Business News

Student Startup Weekend returns to UCC this April

By Business & Finance
01 April 2015
Johnny Lingwood, Caroline O'Connell and David Hardwicke, from UCC Entrepreneurial & Social Society.
Pictured: Johnny Lingwood, Caroline O’Connell and David Hardwicke, from UCC Entrepreneurial & Social Society.

The annual Student Startup Weekend which takes place from Friday 10th to SundayFollowing on from the successful inaugural Student Startup Weekend in 2014, the innovative student event takes place this year from  April 10th to 12th in UCC, bringing together the highest calibre young entrepreneurs from all over Ireland, the UK and further afield.

Coordinated by UCC’s Entrepreneurial and Social Society, the Student Startup Weekend will see students converge at UCC’s Western Gateway Building for weekend long workshops where they will pitch business ideas, form teams, and start companies.

Following the initial pitches on April 10th, teams of students will join forces and focus on the top ideas during a 54-hour frenzy of business model creation, coding, designing, and market validation.

Organiser of the Student Startup Weekend, David Hardwicke of UCC Entrepreneurial and Social Society says: “Over the course of the weekend, participants will delve into the professional and personal challenges, the high and lows, and the successes associated with being a young entrepreneur. Whether these young entrepreneurs who join us found companies; find a cofounder; meet someone new; or learn a skill, we can guarantee they will leave better prepared to navigate the chaotic but fun world of startups.

“UCC, and Cork as a whole, is fast becoming a hub for young entrepreneurs, and our event is targeting students from all over Ireland and abroad, with our organisational team made up of representatives from five of the top Irish Universities, which include UCC, UCD, DCU, Trinity College Dublin and NUIG.”

Students in attendance will hear from guest speaker Fraser Heaslip, director at TouchDown Partners. Having worked with strongly recognised international brands such as Vodafone, Meteor, and Otterbox, Heaslip has demonstrated his entrepreneurial flair through his organization of events such as the monthly gather ‘Mobile Monday’; as well as founding his current venture ‘Touchdown Partners’ which aims to help scale EMEA consumer electronic brands.

An experienced team of coaches, many of whom themselves are successful young entrepreneurs, will be on hand to offer gems of wisdom and advice to students, based on their own entrepreneurial journey.

The weekend will culminate with presentations in front of local entrepreneurial leaders and influencers, with another opportunity for critical feedback, and finally an overall winner will be selected by an esteemed panel of judges including Eamon Curtin, director of the IGNITE Graduate Business Innovation Programme at UCC, who has significant experience working with early stage and startup companies as a consultant, mentor and trainer. Curtin will be joined by Christine O’Keeffe, director of Schedule and Dispatch at EMC, who is skilled in formulating and driving strategies for business development and performance improvement; and DC Cahalane, CMO at Teamwork, who is one of the leaders of the Cork startup community.

Ireland’s Student Startup Weekend is one of hundreds of events that take place globally as part of Startup Weekend, 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 and in 2014, over 1,800 events took place in 120 countries around the world.