The numbers add up at Startup Weekend Dublin’s fintech edition

17 Nov 2017

A collage of the activity over the weekend. Image: Bank of Ireland Startlab

At Startup Weekend Dublin’s fintech edition, budding entrepreneurs came together and devised seven cool business ideas in one weekend.

‘It’s Me’, a start-up focused on enabling financial transactions for those in care, was the winning company at the inaugural Startup Weekend fintech edition in Dublin.

Startup Weekend, a Techstars programme supported by Bank of Ireland and Google for Entrepreneurs, is an incredible experience where total strangers test their entrepreneurial chops. They turn up, participate in a frenetic bootcamp where they have to devise an idea, validate it, come up with the bones of a minimal viable product and pitch before exacting judges.

The fintech edition of Startup Weekend, which took place at the new Bank of Ireland Startlab on Camden Street in Dublin, was no different.

About 45 people turned up last Friday (10 November). They formed themselves into teams, and 15 pitches were whittled down to seven, which went before a judging panel that included yours truly as well as Jeanne Kelly of FR Kelly, David Scanlon from NDRC, Michael O’Dea from Enterprise Ireland, Niall O’Callaghan of New Ireland Assurance and Gennadiy Nissenbaum from Google.

A penny for your thoughts

The numbers add up at Startup Weekend Dublin’s fintech edition

Competitors and judges at Startup Weekend Dublin’s fintech edition. Image: Bank of Ireland Startlab

The ideas presented included: Tip Jar (rewarding journalists for content), Fin-Ed (promoting money education for 12-18-year-olds), Gaucho Tech (aiming to change the paper-based nature of the insurance industry), TryB (dealing with group payments), TechMatrix (mining entrepreneurial data), It’s Me (simplifying financial transactions and payments for those in care) and All Ins (using AR to insure your belongings).

The overall winner was It’s Me, with Gaucho Tech as the runner-up.

It’s Me will go on to take a sponsored programme space at the Camden Street Startlab, and will also progress to the regional round of the Techstars Global Startup Weekend Challenge.

Over this past and next weekend, around 200 Startup Weekend events are happening around the world. This weekend will see the university edition of Startup Weekend take place at Google’s Dublin headquarters.

The fintech edition was a poignant affair as it marked trailblazer Gene Murphy’s final occasion organising the Dublin arm of Startup Weekend.

“[It has] been great supporting Startup Weekend across Ireland for the last number of years, and now being able to introduce people to fintech through Startup Weekend Dublin fintech edition has shown there are some excellent ideas to help open up this space even more,” he said.

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