#SWDub Mentors Share Their Failure Stories

This is was not on the agenda but our ever dynamic team lead, Tracy Keogh, quickly put together a line-up of mentors to share their failure stories with #SWDub participants.

Perhaps inspired by a previous event – StartupWake (formerly known as Flounders), the #SWDub saw 5 now-successful entrepreneurs share their failure stories and here are the punchlines from each:

 

1. Actively try to succeed instead of actively trying not to fail – Alia Lamaadar, Tapir.me

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2. Obey your gut feeling and avoid easy money – Luca Boschin, Logo Grab

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3. Avoid bluffing your way into leaving the table empty handed – Jason Hassett, We Develop

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4. Don’t be fooled by results from test environments – Jason Ruane, Cirkit.io

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5. Giving away equity for quick wins is a very bad idea – Nubi Kay, Travel Bay

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That said, don’t be afraid to fail, embrace it but hate it enough to want to succeed.

Have any failure lessons you’d like to share or anything to add to this, go ahead and add it in the comment box.








Gymy, 11th Hour, Edutrade and other ideas at #SWDub

It’s lift off at the April edition of Startup Weekend Dublin and the ideas to go through the weekend are finally decided on.

Day 1 saw participants get into the #SWDub spirit with Half Baked. The winner Prison Post, a paper based social network to help inmates get ready for the world outside won.

The game is however over and it’s time to get down to business. 32 ideas were pitched and after voting these 11 have emerged as those to be worked on during the weekend:

 

1. Gymy – Airbnb for Gyms

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2. Health Assist – Health professional directory with online booking

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3. Car Safari – Keeping kids engaged while on a long journey

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4. Sober Sean – Uber-type service to get you and your car home after a night out

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5. Be My Hermes – Last mile postal service via commuters

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6. 11th Hour –  Connecting local businesses with last minute temporary/shift workers

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7. Skills Bank – Peer to peer skills swap

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8. Startup Compost – Liquidation platform and knowledge repository for failed startups

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9. Twirle – Social network connecting shoppers from the fitting room to fashion enthusiast

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10. Xiron – Virtual coaching platform for gaming

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11. Local Mi – Connecting customers to local businesses

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The teams have been formed and it’s time to get into the trenches to validate ideas, build products, get customers, and priceless feedback from our on-the-ground and virtual mentors.

Many thanks to our sponsor Domino Pizza, Google for Entrepreneurs, DCU Ryan Academy, Bank of Ireland, and The T-Shirt Company for the support so far.

Keep up with the action on twitter via hashtag – #SWDub.








After 54 hours at #SWDub, the winners are…

After 54 hours of brainstorming, building teams, talking to mentors and coaches, listening in speakers, munching Domino pizza, and gulping cans of Red Bull, 10 teams took the stage to showcase their ideas and MVPs.

SEE: 10 tips from mentors at the #SWDub

The teams sure didn’t make the jobs easy for the Judges as the ideas and pitches were nothing short of amazing, especially looking at the fact that all transpired in one weekend. Every team was a winner and the journey only begins but for now here are those that went home with accolades.

Alicia had not plan to pitch at Startup Weekend but got on the stage in the last minute to pitch her idea. Against all odds she came off the most entrepreneurial participant as selected by the judges.

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In 3rd place was BeHabit – an app that looks to help parent turn their kid’s good behaviour into positive habit. Not only was the team led by one of the yougest participants at the weekend, it gave an impressive pitch that had the judges nodding and applauding.

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Perhaps the people’s choice, Baffle came in 2nd place. The platform is one that allows users sell items but in a raffle-type setup.

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Ladies and gentlemen, the team the wears the crown as winners of the November edition of Startup Weekend Dublin is Gift Me! Not only was the team lead by a female entrepreneur, it was one of the 3 startups ideas to actually make a sale and generate revenue.

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There you have it folks. Dublin has a new champion but the road doesn’t end here. Go forth and do exploit – building connections, validating ideas, acquiring customers, and changing the world.

Missed out on any of the action? Check out the daily recaps here and here. Don’t forget to check out the Global Startup Battle, Startup Hiking‘s next day out, and the Christmas party for Startups – SUXMAS.

Many thanks to our global and local sponsors, Google for Entrepreneurs, DotCo, Amazon Web Service, Bank of Ireland, Holvi, Tom Crean’s, Dominos Pizza, Burritos & Blues, Red Bull, and FCR Media. Also grateful for our mentors, speakers, coaches, volunteers, and the ever amazing attendees.

It’s been an awesome experience for me and hope it’s been nothing less for you too.

@NubiKay signing out.
#SWDub
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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.