Galway Startup Weekend

    Friday, November 14 - 16, 2014

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Speakers
  4. Judges
  5. Coaches and Mentors
  6. Sponsors
  7. Organizing Team
  8. Blog
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Galway Startup Weekend

Friday, November 14 - 16, 2014

Friday, November 14 - 16, 2014
Event starts at 6:00 pm

NUI Galway
Cairnes Building
(beside the New Engineering Building)
Galway, Ireland

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Galway - City of the Tribes and the San Francisco of Ireland - is hosting its inaugural Startup Weekend. Will you be there to make history?

Startup Weekend is coming to Galway, 14th-16th November! Developers, designers and business development folks will come together to pitch an idea and launch a business, all in one weekend.  It is a great opportunity to test startup ideas, meet potential co-founders, build the community in Galway and launch your next startup!  

54 hours of activity will culminate in a round of presentations to the assembled judges, mentors, and other teams, leaving attendees with valuable feedback on their ideas, new skills, great contacts, and hopefully, a viable startup business. 

Startup Weekend is a global grassroots movement of active and empowered entrepreneurs who are learning the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures. It is the largest community of passionate entrepreneurs with over 1800 past events in 120 countries around the world in 2014. Whether entrepreneurs found companies, find a cofounder, meet someone new, or learn a skill far outside their usual 9-to-5, everyone is guaranteed to leave the event better prepared to navigate the chaotic but fun world of startups. 


Friday November 14th

6:00 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 November 15th

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 November 16th

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!


Eli David
CEO at

Eli David is the co-founder of, a global map of the startup ecosystem. Eli has also co-founded, an online language school with hundreds of students and teachers from around the world. Eli was working as an accountant and business consultant for firms such as BDO and KPMG until he decided to take the startup path. Eli is also a digital nomad (blog at, and lived in more than 20 countries in the last 4 years, constantly changing locations. Eli thinks Nomads and Startup owners have everything in common, in regard to initiating great changes and taking smart risks to achieve happiness.

Event Judges

Barry O'Sullivan
CEO, Altocloud

Barry O'Sullivan is CEO of Altocloud, a software company with a mission of improving customer engagement and contact center experiences. Prior to Altocloud, he was Senior Vice President at Cisco Systems. In 2012, Barry was asked to make his television debut as an investor on the reality TV series Dragons’ Den. Barry has a rich background in identifying and cultivating new businesses and technology, both in the US and in his home country of Ireland. He is a founding member of the Irish Technology Leadership Group, which promotes collaborative opportunities between Silicon Valley and Irish technology companies, and is a worldwide technology evangelist and speaker helping envision how technology can change the way people work.

Aideen Bergin
Senior Business Manager @ Bank of Ireland

Aideen Bergin has 23 years experience working in various different roles in Business Banking, including portfolio management and underwriting, across the Midlands and West of Ireland. Her current role involves managing a portfolio of mid-corporate SME clients, looking after their banking needs, as well as new customer acquisition by developing relationships with potential clients, understanding their business and providing solutions, with a view to growing Bank of Ireland’s market share in the SME sector.

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.

Breda Fox
Head, Galway Local Enterprise Office

Breda Fox is the Head of Enterprise (previously CEO) at the Galway Local Enterprise Office (previously Galway County & City Enterprise Board) since 2010. Since that time, she has been the driving force and energy of the organisation, consistently steering a client-focused service where startups and small businesses are encouraged to come for help, assistance and guidance. Breda brings a wealth of experience from both entrepreneurial and multinational businesses in the private sector, including her roles as European Supply Chain Director for Transitions Optical, and as Director of The Point (now the 3Arena). She was also one of the youngest people ever appointed to a state board, serving as a Non-Executive Director of An Post for five years.

Paul Gilson
Medical Device Entrepreneur

Paul Gilson has raised over €60 million of VC funds in UK, US, EU and Ireland. Currently co-founder and CSO at Novate Medical, a Galway-based medical device company developing IVC filter technology and CSO at Veryan Medical, an Imperial College spinout developing next generation SFA stenting products. He was a co-founder and General Manager of MedNova and was responsible for the development of novel stroke treatment technologies. The company was acquired by Abbott Laboratories. Prior to his experience in startup companies he held a number of senior roles in Operations, Development and R&D. He was Director of R&D for Bard Cardiology where he developed numerous cardiovascular devices. He is the holder of more than 30 patents for biomaterials and cardiovascular products.

Maurice O'Gorman
Investments and Capital Expert

Maurice O’Gorman is a director of the Galway Chamber of Commerce. He spent the past 22 years working in the Middle East, most recently as the Chief Operating Officer and Head of Strategy at NCB Capital, the largest investment bank in the region. Maurice served on the board of Eastgate Capital Group, a leading private equity and real estate firm. From 1992, he held the position of Capital Markets Advisor at the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (central bank). Maurice initiated and helped establish a charitable foundation that helps Saudi Arabian entrepreneurs test their ideas, write plans and start their own businesses.  Maurice started his career with the London Stock Exchange.

Coaches and Mentors

Damien McCoy
Product Marketing Manager, Cisco

Damien McCoy is a Product Marketing Manager at Cisco Systems, specifically for their Jabber for Windows Unified Communications client. He has over 15 years experience in enterprise and telecommunications software, leading both development and commercial activities (with companies such as IBM, Tecnomen, O2, Motorola, and the MoD), and also mentors technology startup companies. He has an MBA, BE and MEng in Electronic and Electrical Engineering, and has been a guest lecturer at the JE Cairnes School of Business and Economics at NUI Galway.

Dorothy Creaven
Co-Founder and CEO, Element Wave

Dorothy Creaven is co-founder and CEO of Element Wave, an award-winning Irish software company specialising in Mobile Marketing technology and Mobile CRM. Her strong track record in the industry is reflected in Element Wave’s client list, working regularly with many international brands including companies such as Ericsson and Sage CRM specifically in the area of mobile engagement. Dorothy’s corporate background is in Business Analysis, Recruitment and Software Development having worked for multinational giants such as Google and Abbott Vascular. She also holds an honours degree in Electronic Engineering from the National University of Ireland Galway.

Donncha Hughes
Trainer, Mentor and Business Advisor

Donncha Hughes specialises in working with technology and professional services SMEs and startups, providing mentoring, hands-on consultancy, and training to help promoters to grow their businesses. He holds a Masters in Marketing from NUI Galway, and has worked with a number of strategic partners including Bridgewater Management, Brian O'Kane, Activate Marketing, Stateside Solutions, Synergy BDS and SMART Marketing. In addition, he is the curator of Startup Digest Galway, the events list created by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs.

Greg Osborne
Founder, I Speak English Graphic Design Solutions

Greg Osborne is a Graphic Designer and Founder of the design company I Speak English Graphic Design Solutions. He received his BA and BA (Hons) in graphic design from Athlone IT in 2010, and more recently he received his MA in professional design practice, from Dublin IT in 2013. Greg has worked as a designer in printing companies both in Athlone and Galway, creating identity work for small businesses. Greg has always been creative: from an early age his father who made bespoke furniture would often take him into his workshop, showing him the various processes and tools.

Laura Myles
Head of Intellectual Property, Flynn O'Driscoll

Laura Myles has extensive experience in advising clients in a wide range of intellectual property and related commercial matters and over the course of her career has worked in-house for large multi-national corporations in Ireland and the USA. Prior to joining Flynn O’Driscoll, Laura established and operated her own intellectual property firm for many years, TradeSecrets Limited, which subsequently merged with Flynn O’Driscoll.  A regular speaker in the field of intellectual property, Laura also serves as a mentor from time to time on state and other community panels providing guidance in this area.

Mike Conroy
General Manager, Cisco Galway

Mike Conroy is currently General Manager of Cisco’s Global Product Research and Development in Galway and a Senior Director with Cisco’s Global Voice and Unified Communications Division. Mike has worked in a variety of global leadership roles in the IT multinational sector. Prior to joining Cisco, he was General Manager and Managing Director of Nortel’s Product Operation in Ireland. He graduated from NUI Galway (UCG) in 1984 with Bachelor of Engineering (Electronic) and subsequently a Masters in Computer Systems from UL.

Keith Farrell
Managing Director, Proof Brand & Design Agency

Keith Farrell is co-founder and Managing Director of Proof Brand & Design Agency, a Galway-based company specialising in branding and graphic design. With over 10 years of experience in the design sector, both as a freelance designer and managing director, Keith has worked with companies in a wide range of industries including Med Tech, Corporate Services, Hospitality & Entertainment as well as a number of tech startups. Clients include Aerogen, Dublin Aerospace, EuroStar Conferences and Cork Chamber of Commerce. Keith also holds a 1st class honours degree in design from Athlone Institute of Technology.

Declan Droney
Founder, Kinvara Smoked Salmon

Declan Droney is an experienced entrepreneur, business consultant and business mentor. He is the founder of one of Ireland’s most distinctive, artisan food companies, Kinvara Smoked Salmon Ltd. The company exports to the US, Hong Kong and Japan and also operates a worldwide mail-order business through its website. He is also a Business Mentor with the Galway Local Enterprise Office, the Mayo Local Enterprise Office, SCCUL and Enterprise Ireland. He is also a lecturer to the UCD Innovation Academy and on the New Frontiers programme at GMIT.

Mark Campbell
Founder, Pocket Anatomy

Mark Campbell is an experienced user-centred designer with a passion for interactive educational multimedia design, and design-led innovation. He is the founder and CEO of Galway-based Pocket Anatomy, producing visual patient health literacy software and on a mission to become the Google Earth for the human body. Mark is an NUI Galway and University of Limerick graduate with 15 years’ experience in digital media production and publishing, having worked in Ireland, USA and New Zealand developing and managing large eLearning and multimedia software solutions for multinational companies such as IBM, Bausch & Lomb, Dell and Honeywell.

Alan Burke
Director, Annertech

Alan Burke is a director at Annertech, Ireland's leading Drupal development company with people in Galway, Dublin, Belfast and Leeds. He specialises in the Drupal content management system, dealing with local government, third level education, non-profits and charities, and commercial organisations. He is a contributor to the open source Drupal project, and previously worked as a website developer in Galway company Proactive Design and Marketing for over four years.

Mark Quick
Entrepreneur and Engineer

Mark Quick is an entrepreneur and engineer who founded, managed and sold SourceDogg – a multi award winning software product for procurement professionals to source, negotiate with and manage suppliers and supply contracts. Mark worked with Input Systems Ltd. and International Brand Revolutionaries, has extensive experience in corporate governance, and is a member of the board of directors of several startups and local charities. He is a qualified Electronic Engineer with a BE from NUI Galway, and also holds an MBA from Trinity College Dublin.

David Ryan
Partner, Flynn O'Driscoll - Commercial Law & Investments

David Ryan has recently spent over a year working in-house with the restructuring and leveraged finance arms of Lloyds Banking Group and has advised on their portfolio disposals, creditor-led restructurings, refinancing, exits and debt for equity swaps. On the restructuring and insolvency side he has also advised UK and Irish companies, individual directors, management teams, bondholders, insolvency practitioners and private equity houses. In addition to his experience at Lloyds Banking Group David has also been seconded to Smurfit Kappa Group and General Electric. David advises companies, financial institutions, private equity houses and entrepreneurs on a variety of commercial and corporate transactions as well as providing embedded day-to-day advice. David has been involved in acquisitions, start-ups, fund raising, investments and disposals in the UK, Ireland, Russia, Ukraine, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Austria, Canada and the US across the full lifecycle of businesses and in diverse sectors from oil and gas to sports science.

Tom Forde
Commercial Branch Manager, Bank of Ireland

Tom Forde is an experienced Commercial Branch Manager presently working in Bank of Ireland Mervue, Galway. He has worked at a Senior Management level in Branch Banking, Private Banking, Graduate Banking, Sales Manager roles and in Planning & Marketing and Finance Functions within the Bank. Tom has a demonstrated expertise and passion for Business Starts Ups, is a Director of Galway Chamber of Commerce and  Chairperson of the Galway Chamber Tourism, Arts, Culture & Sport Committee. Tom is also an enthusiastic Youth Rugby Coach with Galway Corinthians Rugby Football Club.

Dave Barry

Dave Barry is Branch Manager, Bank of Ireland, NUI Galway.   He has worked in a wide range of management positions within Bank of Ireland including Planning and Marketing, Sales management, Mortgage management and Project management.    He holds a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Ulster.   He is also a qualified psychotherapist accredited with the IACP.   He is passionate about people and their development as individuals and leaders.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

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

  • Paul
  • John
  • Tara
  • Michael
  • Michael
  • Noëmie
  • Laura


Adam Haun
Region Director

Fan of smiles and collector of hugs + high fives. Techstars Startup Programs

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