Ireland’s first ever Student Start-up Weekend will take place this weekend in UCC. From Friday, March 28th to Sunday, March 30th, the event will bring together the highest calibre students from Ireland, the UK and further afield to delve into the challenges, the high and lows, the failures and the successes associated with being a young entrepreneur.
This Student Start-up Weekend, organised by UCC Entrepreneurial and Social Society, will see students converge at UCC’s Western Gateway Building on Friday evening to pitch their start-up idea and receive feedback from their peers. Following the initial pitches, teams of students will join forces and focus on the top ideas, determined by a vote, and then it will be a 54-hour frenzy of business model creation, coding, designing, and market validation.
An experienced team of coaches, who themselves are successful entrepreneurs in a wide range of fields, will be on hand to offer gems of wisdom and advice to students throughout the weekend. Coaches include: Frank Hannigan, managing partner, Pathfinder; DC Cahalane, CMO, Trustev; John Peavoy, VP of sales and commercial development, Trustev; Will Martin, founder, LiveDuel; Jayne Ronayne, head honcho, KonnectAgain; Brendan Finucane founder and CEO, Vconnecta; Ed Fidgeon Kavanagh, founder and managing director at Clear Presentation Design; and Kieran Walsh, CEO, WhatSalon.
The weekend will culminate with presentations in front of local entrepreneurial leaders with another opportunity for critical feedback, and finally an overall winner will be selected by an esteemed panel of judges comprised of Pat Phelan of Trustev, Eamon Leonard of Engine Yard, and Sean O’Sullivan of SOS Ventures.
Organiser of the Student Start-up Weekend, Aidan Murphy of UCC Entrepreneurial and Social Society says: “This is Ireland’s first Startup Weekend dedicated entirely to students; and whether budding entrepreneurs find companies, find a co-founder, meet someone new, or learn a skill far outside their usual 9-to-5, over the course of the 54 hours they will spend together from Friday to Sunday, everyone is guaranteed to leave the event better prepared to navigate the chaotic but fun world of start-ups.”
The Student Startup Weekend is supported by the IGNITE Graduate Business Programme at UCC, a nine-month business incubation programme for recent graduates from any discipline from any third level institution with a viable business idea; aimed at nurturing, developing and strengthening their entrepreneurial potential. Since its inception, IGNITE has supported close to 40 start-up businesses, many of whom have successfully launched and are now generating revenue. Three of this weekend’s coaches, Will Martin, Jayne Ronayne, and Brendan Finucane are themselves former IGNITE participants who’ve seen success in their own ventures.
Speaking about what’s expected from the weekend, Eamon Curtin, IGNITE Programme Director said: “Over 60 attendees from universities, institutes of technology and other third level institutions, with backgrounds in computer programming, graphic design, marketing, PR and finance, will converge on UCC this Friday, with the creative juices will be flowing from start to finish. We’re anticipating that we’ll see more than a few viable and ingenious startup ideas developed over the course of the weekend.”
Ireland’s Student Start-up Weekend is one of hundreds of events that take place globally as part of Start-up Weekend, a non-profit, global grassroots movement of active and empowered entrepreneurs, headquartered in Seattle, who are learning the basics of founding start-ups and launching successful ventures.