Startup Weekend West (Ire): Future of Towns

    Friday, April 27 - 29, 2018

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Speakers
  4. Judges
  5. Coaches and Mentors
  6. Organizing Team
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Startup Weekend West (Ire): Future of Towns

Friday, April 27 - 29, 2018

Friday, April 27 - 29, 2018
Event starts at 1:00 am

Pure Magic
Achill Island
Galway, Ireland

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Your idea in 54 hours

Do you have an idea you'd like to pursue or a problem you'd like to solve but don't know where to start or who to start with?

Techstars Startup Weekend is the place to look for a team, create a prototype of your idea, validate your business idea, and receive feedback from experienced entrepreneurs, all in one weekend.

What do you need to bring?

Lots of energy! You'll pitch your own idea or listen to others, then vote on the most interesting ideas and form teams with diverse skill sets. You can come with friends, but you’ll get the full experience if you participate in separate teams. Remember, it’s all about the team.

Your idea should be something you have not previously worked on. The idea you pitch and the problem you set out to solve can span social, educational, financial, environmental, or other issues. Over the course of the weekend you'll be challenged to create a prototype of your MVP, or minimum viable product, that fits the needs of your target customer. You'll get feedback, iterate, and likely pivot your approach entirely! Important: You cannot have worked previously on your idea.

Techstars Startup Weekend is a full weekend long experience. Your ticket includes:
  • 7 full (and delicious) meals over the course of the weekend
  • Benefits and discounts from our global partners
  • One-on-one time with amazing mentors
  • A new network of developers, designers, and entrepreneurs eager, like you, to change the world.
  • All the internet and coffee you can consume.

Watch the video below to see what you can expect, and if you’re feeling inspired click on the “Buy Ticket” button now!

Still have questions, feel free to reach us at “”.

Don’t wait any longer and join the Techstars Startup Weekend movement!

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Friday April 27th

1:00 am

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 28th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

10:00 am
Angela Duffy, NDRC

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 29th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

12:00 pm
Macnas Worksop
Presentation skills anyone?

1:00 pm

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
Final Pitches

5:30 pm
Judging and Awards

6:00 pm
Wrap-Up and finger food


Simon Wall
Town Architect, Westport Town Council

Siobhán Ní Chofaigh
Cofounder at Mint Tek Circuits

Siobhán is co-founder and CEO of Mint Tek Circuits. Mint Tek make it easier for hardware developers to build those often neglected but important prototypes.
She's been in electronics and hardware  for a long time and wants to use this experience to help developers build a better mousetrap. 
She's also the founder of Hardie Kids a workshop to teach kids about hardware design.
She's a Gaeilgeoir and keen to help build a network of startups outside of Dublin. 

Noel Toolan

After more than 30 years at it... marketing & brand guru Noel has an acknowledged international expertise in strategic marketing, brand
development corporate transformation and ‘marketing for non-marketers’. NALOOT, Noel’s change marketing consultancy, works
worldwide across multiple sectors - including CPG, Food Services, Luxury, Tourism, Catering, Software, Healthcare, Financial Services & Telecoms - making marketing change happen with the help of specialised experts. From global brands e.g Baileys, South Africa, Pampers & Ireland to breakthrough tech brands at various levels of scale e.g. IONA, CarTrawler, PowerKiss (Finland) B.Smark & Love&Robots ..its not easy
to convince Noel that "its very different here..."

Event Judges

David Minton
Director, NWRA

Joann Hosey
‎Director Connaught & Ulster at Bank of Ireland

Coaches and Mentors

Noeline Kavanagh
Director at Macnas

Noeline is currently artistic director and CEO of Macnas. Her outdoor spectacle
events as director/designer with Macnas include SXSW Festival USA, Hull City
of Culture, Fringe Festival Dublin, Bram Stoker Festival IRL, Macnas Halloween
event Galway, Woodford Folf Festival & Womad Festival Australia, Chaoyang
Festival Bejing China, Wilderness Festival UK, Bestival and the Roundhouse
London. Noeline has collaborated with Welfare State International, Liverpool
Lantern Company, Rough Magic Theatre Company, The Abbey, Els Comediants,
Fishamble Theatre, Fatima Mansions, South Bank London Festival, BBC,
Newbury Corn Exchange and Liverpool Hope Street.

Oliver Daniels
CEO, Insight Centre for Data Analytics

Oliver Daniels is the CEO of the Insight Centre for Data Analytics, a joint initiative between the National University of Ireland Galway, University College Cork, Dublin City University and University College Dublin. Insight was established in 2013 by Science Foundation Ireland with funding of €75M. Prior to his recent appointment, Oliver served as R&D Leader of Research & Development for Contact Center Applications at Avaya, R&D Leader for Nortel, and has also served as CEO of Accendo Technologies, an Irish startup. He is credited as a co-inventor in several contact centre patent applications, and holds a BComm from NUI Galway.

Helena Deane
Expert and Evaluator Horizon 2020 at European Commission

Specialties: International market research and analysis, international market entry, Irish business start-ups, feasibility studies, business planning, business strategy and business development, funding applications, tendering process, European projects, Horizon 2020.

Charles Dowd
CEO at Plynk

Charles is CEO and co-founder at Plynk, the FinTech startup that recently raised 25 million.

He has 25 years of experience in software and Internet solutions, via loyalty, student travel and enterprise solutions.

His career spans across the United States and Ireland, and years at IBM and Facebook.

Andreea Wade
Co Founder & CEO at

Andreea is the co-founder of Opening. She has a background in coding, design, journalism, events, advertising, marketing and product management. She is a connector of people, a key tech community member, founder of AskATon and StartupHiking, organiser of a number of Startup Weekends in Dublin and a member of the Women in Technology and Science (WITS) Ireland board. Andreea is a startup mentor, having mentored in all the major incubators and accelerators in Dublin. You will sometimes find her on a stage

Dominic O'Toole
Software and Security @ Koru

Dominic is a software development and security consultant with over 20 years’ experience in leading teams in complex environments and delivering quality technical solutions to a wide variety of blue chip clients. Working in many roles and domains during his career, from developer, team lead and architect to development and engineering manager, he enjoys building and leading flexible, dynamic teams that work hard to solve tricky technical problems and deliver highly innovative client focused solutions. He divides his free time (unequally) between family, DIY, techie stuff and fishing. 

Kim Tighe

Kim Tighe is a Solution Leader in the Enterprise Services division with HPE Galway, where she has gained (10+ years) experience in solution architecture and design, with a highly successful track record in winning deals, achieving business growth and good margin for HPE. Her expertise and experience is in providing highly innovative IT outsourcing solutions for clients across EMEA in Manufacturing, Retail, Healthcare, Energy and Pharmaceutical. She works with new and existing clients of HPE building solutions to meet their business objectives and needs. She also previously worked as a research engineer in leading edge web technologies as a key industrial member partner with DERI and NUIG Galway. Kim was recently named as one of Ireland’s Talented 38 Technology Women 2015 by Technology Voice in conjunction with the Galway City Innovation District.

Colin Keogh
Mechanical Engineer, Designer & Innovator (Also Forbes 30 Under 30!)

Colin is an award winning Engineer leading new research in the Energy, Environment, 3D Printing and Innovation fields at UCD. He is completing a PhD in engineering in UCD focusing on improving innovation methodologies using disruptive technologies. He co-founded a social enterprise in 2014, The Rapid Foundation, which aims to disperse 3d printing technology to 3rd world locations and conduct printing workshops with schools in the UK and Ireland. This work won the IMechE 2016 Fritz Schumacher award, making him one of Forbes 30 Under 30 for Europe, JCI’s Ten Outstanding Young People for 2017 and as a 2017 Nissan Generation Next Ambassador.    

Maeve Healy
Information Developer at IBM in Ireland

Maeve has over twenty years experience in the software industry, working in a range of roles, in organisations such as, CODA, Metrica, and IBM. Her industry experience is in a variety of domains, includes billing, telecoms, and enterprise asset management domains. 

As an enthusiastic innovation advocate, Maeve has hosted tech talks in Galway, for the past five years, and organised a range of local hack days and innovation groups. She was an organiser and the host of the IBM Watson IoT hackathon weekend, at the Portershed in Galway, as part of the Atlantec technology festival.

Maeve continues to study innovation and intrepreneurship. She has participated in BOI Startlab programmes, studied Innovation Management at DIT, and more recently, learned disciplined entrepreneurship at NUIG's Techinovate industry training programme

John Peavoy
VP of Sales & Commercial Development

John has over 15 years experience selling new business for technically demanding and/or complex business solutions to blue-chip global OEM customers. Exceptional at defining and executing sales strategies, developing strong, high-level relationships, identifying business opportunities, building consensus internally and closing sales opportunities. John has proven himself as excellent at managing at all levels within an organization, including working with corporate management and boards.

Marina Robina
UX/UI Designer - The Learning Rooms

Marina is a UX Designer at The Learning Rooms, working on multiple edtech
projects in Dublin with a focus on problem solving. She is very passionate about
design thinking methodologies and has an extensive background in urban
planning. In 2017 she co-founded Able Access social media platform that helps
graduates with disabilities find employment. Able Access also provides a
student-mentor support network and helps companies be more inclusive and
accessible for everyone.

Irial Conroy
Offering Management, IBM Cloud - Operations Insight

Irial is a technical leader with over 20 years experience in Enterprise Software.

He has delivered successful software solutions across multiple industries (incl. Telecoms, Financial Services ,Insurance), in multi-national, startup and consultancy environments.

He has worked and backpacked on several continents but has always had a strong tie to (and been a strong advocate for) the West of Ireland.

He helped organise the IBM Watson IoT hackathon weekend.

Organizing Team

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

  • Rose
  • Michael
  • Tracey
  • Niall
  • Suad
    Al Darra
  • Michael


Mario Di Florio
Founder and Director

Mario excels in business development, networking, community management and event organisation. In addition, Mario speaks several languages and has experience in agriculture, rural and sustainable development.

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