Hackathons are back! I was delighted to be asked to be a mentor for Techstars Start-up Weekend Dublin. The event, which is taking place in Accenture Song from the 24th to the 26th of March, is aimed at women who are interested in starting a business or being part of a team that will create a business. Over the space of 3 days participants will meet the very best mentors, investors, co-founders and sponsors to fast track your ideas into reality. I caught up with the event organiser Leyla Karaha to find out more. But if you’re interested in joining the weekend you can sign up at the Event Link here.
1. For someone who is not aware, what is Techstars? How does this event differ from
Techstars Startup Weekend is an exciting and immersive foray into the world of startups. You’ll learn how to think, work, and build like a startup in 54 thrilling hours. Participants will also get a chance to network with like-minded individuals, work on innovative ideas, and bring their vision to life.
Techstars Startup Weekend Women Dublin geared towards women in order to encourage more women to work on their tech business ideas. While the event is open to all, anyone passionate about social innovation and entrepreneurship is very welcome to attend.
We are aiming to have diverse participants with free tickets for refugees and discounted tickets for students.
2. When and where is this year’s event taking place?
Techstars Startup Weekend Women Dublin that’s taking place from 24th – 26th March at Droga5, Accenture Song, Smithfield. Registration required to attend. Food will be provided.
3. Who are you looking for to sign up to take part in the event? Do you need any
specific skills, experience or qualifications?
The good news is, you don’t need to be an expert in anything specific to participate. All you need is a willingness to learn and collaborate with others. It doesn’t matter if you’re a programmer, designer, marketer, or just someone with a cool idea – everyone is welcome! Plus, the weekend is a great opportunity to develop new skills and build your network.
4. Who have you lined up as speakers?
We have an amazing line of speakers including David Pollard who used to be one of the organiser of Techstars Startup Week Dublin, Máirín Murray who is a founder of Tech Found Her and Aravind Ravi co founder of Inaza.
5. You have an impressive group of potential mentors, where did you source the
I looked around my network, especially LinkedIn and reached out to them. Some of our mentors include China Soribe-Nwosu and Meneliswa A. Mc Donald from Umoja Linn, Vicky Twomey-Lee from Coding Grace who are our community partners, Serena de Stacpoole from Hubspot who are one of our prize sponsors and Catrina Sheridan from Nafasi
6. What will the judges be marking the pitches on?
Business Model: How does the team plan on making this a successful business?
- Is it a unique idea?
- What is their key value proposition?
- Who are their competitors?
Customer Validation: Are teams building something that people actually want?
- Did the team talk to customers?
- Who will be their users, who will be their customers, and are they different?
Execution & Design: Have they established an MVP/Mockup — the minimum set of features to be able to start collecting data?
- Did they build a prototype? Any medium is fine, including mock up pictures or Google Slides.
- How easy is it for the user to navigate and use their product?
7. Have you partnered with any companies to assist with the event?
We have great list of diverse community partners who are supporting us include Tech for Good, Tech Found Her, Black & Irish, Coding Grace, Marketing na Irlanda and
Tech and Inclusion Advocates.
We are still looking for our title sponsor. However, we have amazing prize sponsors include, Dogpatch Labs, LEO Dublin City, Hubspot, Resolve Partners and YJ Recruit.
8. Do you have any success stories from past Techstars Startup Weekend Dublin Hackathons, that have gone on to be successful?
Yes, we have few. Aravind Ravi co founder of Inaza and myself(founder of YourY Network, KPesa), we both started out our entrepreneurship journeys after participating at the Techstars Startup Weekend Dublin event in 2019.
9. Do you have any plans for events in the future for other areas of Diversity and
We will have other events in the future on social innovation. It’s always great to combine the two ecosystems, social enterprises and tech together.
10. Are there any other events or hackathons in the area of Diversity and Inclusion you
would like to be promoted?
Yes, Dogpatch Labs have organised a whole week to celebrate Diversity and Inclusion from 6th March