Dublin: A Pint of IoT

When you think about the Irish startup scene, Fintech comes to mind. But Ireland is much more than payments and blockchain, in fact, IoT is starting to gain more ground. Home to Intel, Google, Accenture’s AI Lab, several research institutions and universities as well as having a “reasonable” cost of living (as compared to SF, NYC, and London that is), Dublin is well suited to become a growing IoT hub.

I’m here speaking at the Dublin Tech Summit, a 2-day conference meant to fill the gap that Web Summit left when they departed for sunnier weather. IoT is one of the key themes of the conference with 20+ talks and panels geared towards the topic.

During my time in Dublin, I met with a dozen of IoT startups – at the conference as well as at Dog Patch Labs – and here are a few key themes that emerged:

  • Connectivity is still a thing. SiteSpy, a smart sensor powered by renewable energy that allows users to measure the exact location and orientation of objects – super useful for mobile network operators who need to know the exact positioning of their antennae.
  • IoT platforms are going strong too. Wia is a cloud platform that enables developers to build IoT apps, and Cesanta uses software libraries and embedded solutions to allow seamless communication between apps, devices, and machines.
  • Ag-tech is also big, which makes sense given Ireland’s landscape. Haysaver is a device that analyzes agricultural matter and looks at the nutritional value of feed as well as hay bale combustion, a problem that results in the death of livestock and destruction of food.       
Despite the robot you see here, I didn’t see any robotics companies at the summit. 🙁


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Info Session: Barclays Accelerator (Dublin)

Who: Startups interested in applying for the Barclays Accelerator

What: Info Session 

When: September 12

Where: Dean Hotel – 33 Harcourt St, Dublin, Ireland

Details: Click to register here.

We are looking for the next generation of game changing FinTech startups to take their businesses to the next level. Selected companies will have 3 months of world class mentorship from two exceptional networks, the chance to pursue and fast-track partnerships within Barclays, and up to $120k in funding from Techstars.

For the second time, we will be holding a recruitment event in Dublin! Techstars and Barclays Executives will be there to answer your questions and tell you more about the programme.

If you are a startup working in machine learning, lending, digital banking solutions, trading, cyber security, data analytics, payments, cryptocurrency, insurance, wealth management and beyond – join us, and find out more. We cannot wait to meet some incredible Irish companies.

Get more info on the Barclays Techstars Accelerator at http://barclaysaccelerator.com/ and http://techstarsfintech.tumblr.com/

Office Hours: Barclays Accelerator (Dublin)

Who: Startups interested in applying for the Barclays Accelerator

What: Office Hours

When: September 12

Where: Dublin, Ireland

Details: Click here to register for the event.

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.

54 Hours Later, & The Winners Are… #SWDub

Like everything that comes to an end, it’s time for the final curtain to fall at #SWDub.

No doubt the judges had their jobs cut out for them, but after all is said and done, here are the winners at Startup Weekend Dublin – Summer 2016 edition.

An honourable mention was given to PacePal


… And the winner of the 2016 Summer edition of Startup Weekend Dublin is:

HomeGrow Hero


The winning team gets to walk away with All-Access VIP tickets to UPRISE Startup Festival taking place in Dublin in October 2016. 

Congratulations to all the teams and participants this weekend. Many thanks to all who made this happen – volunteers, organizers, mentors, judges, sponsors, facilitator, host and guests.

See you soon!

Signing Out.

6 Years Strong, 54 Hours Long – Time for Another #SWDub

Dublin is set to host another edition of Startup Weekend and it is going to be EPIC!

Having gone from being a participant 3 years ago to organizing and mentoring at Startup Weekend Dublin, I have had no regrets getting involved in the 54-hour long events that see creatives, developers and business heads come together to birth ideas, build products, solve problems, make connections and even make money in just one weekend.

Although I came on the scene only in November of 2013, Startup Weekend Dublin has been going strong for 6 years now, and so I can only imagine the amount of impact it has had on the local ecosystem. While some participants have gone ahead to build great companies, others have stuck around to help build people into entrepreneurs.

And so, the next 54 hours will see more than 80 participants converge to share ideas, form teams, build products, work with mentors, validate markets, pivot a lot, develop partnerships, make sales and of course pitch to rock-star league of judges on the big stage for amazing prizes.

Many thanks to our sponsors including Bank of Ireland, Google, MTT, The T-Shirt Company, Domino’s Pizza, for helping to make this happen.

Do keep up with live updates from our twitter handle – @SWDub and the hashtag #SWDub.


Let’s do this!

Small but Mighty: A Look at Dublin’s Startup Ecosystem and How to Get Involved

Dublin, Ireland is considered the land of hospitality – spend a few days with the locals and you’ll feel as though you’re a part of the community. The welcoming nature of the environment makes Dublin a great place to get connected quickly — and if you’re a local startup, it’s a great place to take root and find the resources you need.  Here are just a few more of Dublin’s ecosystem strengths:

  • In terms of total numbers of startups, Dublin boasts roughly the same number as Amsterdam (around 2,250), a city with more than three times the population.
  • Dublin-based started received $300M in funding in 2015.
  • The smaller size of the region makes Dublin a great place to test and build a young company.

If you’re interested in connecting with or supporting the Dublin startup community, here are three events you don’t want to miss next month:

Startup Dublin’s Friends + Startups Brekkie | June 3, 2016

If you’re curious about Dublin’s startup scene and not sure how you’d like to get involved yet, start small and get connected. On June 3 (and every first Friday of the month), the Office of the Dublin Commissioner for Startups – aka Startup Dublin – hosts an informal “brekkie” for Dublin’s tech community. According to the Startup Dublin site, “dozens of scones and cups of coffee later a speaker takes the floor for 15-20 minutes to share their story and answer questions.” The event is free and the perfect low-risk opportunity for anyone wanting to learn more about Dublin’s startup community. Startup Dublin is an independent, not for profit established in 2014 in an effort to support innovative companies that are born, bred, or adopted in Dublin. Learn more here.




Startup Angels’ AngelSummit EU | June 8-9, 2016

Curious about how you can invest your time, talent, and funds into your local community? Aspiring or experienced investors or curious community leaders are encouraged to attend the upcoming AngelSumit EU — a gathering of tech leaders from across Europe to discuss and develop best practices in angel investing. Guest speakers at this year’s EU Summit include Dave McClure of 500 startups, Niamh Bushnell of Startup Dublin, Anne Ravanova of Global Invest Her, Jason Ball of Qualcomm Ventures, and more. “Angel Summits and investor workshops are key components to ensuring that the relationships and outcomes between startups and angels are successful,” says Marc Nager of Techstars. “If we can get a predictable, repeatable model to people that helps open their eyes to the possibilities of high quality angel investing, well, that unlocks unimaginable opportunities.” Learn more and register here.




Startup Weekend Dublin | June 10-12, 2016

If you’ve attended a Startup Weekend before, you know that they’re a great way to get plugged into your local startup community. This June’s Dublin Startup Weekend features guest speakers from the startup scene including Russell Banks (CEO, Investor Sheet), Jade O’Connor (Founder, HiBeam.co), and David Bowles of Delta Partners VC as well as a great line up of experienced judges. Check out this video from a previous Startup Weekend Dublin and sign up for the event here.





5 stakeholders to consider when building an EdTech startup

Dublin’s first ever EdTech edition of Startup Weekend kicks offs on Friday. I thought it’d be cool to list out a few stakeholders to consider when identifying problems and building solutions over the 54 hour period.

Pupils and Student – This is usually the focus when looking at problems and solution in Education and that is not a bad thing as these are the most important stakeholders. So get to know more about pain points in the learning process. Get talking to students to find out more.

Teachers – These are also important stakeholders as they play an essential role in the education process. They do face problems in administering knowledge especially in a world where books just don’t cut it any more. You do want to talk to them too and see how to best build solutions to their problems.

Parents – Education and learning is not restricted to the four walls of the classroom. Parents are quite important when it comes to educating the child. They also determine the amount of resource that goes into a child’s education – tuition, books, games, apps, etc. So it’s important to have them on board when developing solutions as they are your most important customers.

Researchers – These stakeholders are often involved in determining the new trends, and technologies to be adapted when it comes to education. They also study current trends such as student performance, and do have plenty of data that can help in coming up with solutions. There are many publications online from researchers you don’t want to miss out on.

Government – This the last but not least stakeholder you want to get involved when developing an EdTech idea, solution, or startups. They provide funding and also make policies, so it is important to get them on board. The government also have pain points from an administrative point of view, and these are worth exploring for solutions.


Look forward to seeing you on Friday at the Bank of Ireland, Grand Canal Square. Last few tickets are still available here.

Young bloods win big at #SWDub

54 hours later and it’s all over.

We’ve had ideas pitched, teams formed, brain dumped, customers developed, validations made, leads generated, sales made, revenue raised, mentorship recieved, and food consumed.



No doubt the judges had their jobs cut out for them but after all said and done here are the winners at Startup Weekend Dublin – July 2015 edition.

There was special mention to team FitMyBits for their solution to helping women get the right fit for bras. There were the only team to have made sales over the weekend to the tune of Euro 125.00 from 5 customers.




In 3rd place – Comrade, an app to help find friends in a new city




Runner up, PhotoCAD – a simple app helps you convert images taken with your smartphone camera into CAD files




And the winners of the July 2015 edition of Startup Weekend Dublin is….Book-E, a digital platform that enables users to bet on e-sports.



Perhaps more impressive is that the team was made up of really young members – 16 & 17 year old with the pitch presented by the former. The team won a trip to Berlin for a large hackathon courtesy of @WelcomeStartup – DCU Ryan Academy.


Congratulations to all the teams and it was really a close one and many thanks to all who made this happen – volunteers, organizer, mentors, judges, sponsors, facilitator, host, and guests.

Till next time.

Signing Out.

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.