Our community leaders are our force around the world. Get to know Daniel Kyne, who leads our efforts in Dublin, Ireland.
1. When did you get involved with Startup Weekend?
The first Startup Weekend I attended was in Cork in March 2014. I was only 16 years old, and with only 10 days to go until the event (which was on the other side of the country) I saw a Facebook post offering 20% off tickets and I convinced my parents to cover the cost of a train ticket and a 2 day hotel room. I didn’t know anybody going and managed to make it over an hour early even though I got lost twice on the way! I pitched an idea, begged enough people for votes and ended up with the largest team of the event. The first-timer nerves were pretty bad on Sunday, but I represented my team and we won the award for Best Pitch! There was no turning back after that, I had caught the SW bug and preceded to attend, pitch and scoop some accolades at SWs all over Ireland over the coming few years.
2. What do you do when you’re not wearing your Community Leader hat?
I always like to wear multiple hats at once! I’m currently in my second of four years at Dublin City University, where I am studying Marketing, Innovation & Technology. I’m Team Leader at Enactus DCU, which brings students together to create social enterprise startups that empower people through entrepreneurial action. As Team Leader at Enactus, I oversee 10 projects being run by over 60 students, which work to improve the lives of asylum seekers, ex-prisoners, homeless people and more. As a student, something has to put pints on the table at the end of the day – the full time job is with Dublin Tech Summit, Ireland’s largest technology conference, where I manage the Speaker and Startup departments of the event. Also, myself and the Startup Digest Dublin curators are currently putting together an ambassador programme to help spread the word about how amazing Startup Digest is as a community resource!
3. Tell us about your plans and dreams for your community in 2018.
As someone who got involved in Startup Weekend when I was 16 years old and is still very much involved today at 20 years of age, my passion lies particularly in the Youth and Student verticals. Having started the Student Startup Weekend Dublin event series back in 2015 which has grown every year since to the point where we had 220 students in Dublin apply to take part last November, my goal is to have a Student MegaSW in Dublin this year and to spread Student Startup Weekends to more cities across Ireland in 2018 to get even more young people involved in our SW community!
Following the financial crisis of 2007–08, the Spanish economy’s plunged into recession, entering a cycle of negative macroeconomic performance. This impacted the way that entrepreneurship was seen in cities around the country. Specially those that were always very traditional. I got a chance to talk to Jaime Aranda Serralbo about the growth of Sevilla’s entrepreneurial community and his path as Community Leader.
Born in Cordoba, but now living in Sevilla since several years ago, Jaime has been a catalyst within the startup movement in Sevilla. Along with another participant of Startup Weekend Cordoba in late December of 2012, he was the first to bring Startup Weekend to Sevilla on May of 2013. This move, which came after Jaime’s successful opening of the biggest co-working space in the city – WorkINCompany – as well as having already organised around 120 events, was the starting point of the community, which as of today has held the biggest Startup Weekend event in the country – and one of the biggest in Europe.
From his recollection of data, Jaime says there are 8 startups and around 160 jobs that have been created thanks to the thriving community. Now, 3 years after the movement began, the community leaders of Sevilla, have created an non-profit to support entrepreneurship and investment in the city called Sevilla UP; with Jaime as President. This organization aims to be an open forum of collaboration, innovation and ideation.
The first Startup Weekend, the one back in May 2013, had around 45 participants. They went up to host around 160 participants, during 2014’s Global Startup Battle. At that point, Techstars EMEA Director, José Iglesias, suggested that they should start doing verticalized events–focused events in a specific theme/industry. In 2015, during Global Startup Battle, they ran their first thematic Startup Weekend, focused on Food and gastronomy–they had around 50 participants. This year, they will run in March the 3rd edition of that theme, in June their 2nd focused in Aerospace and in July their first focused on Education.
Jaime, who is a serial entrepreneur, thinks after the crisis and with the city’s entrepreneurial ecosystem growing, in 2017, startups will become more mature, and will be able to create professionals within their teams, provide valuable experiences for their employees and at the same time provide value to both the society and the Spanish markets. We look forward to following their progress!