Hatch Lab Gorey will host its third Techstars Startup Weekend from 21 to 23 February with a focus on Greentech.

Greentech (or cleantech) describes products or services that are environmentally-friendly, and can apply to any industry sector.

Hatch Lab Gorey recently celebrated its second year in operation.

“In order for the economy to decarbonise over the next 10-30 years, we need a lot more green solutions and green jobs that can replace outdated, polluting and damaging ones”

Techstars Startup Weekend Gorey participants will have the opportunity to explore and develop new business ideas in a fun and inclusive environment. Over the course of the weekend, attendees pitch ideas, form teams and start companies, supported throughout by expert mentors.

The cost is €30 and includes food for the whole weekend, with accommodation options available to allow participants to experience a fully immersive Startup Weekend. Participants can bring their ideas to the next level and connect with like-minded people. 

Applying creativity to a global climate crisis

The Gorey Greentech Startup Weekend Weekend is open to anyone from any background, from techies and designers to non-techies, working across areas such as: business or sales; professionals looking to switch or expand career skills, students, lifelong learners and passionate visionaries. People with established businesses are also welcome to attend and explore ways that they might boost their revenues or develop new products and services.

Startup Weekend has been the starting point for many successful ventures. One such example is Kollect on Demand whose founders Robbie Skuse, John O’Connor, Jamie Walsh and John Hegarty.met at the Techstars Startup Weekend in Cork in 2015. On 19 December last the Waterford-based company launched a successful IPO on the Nasdaq First North stock exchange in Sweden, raising €1.76m. The business has revenues of approximately €2.3m in 2018 which are projected to grow further in 2019. Employing 39 people, Kollect runs operations in Waterford, Cork, Dublin and Manchester from its home base at the Waterford Enterprise Centre.

“The goal of the weekend is to help people with early-stage ideas to create viable businesses, and it would be amazing to see some success stories like Robbie Skuse’s Kollect on Demand, or Vicki O’Donnell’s Wilder Wander, which also emerged from a Start-up Weekend,” explained Emer Cooney, Enterprise & Innovation community manager at Bank of Ireland.

“The main thing is that people get creative and come to the event to learn how to develop viable business solutions. The motivating factor doesn’t have to be profit- but whether the idea turns into a business or social enterprise, we want it to be able to be self-financing and be able to scale. Even if people don’t have an idea, they can bring their knowledge and skills and join a team, learn how to get a business off the ground, meet people and potentially find themselves on a new journey in a start-up company.”

Diversity of thought

Cooney said the best part about Start-up Weekends is seeing the diversity of ideas that people come up with.

“It’s an intensely creative weekend, and it’s very difficult to anticipate what sort of ideas will emerge – but that’s part of what makes it exciting. Solutions can relate to almost any sector – climate, water, waste, air, agriculture, fashion, transport, tourism, food, finance, biodiversity, etc., and we are open to receiving just about any idea. That said, I think it’s important for people to recognise that not all environmental solutions are suitable for a Startup Weekend- some require a lot of R&D, which is beyond the scope of the event. But, by applying a bit of creative thinking, people can come up with ideas that use existing technologies in new ways, to create solutions that can be low cost and high impact – these are the ones we want to see.

“In order for the economy to decarbonise over the next 10-30 years, we need a lot more green solutions and green jobs that can replace outdated, polluting and damaging ones. This creates huge opportunities for innovators, as there is a lot of support and funding available for good ideas- but what’s needed now is more ideas

“There are many solutions needed beyond climate change, for example, halting biodiversity loss, reducing plastic pollution and waste, making agriculture more sustainable, etc, and we encourage people to bring them to Startup Weekend Gorey next month,” Cooney concluded.

Tickets and more information are available on the event website: bit.ly/goreygreentech

Alternatively you can email emer.cooney@boi.com or tina@thehatchlab.ie.

Written by John Kennedy (john.kennedy3@boi.com)

Published: 24 January, 2020