Free tech event to get students thinking about start-ups

2 Apr 2012

A free technology event called Connector is taking place this Wednesday in Dublin to get third-level students all fired up about opting for the start-up route after they graduate. The event itself is the brainchild of three master’s students at Dublin City University (DCU).

The event is taking place in the Helix at DCU this Wednesday, 4 April between 2-4.30pm. Speakers such as Mark Little of Storyful, Ciaran Crean of Micks Garage and tech investor Eoghan Jennings, who also runs Startupbootcamp in Dublin, will be sharing their business acumen with attendees.

Niall Harbison, one of the co-founders of the social media agency Simply Zesty, will also be speaking at the event. The start-up was acquired by TV and internet player UTV plc for about stg£1.7m in early March.

Minister Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, Alan Kelly, TD, will open the event, which is is the brainchild of three students at DCU – Gareth Fox, John Walsh and Ed O’Riordan. The trio are working toward their master’s degrees in e-commerce.

Fox said today the event is free for students and is also open to the general public.

“We want to get students thinking about launching their own business and creating their own jobs instead of going down the traditional graduate job route,” said Fox.

He said another aim of the event is to forge links between different faculties, such as computing and business.

“It will hopefully create connections between students that could possibly lead to future enterprises. At the moment, we see a recurring trend where business students have an idea but no technical skills, such as programming, and the same is true of programmers who have all the skills but perhaps not the business acumen to make their idea commercially viable,” he said.

And if Wednesday’s event goes well, Fox said the aim is to launch another event in early summer in conjunction with the Ryan Academy.

“It would see students coming together over a weekend and working together to try and kick start a few new business ideas,” he said.

So how did the trio manage to get such a vibrant line-up of speakers? “All three of us regularly attend events such as Startup Bootcamp, Dublin Beta and Startup Summit, etc., so it was through networking over a period of time that we managed to develop such connections,” said Fox.

“We all want to start our own business once we finish the course and we wanted to highlight this possibility to other students while making new connections at the same time.”

He also said the event would be recorded and put online for people who cannot attend Wednesday’s event.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic