Hey it’s a Campus Party! Irish entrepreneurs head for Berlin tech festival

21 Aug 2012

A group of young Irish entrepreneurs will be travelling to Berlin this week to take part in Campus Party, Europe’s biggest technology festival.

Campus Party, sponsored by Telefonica, which runs from 21-26 August, 2012 at the former Tempelhof airport in Berlin, offers more than 600 hours of talks, discussions and workshops in 16 different content areas which are divided into areas like free software, entrepreneurship, social media, gaming, development, robotics, design and more. 

This year will be the first time the festival will be held in Germany.

Various editions take place in Sao Paulo, Bogota, Valencia, Quito and Mexico City.

Campus Party has grown into a global community of 180,000 young, passionate technologists.

Campus Party will bring together 10,000 of Europe’s most talented minds, all equipped with laptops, sleeping bags and great ideas.

The Irish applicants were selected by Think Big, a programme designed by O2 and Headstrong, the National Centre for Youth Mental Health, to enable young people to do projects in their community that will make a difference to young people’s mental health.

The right idea

Think Big called on budding entrepreneurs to submit their idea for a smartphone app which in some way can play a part in promoting positive mental health amongst young people – with the two best ideas taking part in an app development workshop at Campus Party as well as receiving support from O2 and Headstrong to bring their ideas to life through the Think Big programme.

One of the winning projects, submitted by Trinity College Dublin’s Welfare Officer Aisling Ní Chonaire, is aimed at developing a welfare smartphone app so that students can more easily avail of information about mental, sexual and physical health, financial planning and other relevant topics.

Kevin McGowan, from Schull, Co. Cork is the other competition winner, and he wants to promote positive mental health by developing an app to send ‘feelgood texts’ promoting positive mental health messages to subscribers at regular intervals.

Ailsing, Kevin and their project teams will get an opportunity to learn more about programming and appdevelopment at the specially organised workshop.

Speaking at the event will be some of the world’s leading authorities on innovation and innovative thinking, including,amongst others: Sir Tim Berners Lee – inventor of the Internet; author Paulo Coelho; Don Tapscott – TED speaker, author of ‘Growing up Digital’ and business guru; Yossi Vardi – one of Israel’s first high-tech entrepreneurs.

The event will also be attended by Neelie Kroes, European Commissioner for Digital Agenda, and Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years