Student Startup Weekend says yes to social network for brides (video)

18 Nov 2015

The Bridal Network founder Orla Byrne and deputy founder and head of marketing Colman Godfrey at Startup Weekend Dublin: Student Edition. Photo by Luke Maxwell

The winning idea from the first ever Startup Weekend Dublin: Student Edition could be a bride’s best friend.

Young people from different backgrounds arrived at Google’s EMEA HQ last Friday evening to form teams and build a winning start-up in just 54 hours.

By Saturday, most teams understood the Lean start-up model and were seeking to build a minimum viable product in the limited allotted timeframe. Those with grander ambitions were also seeking interest from investors for their nascent, but accelerated, ideas.

On Sunday, the pitches began and the winners reaped the rewards. In third place was financial platform Rosca, with event management service Entify in second.

And cream of the crop was deemed to be The Bridal Network, a social network for brides to assist them in planning their wedding.

The Bridal Network

The Bridal Network was declared the best of 21 original ideas pitched at the student Startup Weekend, winning a prize with a total value of over €4,000 and a trip to Berlin with Startup Europe.

Over the course of the weekend, The Bridal Network founder Orla Byrne was quick to catch the entrepreneurial bug.

“I’m never happy unless I’m working on something new and exciting and I always want a little bit more,” she said.

“Being an entrepreneur is definitely the way to go around that. It’s exciting, it’s always kind of fresh, you’re learning as you go and it’s definitely where I can see myself being forever.”

Positive experience

Digital Youth Council founding member Daniel Kyne spoke to students, organisers, Googlers and the global Startup Weekend director during the three-day event in Dublin.

John Beadle, global director for Startup Weekend at TechStars, noted how the event can give young entrepreneurs great visibility, with last year’s videos from participants getting 1.4bn impressions.

Startup Ireland co-founder Gene Murphy was on hand to mentor teams taking their first steps and supported the event as a positive experience for aspiring young entrepreneurs.

“It just gives people a really great way to role play being an entrepreneur,” he said.

“What I mean by that is, generally, the people we see going to start-up weekends may or may not have been used to start-ups before or had an experience with that, and over 54 hours they just get to learn so much.”

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.