StartUp Weekend in Waterford a great Success

Startup Weekend Waterford was a 54 hour event that started on Friday evening  5th April in Bank of Ireland’s brand new Workbench on The Quay in Waterford with anyone pitching a startup idea.

   

   
 

 

Out of 45 participants, 23 pitched an idea. 5 teams were formed on Friday night and these teams worked all weekend to build the business model, validate that idea and create a value proposition to pitch to judges on Sunday night.
Tracy Keogh was the weekend’s facilitator. Tracy is an experienced Techstars Facilitator, trained specially for the task. StartUp weekend is a Techstars brand and powered by Google, run in over 150 countries. Tracy works for Bank of Ireland as Community Manager in the West of Ireland.

Having an idea isn’t the only prerequisite. You need the resolve to see it through. Validating the idea means not just sitting at desk; you can’t find customers on a computer. This means getting out on the street – interviewing the good people of Waterford. One team, UBiike, with team members Liam Hopkins, an American living in Waterford, along with Gabriel Darruspe & Daniel Collins from Waterford and Chris Brancewicz and Sean Nolan who travelled from Dublin for the weekend want to create a platform for people to rent out personally-owned bikes – an AirBNB for bikes, if you will. They spent hours on the streets of Waterford on Saturday afternoon, validating their idea with greenway enthusiast.

Marina Green, a Mexican medical doctor, living in Waterford and doing a PhD in WIT, had an idea to create personalised nutritional recommendations for families. Her team all living here in Waterford but originally from Russia, China and one local worked tirelessly over the weekend to build a Minimum Viable Product and validate it on the street as well as via online surveys. 

The weekend, which was organised and sponsored by South East BIC, Bank of Ireland and Crystal Valley Tech, was supported by amazing Waterford-based internationally renowned entrepreneurs. Louise Grubb of Trivium Vet explained why she wanted to get involved ‘I had obviously heard about StartUp Weekend and when I was approached by South East BIC to get involved here in Waterford I didn’t hesitate. The ambition and enthusiasm from the teams was infectious and is sending me back to work tomorrow morning with renewed energy’. The line-up of Speakers and Mentors at the event was unprecedented in Waterford – David Whelan of Immersive VR Education shared his story in the Fireside Chat on Sunday night, Robbie Skuse, co-founder of Waterford success story Kollect – the company itself a product of a previous StartUp weekend set the scene on Friday night. Barry Downes of Suir Valley Ventures gave an expert pitching masterclass to the participants on Sunday morning in preparation of the competition on Sunday night.
On Sunday night, invited guests arrive, mentors who had been working with the teams all weekend came back and the atmosphere became thick with tension and anticipation. The five teams pitched and the Judges (Aidan Shine, South East BIC, Pamela Pim Bank of Ireland, Angela Duffy NDRC and Justin Kearns Tucr.io) declared Healthy Eating – Marina and her team -the worthy winners.
Waterford’s first StartUp Weekend is over and can be declared a massive success.
The organisers want to thank the amazing Waterford entrepreneurial community for their help and support.

 

 

 

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