Ireland's Student Startup Weekend

    Friday, April 10 - 12, 2015

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Speakers
  4. Judges
  5. Coaches and Mentors
  6. Sponsors
  7. Organizing Team
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Ireland's Student Startup Weekend

Friday, April 10 - 12, 2015

Friday, April 10 - 12, 2015
Event starts at 6:30 pm

Western Gateway Building WGB

Cork, Munster

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Transform your ideas into action in 54 hours

Here’s your opportunity to transform your ideas into action in 54 hours. Find the right people with complementary skills & the passion to build a product in one weekend. Design for learning, conduct user tests, receive coaching from experienced designers & industry professionals and win prizes that will help take your idea to the next level!

Friday night: 60-second pitches that result in the formation of small teams around the best, most viable concepts, then all attendees vote. We hope you’ll pitch, but definitely not required! 

Saturday morning: Workshops!  We'll have mini-bootcamps led by local experts on such topics as lean start-up methodologies, building effective launch pages, and more -- all lessons you will be able to leverage over the weekend.

Saturday and Sunday: Work days! Teams focus on user research, customer development, validating their ideas and building prototypes with the help of experienced coaches from the entrepreneurial world. You’re welcome to stay and work as long as the venue will allow!

Sunday evening: Teams demo their products and receive valuable feedback from a panel of expert judges. Winning teams take home a grab bag of great prizes to help launch their company, and may be eligible to advance & compete in Startup Weekend's Global Startup Battle!

Here are some of the things you get from attending:
  • Delicious & healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner for the whole weekend
  • A free .co domain name
  • Awesome coaching by industry leaders
  • A network of 100+ new business, developer, designer & entrepreneur friends who are also excited about changing the world
We hope you will join us!
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Travelling from outside of Cork? Click here for some useful information regarding hotels and transport:

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Friday April 10th

6:30 pm
Arrive at the venue and get checked in

7:00 pm
Dinner & Networking
Eat food, share ideas, practice pitches, get to know fellow participants

7:20 pm
Welcome & Speakers
Review agenda for the weekend and introduce speakers, coaches, and community leaders

7:30 pm
Pitches Start
Optionally line up to give your pitch

9:00 pm
Attendees vote for the top pitches

9:15 pm
Form Teams
Teams start forming and discussing ideas

10:00 pm
Begin Work
Start to formalize teams and take an inventory of skills. Be honest, and direct about what resources and skills are needed for the weekend. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow

Saturday April 11th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

9:30 am
Begin Work
Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend

12:00 pm

1:00 pm
After-lunch check-in, status reports, call for help

2:00 pm
Coach Meetings
Coaches help teams one-on-one. They are here to help!

6:30 pm

7:30 pm
After-dinner check-in, status reports, call for help

10:00 pm
Finished for the day. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow

Sunday April 12th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

10:00 am
Coaches arrive. Final opportunity to ask questions

12:00 pm

12:30 pm
Coach Meetings
Coaches arrive… ASK QUESTIONS

3:00 pm
Presentation Prep & Tech Check
Final hours of worktime should be focused on perfecting your presentation, tech-check for final presentations also takes place

4:00 pm

5:00 pm
Final Presentations

7:30 pm
Judging & Awards

8:30 pm

9:00 pm
Go Home!


Fraser Heaslip
Director @ TouchDown Partners

Fraser Heaslip has invaluable experience having worked with strongly recognized brands such as Vodafone, Meteor, and Otterbox.

He specialises in Sales, and has demonstrated his entrepreneurial flair through his organization of events such as the monthly gather 'Mobile Monday', having founded a sales consultancy 'Flex Strategic', as well as founding his current adventure 'Touchdown Partners' who's aim is to help scale EMEA consumer electronic brands.

Event Judges

Donal Cahalane
Full stack marketeer, growth junkie @teamwork @Trustev, Founder @builtincork

DC is one of the leaders of the Cork Startup community. Founder of built in Cork and previously CMO at and also Trustev DC brings a wealth of experience to an tech startup.

He has mentored and advised a vast number of new startup businesses and he has great experience in marketing and event management.

Eamon Curtin
Director - IGNITE Graduate Business Innovation Programme

Eamon is Director of IGNITE, the international award winning start-up programme at University College Cork, where he has supported over 100 recent graduates to start new businesses. He has extensive prior experience as mentor, coach, consultant and trainer working with owner managed businesses and SMEs to start and scale businesses. Eamon is particularly interested in developing innovative business models. He holds a BEng (Electronics) from University of Limerick and an MBA from University College Cork.

Christine O'Keeffe
Director Schedule and Dispatch at EMC

Christine is a Senior Customer Service Professional with extensive experience working cross functionally.

Christine is skilled in formulating and driving strategies for business development and performance improvement. She is a proactive and enthusiastic person who is results-driven and has broad customer service experience

Coaches and Mentors

Kieran Walsh
Co-Founder @ WhatSalon

Kieran has founded and exited businesses in a variety of fields - from e-commerce to fitness studios. He is passionate about startup life and is keen to share his experiences as well as to learn from others.
Having co-founded National Beauty Distribution in 2010, he has helped grow it into the leading PR, marketing a distribution company for emerging brands in the beauty industry in Ireland. Through the experience derived in the industry, he then co-founded WhatSalon - a mobile application that allows you to browse and book appointments in salons local to you. They have just closed their Series A and are now launching in London.

Sarah Dineen
Co-Founder and MD @ Uniwink

Sarah Dineen is co-founder and managing director of UniWink, a new third level content market place that allows peer learning to flourish. Since launch in April 2014, they have received seed investment as Enterprise Ireland CSF Clients, expanding nationally and set to enter the secondary level market early next year. She was a participant on UCC Ignite Business Start Up Programme (2013/4) and NDRC Female Founders Programme (2014). She was awarded Cork City’s Best start up and best young entrepreneur and awarded a €20,000 investment.
Sarah has academic and commercial experience in sales and marketing and loves all things business.   She was previously a UCC Lecturer’s Assistant and Exam Corrector for the Department of Management & Marketing, specialising in Market Research and Consumer Behaviour.

Frank Hannigan
Managing Partner @ Pathfinder, Ireland

Frank Hannigan has a 25 year track record of building and scaling successful businesses in the ICT sector. Having moved from a successful career in Traditional Media over a dozen years ago, he has played key leadership roles within Ireland On-Line, Digiserve, EBRD, WeddingsOnline, Razor, and most recently

Frank is a Business Graduate of Trinity College Dublin.

Extensive international experience in business development, evaluation, consultancy and training, in areas such as local economic development, entrepreneurship and venture creation working in USA, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, UK, Taiwan, Albania, Mongolia, China, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, Serbia and Montenegro.

Jayne Ronayne
CEO, Talivest

Jayne Ronayne is CEO of Talivest, which provides workplace tools to help organisations retain their employees. Talivest is a cloud-based engagement and insights solution used by customers like Cpl, GVC and Pernod Ricard. The company has offices in Dublin and Lisbon and is backed by leading global investors including Nicolas Bergurren and Liam Casey among others. Jayne has been featured as one of Ireland's Top 30 under 30 two years in a row and was previously an ambassador for the Sandbox Dublin community hub. This is Jayne's second start-up company which originally started in the middle of University after working for a summer in the Entrepreneur of the Year programme in EY Ireland. Jayne is an active member in the start-up community globally and is on the board for Cork's newest office hub 'Republic of Work'.

Tommy Dunton
Sales Director at Konnectagain

Tommy Dunton is the Sales Director of one of Ireland's leading startups, 'KonnectAgain', the aim of which is to revolutionize the way Alumni relations interact with their school / college.

Tommy led from the front as Auditor at the UCC Entrepreneurial & Social Society, a position which he held for two years.

He is one of the Founders of the Irish Student Startup Weekend, as well as UCC Coderdojo.

Ross O'Dwyer
Co-Founder @ Pundit Arena

Ross Is an Entrepreneur & Innovation Consultant. He is a UCC graduate and previously took part in the Ignite graduate programme. 

Ross is Co founder of Pundit Arena, Irelands leading sports media website. Pundit Arena is powered by articulate fans, aspiring and established journalists. The ‘pundits’ write about topics and sports of interest to them and publish their content through the Pundit Arena web platform.

Richard Barrett
Co-Founder @ Pundit Arena

Richard Barrett Is a graduate of UCC and is Co-Founder of Pundit Arena. ‘Pundit Arena empowers aspiring journalists and articulate sports fans to write about the sports they love’

Richard and Ross won the Bank of Ireland IGNITE Business of the Year award in 2014 and are currently completing their Seed round funding for Pundit arena which now has 200+ writers working for the website.

Ernest Cantillon
Director at Kinsale Spirit Co

Ernest Cantillon is the director at some of corks favorite bars & restaurants such as Electric and Sober Lane and he was previously the President of the Cork Business Association.

His outstanding marketing & social media campaigns have gotten himself and his business noticed nationwide and abroad everywhere from the Irish examiner to the CNBC and ABC news in the US. He was also involved in bringing the first Startup Weekend to Cork back in 2013!

Louise Hodgson
Executive Director at The Undergraduate Awards

Louise Hodgson is Executive Director of The Undergraduate Awards (UA), the only pan-discipline academic awards programme operating internationally.

UA identifies and empowers the world's top students across the sciences, business, humanities and creative arts, and is rapidly expanding around the world having been founded in Ireland in 2008. In 2013, Louise edited a best-selling book, New Thinking, New Ireland, featuring contributions from young Irish high-achievers. She is also the founder of #Fifty50, an initiative that champions equal gender balance for conference speakers in Ireland.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Ireland's Student Startup Weekend team is grateful for the support of local community partners without whom this event would not be possible.
Learn how to become a sponsor here.



Organizing Team

Techstars Startup Weekend Cork is 100% led by volunteer community leaders.
Learn how to get involved here

  • Barry
  • Johnny
  • David
  • Robbie


Will Martin
Founder, LiveDuel

Will loves all things startups. He founded LiveDuel after graduating from a masters in Global Entrepreneurship and Management, where he studied in three continents. LiveDuel is a fan activation platform for sports. LiveDuel work with fantasy sports companies, sports teams and leagues as well as sports media companies to engage with their users and help them understand their fans.

With an undergraduate degree in Economics and Computer Science he loves to solve problems on the business side as well as the technology side. 

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