StartUp Gathering kicks off a week of almost 400 startup events with the Dublin Startup Island 2020 forum in the Google Foundry

The Startup Gathering programme of almost 400 events gets underway in the Google Foundry today (Monday) with the Dublin Startup Island 2020 Forum, which will include guest speakers from Startup Commons Global, Intel’s Internet of Things, Dell, and Startup Gathering sponsor Bank of Ireland.

The event will be addressed by Richard Bruton, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and Ged Nash, Minister for Business & Employment. Supported by Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation through the Action Plan for Jobs 2015 and sponsored by Bank of Ireland, the Startup Gathering 2015 is set to be one of the biggest startup events in the world. The aim of the Startup Gathering is to promote entrepreneurship and help develop word-class regional startup hubs as well as highlighting Ireland’s startup sector to global entrepreneurs, innovators and research and development teams.

Close to 400 gatherings will take place in 5 cities over 5 days – Dublin, Waterford, Cork, Limerick and Galway, giving participants the opportunity to showcase their startups, connect to the supports and services they need, take part in networking opportunities and collaborate with other startups and established corporates. There are also extensive Startup Gathering programmes taking place in the North East and North West.

Speaking at Startup Island 2020 Forum, Minister Richard Bruton, said “As I have said before, we have great entrepreneurs in Ireland, we just don’t have enough of them. Two thirds of all new jobs across the economy are created by startups – that’s why it is so crucial that we get our policies on entrepreneurship right. We have put in place a startup plan aiming to create almost 100,000 extra jobs from startups over the coming years, and we have created new mentoring supports, new incubation spaces, new tax measures and a new competition to find Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur. The Startup Gathering is a major part of this plan, and the response to the initiative to date is more evidence of the huge potential that exists. I would encourage anyone with an interest in starting a business to get involved, and I look forward to an exciting programme of events across the country over the next week.”

Minister Ged Nash, who chairs the Steering Committee of the Startup Gathering, said “The next week is a fantastic opportunity for those who are thinking of starting a business, those who want to scale their business or others who might want to invest in startups to come together, be inspired by each other and share new ideas during the 400 events taking place. I have championed the idea of the Startup Gathering from the outset and am very pleased to see such an array of events right across the country celebrating our startup ecosystem and, more importantly examining how Ireland can truly become a startup hub, to rival any other country globally. I would encourage any entrepreneurs or those with an entrepreneurial spirit to get involved and support the Startup Gathering.”

Eoin Costello, co-founder of Startup Ireland and national director for the Startup Gathering 2015 said, “Over the next five days, each of the Startup Gathering Cities will host a Startup Island 2020 Forum, bringing all of the players in the startup ecosystem together to discuss the big ideas that will turn their location into a startup hub. We are thrilled to have nearly 400 startup gatherings taking place throughout Ireland this week. We believe Ireland has all of the vital ingredients to become a global startup hub, what we need now is to bring them together to make it a reality. Startup Gathering is about driving real change across the startup sector, creating better networks, connections and collaborations with all of the players across the entrepreneurship spectrum – the startup leaders, investors, Government, research centres, universities, large corporates, and multi-nationals – to work collectively to build on Ireland’s strengths, and work towards the shared goal of Ireland becoming a world class startup hub by 2020.”

Gerry Prizeman, Head of Enterprise at Bank of Ireland said “We know that all startups have to start somewhere, from the kitchen table to the scaling of a business with global ambitions, our entrepreneurs are driving their businesses forward every day and Bank of Ireland wants to partner with them on that journey. We already support startups through our day to day business, and we’ve also developed links with startup funders to support entrepreneurs. Startup Ireland’s vision to make Ireland a global startup hub is one which Bank of Ireland shares, and anything we can do to leverage the knowledge and scale of the banking organisation, we will be happy to share so that we encourage more people to take the step of starting their own business.”

Among the Startup Gathering initiatives, key sponsor Bank of Ireland will run a dedicated programme of over 70 events across the five cities, including talks with leading sectorial and industry experts in Bank of Ireland branches throughout the country as well as Pitching events and partnerships with Ibec for Speed Networking and Advice Clinics.

To attract overseas entrepreneurs, Enterprise Ireland has established a dedicated €500,000 startup fund in conjunction with the Startup Gathering to attract international startups to locate in Ireland.

A sample of events taking place during Startup Gathering 2015 week include:


The Startup Gathering also has the privilege to host the 12 participating ‘early stage’ companies from the inaugural ChallengeUP programme, a joint incubation programme supported by Intel, Cisco and Deutsche Telekom.  These 12 companies were selected from over 300 applicants across EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) and are visiting the Startup Gathering as part of an extensive learning and networking experience offered by the ChallengeUp Programme.  We welcome too the numerous mentors supporting the ChallengeUP companies from Intel, Cisco and Deutsche Telekom.

Startup Island 2020 Forum - As part of the biggest national startup event in the world, Startup Gathering 2015, Startup Island 2020 Forum is one of a series of events that will take place across Ireland. The overall goal is to champion the growth of the startup sector in Ireland so it becomes a leading global hub for startups by 2020. A highly interactive forum with open discussions and breakout sessions. Keynote speakers and forum guests discuss their roles within the startup community and what their vision is to make Ireland a Startup hub by 2020.

ISA TechBrew - Run by the Irish Software Association (ISA), ISA TechBrew is an informal gathering of software company management and technology leaders, getting together to chat over a bite and a beer.

The Silicon Stroll 2015 - Following on from last year’s successful “Silicon Stroll” event, DublinBIC are hosting their annual “Current Trends and Future Insights” Conference as part of the startup Gathering 2015. Join us for the Silicon Stroll 2015 in the Marker Hotel located in the heart of Dublin’s Silicon Docklands as tech giants stroll through their perspective on Current Trends and Future Insights. Multinationals from the Internet, enterprise software and the Internet of things take to the stage to deliver presentations on their views of “Current Trends and Future Insights”.


CoderDojo presents: MegaDojo Limerick - A mixture of CoderDojo sessions, cool technology talks and some fun science events. The talks will be a mixture of speakers from multinationals, local businesses and startups. Local companies and startups will be invited display their products as well as CoderDojo Coolest Project entries from around the country. A youth Hackathon will be held over the day with challenges set and prizes given by sponsoring companies in the region. All Dojo in Ireland as well as the public are invited to come along and have fun on the day.


The Enterprise Playground - In partnership with the Waterford City and Dungarvan Enterprise Centres, The Enterprise Playground is a workshop where new business ideas are developed, creatively expressed, their market broadly defined and the financial needs outlined. The workshop is designed for those in a startup phase or those adding new products/services to an existing offering.


Bank of Ireland presents: Female Founders – East Side Story. Leading female business leaders from the surrounding area of Galway share their business experiences, whilst also discussing the support they have received from various support networks e.g. GTC which led to their business success.


Launch of The Entrepreneur Ship - The official launch of The Entrepreneur Ship in a new co-creation space for maritime and energy startups and overseas companies looking for touchdown space. The Entrepreneur Ship fosters the most exciting technologies being developed by talented entrepreneurs and companies on a co-located campus with world class research, training and test bed facilities. On the night the finalists of the IMERC Innovator of the Year Award will pitch to our audience with the judges selecting the winner.

Some of the speakers throughout the week include;

  • Eoin Costello, CEO & Co-Founder Startup Ireland
  • Oscar Ramirez Munoz & Valto Loikkanen, Startup Commons Global
  • Philip Moynagh, Vice President, Intel Internet of Things
  • Niamh Townsend, General Manager, Dell Ireland
  • Dermot Berkery, Delta Partners
  • Elaine Lavery, Co-Founder Improper Butter
  • Carl Power, National Digital Research Centre
  • Shane Lynn, Founder & COE KillBiller
  • David Tighe, Head of Innovation, Bank of Ireland

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