Startup Weekend winds its way to Waterford’s Crystal Valley

22 Mar 2019

Waterford. Image: © Madrugada Verde/

Move over, Silicon Valley – the Crystal Valley in Ireland’s sunny south-east is where the action will be in April.

The 54-hour Startup Weekend challenge for complete strangers to band together and bring an idea from start-up to MVP in just a few days is winding its way to Waterford.

Between 5 and 7 April, Startup Weekend Waterford will challenge all sorts of people –from entrepreneurs to developers, designers, students and professionals looking to switch careers – to try their hand at start-up life.

There will be knowledgeable and successful entrepreneurs in attendance to inspire, share and mentor each team throughout the weekend.

The Startup Weekend will be held at Bank of Ireland’s Workbench in Waterford city. Alongsige Google for Entrepreneurs, the event is sponsored and organised by South East BIC, Bank of Ireland and Crystal Valley Tech.

Learn by doing

A man and four women, one of them wearing a VR headset.

From left: Aidan Shine, South East BIC; Laura O’Keeffe, Bank of Ireland; Elaine Fennelly, Crystal Valley Tech; Pamela Pim, Bank of Ireland; and Rosemary Ward, South East BIC. Image: Startup Weekend

“This is a wonderful addition to the start-up ecosystem in Waterford, along with WIT spin-outs, our own venture capital company Suir Valley Ventures, a thriving tech meet-up scene, the NDRC accelerator programme at ArcLabs and, of course, a critical mass of ICT companies in the city. This event will hopefully reach a new audience who may have the next big idea,” said the CEO of Crystal Valley Tech, Elaine Fennelly.

The Startup Weekend event in Waterford builds on a tradition of successful Startup Weekends in Dublin as well as one on Achill Island last year.

“It is very exciting to be hosting Startup Weekend in our new Workbench on the quay, where entrepreneurs and creative minds will aim to find the inspiration to help launch their bright ideas and meet people to partner with in bringing these ideas to life,” said Bank of Ireland’s Pamela Pim.

“Bank of Ireland is delighted to be on board from the start of this innovative programme and we look forward to welcoming the participants in April.”

Startup Weekends are about learning through the act of creating. Participants don’t just listen to theory, but build out their own ideas and truly put them to the test while collaborating with like-minded, passionate individuals from a wide variety of backgrounds and points of view.

On top of that, Startup Weekenders receive invaluable one-on-one time with the movers and shakers within the community, as local tech and start-up leaders take part in Startup Weekends as coaches and judges. Not only that, but participants will be joining a global community of more than 30,000 Startup Weekend alumni.

“It is a great opportunity for the city and region to show its true entrepreneurial pedigree,” added South East BIC CEO Aidan Shine.

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