Last weekend, the Guinness Enterprise Centre (GEC) in Dublin City was a hive of activity as 14 new Irish start-ups were officially launched at the incubation centre during a weekend brainstorming session. The event, known as Dublin Launch48, saw mentors from Ireland’s digital sector help 14 start-up teams develop their business plans over 48 hours.
Siliconrepublic.com first reported on Launch48 earlier this year. Irish IT professional Michelle Clarke is the brain behind the event
Taking a similar approach to the renowned Startup Weekend series around the globe, where teams converge over 54 hours to nurture ideas for new ventures, Dublin Launch48 is a new start-up initiative to get Ireland going again via digital entrepreneurship. Other events that have been held in Ireland in recent times to develop start-ups include Startup Dublin. In 2012, the not-for-profit Leancamp also came to Dublin.
Launch48 itself is being supported by the GEC and Dublin Business Innovation Centre (Dublin BIC).
The start-up buzz
According to Clarke, it was a high-octane weekend, which saw 25 mentors from established Irish start-ups impart their knowledge about getting a new venture off the ground. These mentors included Gene Murphy of Redeem&Get; Fergal Brady of BlueFace; and Robin Blandford of D4H (Decisions 4 Heroes). Earlier this month, Siliconrepublic.com reported on how D4H had secured a five-year contract with the Government of Alberta, Canada, to provide its software for emergency services to search-and-rescue teams there.
The digital economy
At Launch48, newly elected Dublin Lord Mayor Cllr Oisín Quinn also spoke to the start-up participants about the need to find innovative digital solutions to tackle the challenges under the Digital Dublin initiative.
Over the weekend, each of the teams worked to develop their minimum viable product, launching on Sunday evening to an audience of potential investors and judges.
Some of the new start-ups to emerge from Launch48 included MiHealth, a phone application for reducing the risk of heart attacks; CloudDock, a different approach to transferring files between cloud services; and BikeExchange, an online bicycle exchange service.
In an innovative twist, Sunday saw the teams hit the streets of Dublin to get real customer feedback, as part of their market research. This area of Dublin, particularly Thomas Street, has been getting serious attention from Dublin City Council in recent times in order to bring about a revival in this historic part of the city and attract more footfall for businesses.
How Launch48 came about
Clarke, an ambassador for Dublin Launch48, said today that she was at an event in Manchester, England, a few months ago when it struck her that there was a niche to host such a start-up event in Ireland.
She saw the potential to bring this event to Dublin.
Clarke then approached Dublin BIC, to partner with her on getting the event off the ground. She said Dublin BIC has been “hugely supportive”.
So, will be seeing more Launch48 events soon, especially as Ireland appears to be a hotbed for people with fresh ideas to create digital start-ups at the minute?
“It was brilliant to hold the event and the feedback we have been getting has been great,” said Clarke. “On the back of that we are looking at the potential to host new events down the line.”
We’ll keep you in the loop!
Story – www.siliconrepublic.com