Dublin BIC hopes to bring more Facebook Hackathons to Ireland

23 Aug 2012

Boris Yesugey from Facebook, Colm Cleary from Text Me a Drink, and Chris Small from Vendorshop at Ireland's first Facebook Hackathon in the Guinness Enterprise Centre

Having chalked Ireland’s first Facebook Hackathon up as a success, Dublin Business Innovation Centre (Dublin BIC) hopes to make these events a regular occurrence, offering computer programmers the chance to collaborate on projects alongside Facebook engineers.

The enterprise development organisation hosted its first Facebook Hackathon at the Guinness Enterprise Centre (GEC) on 16 August, with nine Dublin BIC-supported companies taking part.

Companies such as Vendorshop, Text Me a Drink and Omnimotion opened up their code, site and commercial models for a nine-hour session of deconstruction and reconstruction to help improve their services. The aim was to make them more intuitive, user-friendly and better for customer engagement.

“This was an excellent experience. The insight we gained from the Facebook team over the day had an immediate impact on how we are going to work going forward,” said Chris Small, founder of Vendorshop. “We left the session tired but excited and with a number of the new functions fully integrated and live.”

Facebook Hackathons are a tradition at Facebook and have gained a large following worldwide. In fact, Facebook is currently on a hackathon world tour for World Hack 2012. What comes from these sessions can often be crucial for new products, and Dublin BIC wants to see Irish companies participating in and benefitting from these events on a regular basis.

“Following on from a successful Facebook workshop in the GEC last May, Facebook offered us the opportunity to put forward companies that would get value from a hack,” said John Phelan project executive at Dublin BIC. “We jumped at the opportunity and hope to continue developing our relationship with Facebook, making these events a permanent feature for start-ups in Ireland.”

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.