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.


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.


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.

FriendShip It!! wins the first Galway Startup Weekend with their paired purchasing service


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.


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!

Galway Startup Weekend Teams and Winners

Startup Weekend Galway: An Overwhelming Success

Galway Startup Weekend 3.png

This weekend we issued a challenge to the participants of Galway Startup Weekend. Now that the event is complete, we can enthusiastically declare that the challenge was met. It was a great event with great teams and great results. This was the first time Startup Weekend took place in Galway and it set the record for the highest first-time attendance count. It was so successful there’s already a second one scheduled for March.


Here’s a rundown of the teams that participated:

Our first place winner on the night was FriendShip

FriendShip makes it easy to share the shipping fees when you buy online.  Partner with your friends to place your order and share the fees. (Gofran Shukair and Emir Muñoz).

Second place went to What Paws Around

what paws around updated logo

What Paws Around is an online platform that allows dog owners to find dog related services close to their location (boarding, trainers, groomers, sitters) and access to a wide variety of educational information in one click. Every service is peer reviewed, to help customers choose what is best for their furry friends. Dog related services have the opportunity to advertise their businesses and to connect with a new customer base. (Caterina Lodo, Anthea Middleton, Gavin Donohue and Gianmassimo Vigazzola).

Third was Arrow

Arrow logo.png

Arrow is an In-Airport application that guides users to their boarding gates, taking the hassle out of airport travel.  It adds value by providing all relevant information about the specific airport and the users trip. ( Dylan Commons, Gavin Ward, Patricia Organ, Patrick Breslin and Michael O Meara)

Our community favourite on the night was Hours

Hours Logo-200x200.png

Hours – Never miss a shift. Hours is a schedule management solution for shift-based workplaces.  Hours replace existing techniques with a simple, intuitive system that keeps everybody on the same page.  Employees always have access to their schedule and are instantly notified via native mobile apps if there are changes. (Mike Rockall, Fionn Delahunty, David Newell and David Kennedy)

As well as our four winners on the night, we enjoyed presentations from the following teams:




The only Irish Bitcoin Exchange offering instant transfers.


Coinise wants to revolutionise the bitcoin industry in Ireland. We are dedicated to providing a faster and more secure service for the bitcoin enthusiasts in Ireland.



eHoreca is a one stop shop internal communications solution for the hotel industry. eHoreca provides a proprietary back-end system and the communications platform for the guest, we are helping our customers, the hospitality industry, to evolve. In doing this we are helping hotels to learn more about their guests (the users) preferences and patterns and thus increasing profit margin per room, per hotel.

Escape Goats

Escape Goats

Escape Goats is a mobile app that matches users to activities based on their details, preferences and location.

Escape Goats is also a simple booking management platform for providers that they can navigate from their smartphones

Groceries Done

groceries done logo.png

Groceries Done takes the hassle out of getting the best value for your shopping.

Online Groceries Shopping Assistant by comparing groceries prices and helping customers find the cheapest price. In addition for more services to provide : weekly shopping list email with updated prices, price alert, latest offers.

Job Hack


Job Hack analyses users CVs, rating matches for job applications.

Job Hack is an online platform that enables students to upload their cv and compare it to a particular job specification. They get a match rating to tell them whether their CV would be looked at and if they would proceed to interview round. From there we will generate a report on how best to enhance the CV, including vital information on key competencies.​



Overvue… where devices wake up…

The aim is to provide a unified cloud-based device management experience for the current and future internet connected devices. We focus on accessibility and usability for the home market and state of the art data analytics and metrics for the business users we serve both convenience and powerful cost savings in single package.


renest logo 1

ReNest, comfort and ease relocating with work.

ReNest is an info package provider for people relocating for work. It provides them with all the insight they’ll need to have a smooth start in their company and in their new life.


Suspended Karma

Suspended Karma is a social enterprise spreading the suspended coffee concept and trying to bring the best in people.

Our online platform helps users locate where items are suspended.  We think this will increase footfall and revenue in the cafes and restaurants participating in addition to helping out people in need.

If you haven’t yet attended a StartupWeekend hopefully this inspires you to give it a try. You won’t regret it!


Code of Conduct


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?

  • 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/

Accommodation Options for Galway Startup Weekend

We’ve heard that some of our attendees will be travelling to Galway Startup weekend, and to make things a little easier, we’ve been in touch with a few of Galway’s hotels to see what’s available:

  • The Ardilaun in Taylor’s Hill have availability on both the 14th and the 15th of November, with single room B&B for €80 per night, and double/twin for €110 – please contact us to avail of this offer.
  • The Galway Bay Hotel in Salthill have availability on the 14th, with B&B for €79 single and €99 double/twin when “Google Startup Weekend” is mentioned.
  • The Harbour Hotel in Galway City have B&B on Friday for €89/€99 (single/twin) and Saturday for €139/€149.
  • The Meyrick on Eyre Square have limited availability on the 14th for €115 single B&B or €135 double/twin.

If these options don’t meet your needs, our lovely sponsor The Radisson Blu Hotel and Spa, located in the city centre may suit.

For anyone looking at budget options, Hostelworld has a number of options within easy distance of NUIG, our venue for the weekend. AirBnB may also be an option for some, with lots of rooms available in great locations near the university.

We will update this post as needed with further accommodation information, but in the meantime please get in touch if you have any queries or want help finding a place for the weekend.

Email: galway@startupweekend.org

Twitter: @GalStartWeekend

Facebook: galstartweekend

StartupWeekend hits Limerick for the first time…

Startup Weekend hits Limerick November 21st to 23rd. It will be epic!

So it has finally arrived in Limerick. Famous across the world…. StartupWeekend is here this November. We could not be happier. One of only 4 cities participating in Ireland. Yes Limerick is one of them!! We are very proud and delighted to be able to be part of this “Global Startup Battle”. Limericks startup scene is picking up major traction over the last 18 Months… More young people are involved learning from experienced entrepreneurs, more vibrant events are taking place and this is an incredible opportunity for anyone out there interested in the startup world.


Anyone interested in Startups is the short answer!!

If you have an interesting idea or concept, If you have a solution or a vision, If you’re an innovator… will I keep going? 🙂 Maybe you want to learn the key aspects of building a startup. You may just want to assist on a team, validate your idea, mentor some of Limericks upcoming stars or just hang around with innovative like minded people – THIS IS FOR YOU!!! I REPEAT – THIS IS FOR YOU!! This is for all of us really. Entrepreneurs, Students, Lecturers, Developers and Designers alike. This is an amazing opportunity to grow, to learn and to build together.

Having an event like this in Limerick is key to the growth of our local startup scene, essential for local incubation centres and will go along way to stopping brain drain of some of our finest talent- This is where startup funnels are created, relationships are built and partnerships formed. We wanted to participate in bringing the first Startup weekend to Limerick because we appreciate the huge role this event can play both locally and nationally for our Startup landscape. This is just the beginning!!! Just think… I was there at the beginning of Startup Weekend in Limerick. Something I know will live with me forever.

We want attendees first and foremost to get a understanding of what #startuplife and building a startup is all about. To engage with people who are on the same journey with the same ambition and drive. We know your apprehensions and understand your worry… We have been there and we are still alive to share the tale :). We want to help you to help yourself. That is simply it.

Join us November 21st to 23rd for an all action weekend of Startup madness, creativity and fun. This is your opportunity. From all the StartupWeekend Limerick organisers we can’t wait to meet you, hear your ideas and assist in anyway we can. #SWLimerick

Why you (yes, you!) should come to Galway Startup Weekend

So, Startup Weekend is rapidly approaching, and you’re on the fence about coming. Perhaps you’re unsure about walking in on Friday, not knowing anyone. Maybe it’s the worry that you don’t have a ground-breaking idea to pitch. Or possibly it’s the opposite – you’re scared you’ll lose your original idea to the crowd.

Keep reading and see if we can assuage your fears!

Continue reading “Why you (yes, you!) should come to Galway Startup Weekend”

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.


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!