Diving into the Startup Ecosystem: Dublin, Ireland

Ten years ago, Ireland would not have been the first place emerging companies and entrepreneurs would look to for growing their ideas. It was never known for the innovative technologies or heavy populated investment market – but something happened over the last few years to put Ireland on the map as one of the top places to start and run a business.

Embracing Growth

Being an Irish founder and having our technology department based in Dublin, I can admit that having a presence in Ireland is a huge advantage. We have an amazing culture, very educated workforce and the ability to constantly want to learn more and be involved in the next big thing.

The startup ecosystem in Ireland is incredibly unique. We have some of the largest tech companies at our doorstep, including Google, Facebook, Easy and most recently, Slack.

Internal Support Systems

Not only is it an advantage to have such large, innovative companies in the same community, but they are also very supportive of the startup ecosystem in Ireland. They provide both workshops and meetups so they can support and network with the startup scene in Ireland.

My startup is based in Dogpatch Labs, which is a year old startup workspace that was launched by a former Techstars alum, Paddy Walsh. Paddy had a vision of building an office space for startups of all different sizes as well as providing a space where investors/interested parties could also spend time.

We actually met Ryan Kuder, the Managing Director of the Techstars program we went through, at Dogpatch, by chance!

A Growing Community

Apart from the friendly startup scene, the nightlife, and of course the food, is something that would be hard to beat. There seems to be new coffee shop opening up regularly and more affordable healthy places to eat, which is important for fueling the entrepreneurial lifestyle.

The next 24 months will continue to be an exciting place for Ireland, as we already have a dedicated startup commissioner, Niamh Bushnell, who is continuously making Ireland a better place for startups.

Ireland – Still on the Path to become a Startup Hub

Despite the growth, one of the difficulties with the Ireland startup ecosystem is the lack of venture firms. We have some great venture capital funds, but there needs to be more to sustain the growth. The Irish government has not yet made it more appealing for angel investors to be here, which is going to be one of the first steps needed for change.

Although our technology team is based in Dublin, as a founder, I believe it is important to expand to where your customers are. Ireland is slowly becoming a great place to dive into your ideas and begin to build a startup, but there is still a ways to go before Ireland can fully support a startup looking to scale globally.

Do you live in a growing startup ecosystem? Let us know in the comments!

At Techstars, we believe in the idea that no one is “too far along” for Techstars. Conversely, nothing is too early. Techstars has a program for every step of the entrepreneurial journey – from startup programs like Startup Week, Startup Digest, Startup Weekend and Startup Next to later stage offerings, including the accelerator program and venture capital for add-on funding.

Startup Weekend Limerick is Back!!!!

We are back and this time it is personal 🙂

We are launching Limericks third ever Startup Weekend, This October 2nd-October 4th at the Nexus Innovation Centre and the CSIS Building in the University of Limerick. On the back of two previous and highly successful startup weekends in Limerick. October is huge for Limerick, Innovate Limerick are running the first ever International Cluster Conference in Ireland, we have Startup Weekend and this is followed by The Startup Gathering week and Limerick Enterprise week. We had to run a Startup Weekend. 11-12 days straight of Startupppy events on in Limerick, this must be some kind of record!!!

What is a Startup Weekend?

“Startup Weekend is fundamentally disrupting the way the world is approaching entrepreneurial education” – Startup Weekend

“Startup Weekends are 54-hour events designed to provide experiential education for technical and non-technical entrepreneurs. The weekend events are centered on action, innovation, and education. Beginning with Friday night pitches and continuing through testing, business model development, and basic prototype creation, Startup Weekends culminate in Sunday night Pitch competition to a panel of potential investors and local entrepreneurs”

It is an electric experience of idea generation, validation and testing. Teams are pushed hard by each other, there are some really quality mentors there to guide and assist you… After all you are building a startup idea in just 54hrs. Minimal Viable Product is key!! Well that and getting to know Ed Fidgeon Kavanagh really early (That is a free Tip)

Here is a little Video: Startup Weekend Trailer

Who is it for?

Startup weekend is for anybody of any age who is interested in the Startup world, maybe you’re interested in testing an idea or maybe you just want to have an incredible experience while meeting really ambitious, cool and creative people. So we are calling out Product Designers, Developers, Marketers, Professionals, Students, Innovators to get involved. We have had solicitors, high ranking Multi-National staff and even professional rugby players involved before. Spread the word… That is your job (After you sign up of course 🙂

Why should you attend?

Outside of the free T-shirts, Advice, Food and Drink for the weekend, the new relationships you build and the chance to build a startup in 54hrs… it being a really cool experience with truly amazing people. It is a huge opportunity to test an idea and/or be involved in a team. The weekend is electric, the ideas are incredible and it really is a weekend you won’t forget.

A colourful crew :)
A colourful crew 🙂

What Startup Weekend can do for you?

Gene Murphy a fan of Startup Weekend. – From Red Eye Media – Click Here to hear what Gene had to say.

This is an opportunity to not only meet new people, it is a real chance to challenge yourself and push social norms!! Startup Weekend gives you a very different way of thinking and this gets this new way of thinking embedded in your thoughts process really quickly. The place will be buzzing and so will you introverts and extroverts alike. I’ve personally seen people become very different after startup weekends. I’ll put it another don’t be shocked if for a couple of weeks after – the day job just isn’t enough.

How can you help?

By assisting us in spreading the word. We want to have a huge audience on the Sunday night for the pitch competition. We’re talking 200-300 people. That is what these teams deserve and that is what we will deliver with your help. So…. Get this out to Developers/Programmers, Media/Press, SMEs, Startups, Multi-Nationals, Business People, Lecturers and Students that you know and help us run the best Startup Weekend we possibly can.

If you have any questions Tweet us on @SWLimerick or Email on limerick@startupweekend.org

An impressive social side ;)

Join the league of extraordinary women at Startup Weekend Dublin

Diversity and inclusion is something we take seriously at Startup Weekend and with every edition we try to come up with ways to inspire a good representation of different groups to come experience a world of technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship.

Perhaps these 3 women will further inspire you to get in on the action as they did as participants, organizers and leaders in a short space of time:

Masha on the far right with the rest of Gift Me team at Startup Weekend

Masha Ilina says:

I went to a Startup weekend for the first time in November 2014. I wanted to get to know Dublin’s startup community which this event is perfect for! I was surprised by the quality of mentors and the amount of help you get.

One of the most empowering things for me was to really realize that no idea is a stupid idea and to go and pitch it in front of people. It’s execution really that matters and you have a pool of talent there to work on this idea with for the next 54 hours.

I learned a big deal about group dynamics there. It wasn’t easy to lead a team you barely know! And of course it opened up lots of opportunities for me.

Masha went on to lead her team to win the 1st prize at the November 2014 edition of Startup Weekend with Gift Me – an app that allows you get the perfect gift for a friend as well as crowdfund for it. She also currently on the organizing team for July 2015 edition.


Aimee on the left (sitting) with MedXNote at the Startup Weekend

Aimee Clancy says:

My team Medxnote winning Start-up weekend 2013 was my first experience of Start-up Weekend. Before this I didn’t know a UX Designer from a Back End Developer, I had limited experience with technology and no experience in Start-ups. Start-up weekend showed me with entrepreneurial spirit, a good idea and a willingness to learn, regardless of our career history, knowledge or experience we can all connect, inspire and do great things.

After this, my interest in Start-ups gained speed. I once again was part of a winning team – Baffle – in 2014 followed by joined the Start-up weekend organising panel in 2015 and currently I’m involved with leading an innovative tech incubator StartLocal which is supported by FCR Media. I now actively encourage more women to get involved with Startup weekend as the benefits are endless – whether you’re there to learn something new, incorporate innovation into our daily lives or simply just to have a hell of a lot of fun, you won’t be disappointed!

Aimee cannot wait to host you at the July 2015 edition of Startup Weekend, and if there’s one thing I can attest to she’s the best host you can ever ask for.


L-R Tracy and Gene Murphy at April 2015 Startup Weekend
L-R Tracy and Gene Murphy at April 2015 Startup Weekend

Tracy Keogh (as told by Nubi Kay)

Tracy’s Startup Weekend story is a very interesting one. She attended in June 2014 as a participant and decided to pitch in the last minute. She went on to win the prize for best pitch as awarded by the Judges for her idea – Insurify – a system to help users better navigate the insurance marketplace. Tracy got so in tune with entrepreneurship and weeks later she decided to go all in, quit her job and co-found Deposify – a deposit management service for landlords and tenants.

By November 2014 she was back at Startup Weekend as a co-organizer and then decided to lead it April 2015. Now that’s impressive, going from participant to leading the Startup Weekend in 3 short weekends.

Tracy is nothing short of a champion in Dublin’s Startup Community, picking up awards, advocating for diversity and inclusion as well as leading initiatives like the IIA and Startup Hiking.


I hope these stories do inspire you to lean in. If these women can, then you too can and don’t forget to grab tickets for the July 2015 edition of the Startup Weekend Dublin before they run out.