All-female start-up to launch at Culture TECH festival in Derry

1 Aug 2012

Breda Doherty and Catherine Morris, co-founders of, a new Irish start-up that’s aiming to bring the global event community together by creating a digital platform for event goers, is set to launch at the Derry festival Culture TECH in late August. Breda Doherty and Catherine Morris are the duo behind the new venture.

The idea of, which is currently in beta mode, is to be a type of social media platform for festival goers, particularly those attending independent music festivals, to swop tips, connect with other festival goers and rate their experiences following an event.

Start-up idea spawned at SXSW in Texas in 2010

We first wrote about after Morris, who hails from Omagh, demoed at the May Dublin Beta start-up event. She co-founded the new venture with Doherty, who is from Derry.

They came up with the idea for during the music, film, and interactive conference South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, Texas, in 2010, after realising they’d both encountered similar issues when planning their attendance at that year’s conference.

“We’d each spent a significant amount of time researching and planning our attendance at SXSW, including suitable accommodation, how to get around the city, where to eat as a vegetarian in the very non-veggie state of Texas. All of this planning left less time to focus on the best ways to get the most out of SXSW from a business perspective,” said Morris.

Doherty said she and Morris started talking about possible solutions and kept coming back to this idea of one central hub that would pull in all the information people usually need to plan their event attendance, as well as providing a digital platform for event goers to network.

Looking to the arts, music and digital arenas

According to Morris, will cater for events with a music, arts or digital focus. She said the start-up will hone in on the increasing trend for festivals and conferences such as SXSW, CMJ in New York and Culture TECH, as these events all offer a fusion of digital, music and arts themes.

In terms of the genesis of the company, last year Morris and Doherty pitched their idea at Digital Derry’s SeedComp in front of judges who included Facebook’s global director of operations, Colm Long. Since then, they have been refining and tweaking their business vision.

“Our research showed that’s functionality is of particular benefit to events with a more independent ethos like IndieTracks in Derbyshire and Green Man Festival in Wales,” said Doherty.

Two new hires

And the co-founders have just taken on two new hires: Lynn Jennings, who will work in marketing and business development at, and Ann-Marie Duffin who will work as content and community contributor.

As for Culture TECH, the festival will run in Derry for four days from 29 August to 1 September. Up to 10,000 people are expected to attend the festival, according to the event’s organiser Mark Nagurski. Acts that will be performing include the Dublin Laptop Orchestra, Kasper Rosa, Duke Special and the Wood Burning Savages.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic