymonkey of competitions. I’d talked with Conor prior to the pitches, we’d talked about some of the data aggregation that I had done previously and I’d said I would join his team if my idea didn’t go anywhere. So it’s definitely useful to talk to as many people as you can beforehand, you might find an interesting idea or person to work with.

Conor pulled together a great team with quite a few developers and business minds and off we set on the journey to revolutionise the world of competition creation, though not before a few pints were consumed prior to heading home on the Friday night.








Gender, race, nationality, knowledge, skills and background. Diversity.

It matters. Diversity does. 365 days a year we do our best to make a real contribution to the tech community and on the 21st, 22nd and 23rd of November we are going to aim to do the same. But we need your help. We have done our best when it comes to organisers, judges, speakers and mentors and at this particular time, our list is pretty balanced. We are yet to announce the final list of Startup Weekend Dublin contributors but right now we are at 50/50. And the balance won’t really shift much. If at all.

We have contacted most of the diversity focused entities that we know within tech and asked them to help us out: DigiWomen, Coding Grace, PyLadies, Girl Geek Dinners, WITS and Askaton. We spoke to some of the influencers within the larger corporations and asked them to support us internally and spread the word. And now we are asking for your help. Passive inclusion is simply not enough.

It is crucial to say that we recognise the importance of gender balance and diversity and it is this space of real diversity that we are passionately chasing.

How can you help? It’s simple really: think about Startup Weekend for a moment – is there a woman in your life, a friend, sister, partner or a colleague who would find the experience interesting, useful or fun?

All we want is to connect people who are passionate about this space. Or curious about it. Thank you.

The Startup Weekend Dublin Team