Edtech start-up Kick Ass schools everyone at Startup Weekend

3 Oct 2017

Delegates at Startup Weekend Edu, Dublin. Image: David Winn

The spirit of education was alive and well at Startup Weekend Edu.

Kick Ass, a start-up that has built a platform to enable a lifelong-learning roadmap for users, was crowned the No 1 team at Startup Weekend recently. It will receive free co-working space at Versari Partners for the rest of the year.

The third edition of Startup Weekend Education (Edu) brought together educators, developers, designers and entrepreneurs who are passionate about education.

Start-up participants were given 54 hours to build game-changing products.

According to Gene Murphy, entrepreneur in residence at Bank of Ireland (BOI), it is less than two years since the first of the series was held in the BOI Workbench in Grand Canal. Murphy is also spearheading the Irish edition of the Startup Boost pre-accelerator, which arrives in Dublin, Austin, Detroit, Los Angeles, London and Toronto this month.

Environment to flourish

Inspired by the people, passion and venue, Learning Tech Labs was set up by this year’s lead organisers, David Pollard, Amy Keith and Ruta Danyte. Since then, their edtech community has grown rapidly to more than 2,100 members.

“Over the course of the weekend, teams experienced the adrenaline of the exhilarating start-up world,” Murphy explained.

Startup Weekend Edu also welcomed facilitator Roger Osorio, entrepreneurship programme leader at IBM, from New York City to share his expertise with Dublin’s start-up community.

While learning to create and develop their company and product, participants had the unique opportunity to hone their skills as they worked directly with expert mentors, investors and speakers before facing a panel of influential thought leaders from Enterprise Ireland, BOI, CJ Fallon, NDRC and Dogpatch Labs.

Pollard said the international collaboration was a prime example of the spirit of Startup Weekend Edu.

“Effective collaboration and communication are crucial factors for success at any level.

“Startup Weekend Education provides the perfect environment for teams to flourish and become part of a diverse global community.”

The next edition of Startup Weekend will be all about fintech and will take place on the weekend of 10-12 November. It will be the first time a fintech vertical will be tackled by the event series in Dublin.

“Having the opportunity to support people in taking their first steps into entrepreneurship with the global initiative Startup Weekend is something very important to us,” said Murphy.

“Over the past four years, we have worked to expand Startup Weekend as a way to get people involved in entrepreneurship across Ireland, and it is great to see Startup Weekend Education edition go from strength to strength in that time.”

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