Powered by Dublin City Council, Techstars’ Startup Week Dublin is returning for its second year from 21 to 25 October 2019. We spoke to one of its organisers Gene Murphy about the importance of shining a light on the city’s community of entrepreneurs.

Techstars Startup Week Dublin will once again bring together entrepreneurs, innovators, local leaders and the community over the five-day period to build momentum and opportunity around the unique entrepreneurial and innovative identity of Dublin.

With over 2,500 attendees, 54 events, 115 speakers across 32 venues, the first Startup Week Dublin which took place in November 2018, was an extremely successful five-day city-wide celebration of entrepreneurship and innovation.

“My feeling from having been in the Dublin ecosystem for the best part of the last decade is the people here really make this all possible. It’s the community builders tirelessly volunteering their time and expertise to create opportunities for those coming up through the ranks and it’s the community leaders in place to spot talent and move it forward”

Interview with Gene Murphy

For Gene Murphy, founder of Startup Boost, co-organiser of Startup Weekend Dublin and former entrepreneur-in-residence at Bank of Ireland, it is about highlighting the achievements of innovators and entrepreneurs but also showing budding entrepreneurs what supports are available to them.

He said that building businesses is tough, but it doesn’t need to be difficult. At Startup Week across Dublin he said people can meet and get to know the next person that can help them either start a company, scale a company or move into working in a high growth company.

How would you sum up the impact of Startup Week will have on Dublin city in terms of last year’s event and this coming event?

The goal for a Startup Week is to ensure that a light is shone on the community of entrepreneurs and innovators. It’s also an opportunity to highlight the resources and opportunities available for people wishing to start a business, join a high growth start-up or those with companies who have questions about how to grow and accelerate – all of this over a weeklong celebration in the city.

Last year was very exciting as setting up anything new presents it’s challenges but thanks to great partners like Dublin City Council we have been able to prepare a year two event that has improved content at our Base Camp in DCC Civic Offices, a new University track for students helping highlight great content for them and tonnes more.

How vibrant is the start-up community in Dublin and what issues must be overcome to see the scene truly thrive?

At this stage I think we have a heritage of phenomenal founders that have made it by any means necessary but much like most Cities around the world the environment needs to be unambiguous and constantly monitored to ensure start-ups have the ability to take hold and grow. Most recently the launch of scaleireland.org is a very timely organisation with passionate, enlightened and experienced leaders lined up to help ensure that policies get updated to help sustain and improve our ecosystem for entrepreneurs.

You have knowledge and experience of start-up hubs all over the world, what makes the Dublin scene so different and special?
In my own opinion all start-up hubs require people with ideas, funding to fuel them in certain cases (but not always) and then it’s also got to be the people within those cities. My feeling from having been in the Dublin ecosystem for the best part of the last decade is the people here really make this all possible. It’s the community builders tirelessly volunteering their time and expertise to create opportunities for those coming up through the ranks and it’s the community leaders in place to spot talent and move it forward.

According to your own figures, Dublin was the centre of new company start-ups in 2019. How do you see ways of spreading this momentum to other regions of Ireland? Indeed, do you see Startup Week happening in other Irish cities in the not-to-distant future?

The best thing about Startup Week globally is that they are volunteer lead happenings geared towards showcasing the entrepreneurs, innovators and community in any given city! IF other cities are interested in bringing a Techstars Startup Week to their city all they need to do is go to https://startupweek.co/ and apply from there!

Main image (from left): Ken Finnegan, CEO Tangent; Jennifer Melia, manager, Enterprise Ireland HPSU; Kim McKenzie Doyle, Voxgig; Steven O’Gara, Dublin City Council; Roisin Lyons, DCU; Furkan Karayel, DiverseIN; Talita Holzer, WaytoB; and Startup Week Dublin organisers Colin Keogh, Gene Murphy and David Pollard. Image: Andres Poveda

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

Published: 3 October, 2019

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