Startup Weekend Galway

    Friday, October 2 - 4, 2015

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

Friday, October 2 - 4, 2015

Friday, October 2 - 4, 2015
Event starts at 6:30 pm

Dublin Road
Galway, Ireland

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Startup Weekend is coming to Galway, 2nd - 4th October! 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 October 2nd

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 October 3rd

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 October 4th

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!


Michael Smyth

Michael Smyth a native of Athboy in Co. Meath. Michael graduated having completed a BA in Business and Communications through the medium of Irish in June 2012 in G.M.I.T. Michael has the experience of establishing his own business,
, in his third year in college and successfully operation his business for 2 years. was an online booking platform for teenagers going to the Gealtacht for the summer months. Michael then sold his business before entering into a masters in NUI Galway where he studied for an MSc in Strategic Marketing.  From there he went on to manage the SCCUL Enterprise centre, Ballybane and as of January 2015 Michael became General Manager of SCCUL Enterprises CLG. SCCUL want to support Galway’s Start-ups and SME’s in every way we can, through first class infrastructure and soft supports such as awards systems and mentoring. SCCUL use their strong business connections to be actively involve business in the local community by running different events empowering the people of Galway to give back. Michael just this year won the Junior chamber of commerce Top Outstanding Young Persons Award for his contribution to businesses and enterprise in Galway. 

Edel Browne
Founder, FreeFeet

Des Kenny

Gill Carroll
Founder 37 West & 56 Central

Event Judges

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

John Breslin
Senior Lecturer, NUI Galway

John Breslin is a Senior Lecturer in the College of Engineering and Informatics. He is also known for co-founding, Ireland's largest online community, as well as popular classified ads site He is an advisor to a variety of tech companies and has a PhD and BE in Electronic Engineering from NUI Galway.

Declan Varley
Group Editor, Galway Advertiser and writer.

Declan has been editor of the Galway Advertiser since December 2000, having taken over from Galway Advertiser chairman and founder Ronnie O'Gorman. At the start of his tenure, the circulation of the Galway Advertiser was 43,000 copies, but Declan was instrumental in the expansion of the newspaper into a full colour publication and subsequently the largest circulation regional newspaper in Ireland, rising at one point to more than 210,000 newspapers printed weekly. As a key member of a progressive management team, he drove the changed layout of the entire newspaper in terms of look, story layout, and coverage while retaining its busy appearance and its traditional corporate livery. It resulted in the Galway Advertiser being named as a winner in the Best Regional Newspaper category in the UK and Ireland at the Newspaper Society's annual Newspaper of the Year ceremony at Park Lane, London. The award came with special mention of the manner in which the Galway Advertiser had set the standard for the free newspaper industry in Ireland in terms of approach and attitude.
Surveys undertaken by Red C in 2008 and 2013 show that 96 per cent of city-based readers and 70 percent of county based readers read a Galway Advertiser in any particular week.
His tenure has also seen the expansion of the group with the opening of newspapers in Mayo, Athlone, Kilkenny, Mullingar, Carlow and into a strategic second newspaper in Galway.  
He has also been instrumental in ensuring that the Galway Advertiser's mark on social media has been significant with a hands on approach to atttracting almost 80,000 Facebook followers and 15,000 Twitter followers. The Advertiser's social media has an audience which is several times those of other local media and is now seen as a key tool in creating the biggest free digital content space in the west of Ireland.

Laura Lynch
Head of Youth Banking at Bank of Ireland

Coaches and Mentors

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.

Helen Cousins
Corporate Finance Advisor

Helen’s company, Helen Cousins and Associates, provides a funding advisory service for tech companies. We help companies to navigate to term sheet and beyond, not just to get the best deal but to get the best terms. We also provide a low cost early stage funding advisory service to help companies bootstrap and access supports from sources such as Enterprise Ireland or Local Enterprise Offices. Helen is a chartered accountant by profession with over 30 year’s experience in accessing finance. She can be found lurking on twitter at @_helencousins

Michael FitzGerald

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. 

Paul Killoran
CEO and Founder, ExOrdo

Paul is an engineer by trade and a boot-strapper at heart. For the past 4 years, Ex Ordo has tripled year-on-year revenue and secured customers like the European Space Agency, Harvard Business School and the largest IT company in the world. Ex Ordo was awarded Enterprise Ireland’s CSF in 2013 and now employs 13 people. Paul is a co-founder of The PorterShed, Startup Galway, Galway Beta, CodeNinja and Bizcamp.

Knowledge Areas: Software Engineering, User Experience, Customer WOW and Business Development.

Serena Fritsch
Web Frontend Developer at Storyful - TECH MENTOR

Serena is a Front-End Web Developer for Storyful. She previously worked for various startups as front end and back end developer. Prior to that she was doing research in the Distributed Systems Group in Trinity College.
She loves enthusiastic people and creative people and co-organises Doodleledo Dublin.
Serena's primary technical skills are in JavaScript, HTML and CSS, Grails and a small bit of Ruby on Rails.

George McCourt
Head of Innovation & Enterprise Development at Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology

Niamh Breslin
‎Business Development Manager, Emerging Business - IDA Ireland

Niamh qualified  with a degree in Computational Linguistics before working with Lionbridge Technologies as a software localisation engineer. She has over 8 years experience working with tech multinationals through her role in IDA Ireland, and most recently has been focused on helping European high growth startups scale internationally. Niamh has helped over 30 of these companies with their international planning, location research and initial setups in Ireland.
An active member of the startup community in Europe, Niamh has mentored in a number of incubators and at events, including the world’s first tech accelerator for innovative eye related products, EyeFocus Accelerator in Berlin. She has a strong focus on business development, marketing and community building. 

Mark O'Toole
COO & director at beachhut

International Press and Specialist Trade Press Outreach Mark specializes in international press outreach for Beachhut. He has a passion for helping companies tell their stories to a wider audience. Mark was Head of Press at the Web Summit during which time he increased the number of journalists attending “Davos for Geeks” to 1,600 as well as negotiating media partnerships with the likes of CNBC, The Guardian and The Financial Times. He also curated and developed the concept for their Sport Summit in 2014. As a Producer and journalist at Newstalk Mark worked across current affairs, sport and magazine shows and produced Outside Broadcasts, Irish General Election Coverage and live sporting events including Premier League Football, Heineken Cup Rugby, GAA and championship boxing. In his spare time Mark maintains a strong passion for sport, particularly Mixed Martial Arts.

Maricka Burke Keogh
Head of Digital Marketing at Altocloud

Maricka is Head of Digital Marketing at Altocloud and founder of OMIG, a business network for the West of Ireland. Maricka was the winner of JCI Galway 'The Outstanding Young Person of the Year Award’ in 2013. She has also previously held positions with ad agency Atomic, IMS Marketing and Google.

Over the years, Maricka has worked with large corporate brands ranging from GlaxoSmithKline, PaddyPower, Ladbrokes, and Unilever to working with organisations such as Fine Gael and Leinster Rugby. 

Maricka, now based in Galway and is responsible for the Digital Marketing Strategy for Altocloud. Maricka's digital marketing specialities lie within the B2B sector for Medical Device, Engineering and ICTs (SaaS based models) sectors. 

Luca Boschin
CEO LogoGrab

Luca Boschin is the co-founder and business leader of LogoGrab. Luca has extensive expertise in the development and commercialization of computer vision technologies.

Warren Kenny

Software Engineer from Dublin, spent the past 8 years working for various startups in the telecomms, game and marketing industries. Love programming in various languages and keeping up with the startup scene!

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend Galway 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

  • Tracey
  • Sam
  • Erika
  • Olivia


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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