Cork’s first ever Startup Weekend ended last night, with the top prize going to Task Me Now for its BrainCredit app to help companies crowdsource for expertise for specific projects.
Teams from both Ireland and the UK converged in University College Cork (UCC) for the 54-hour start-up event this past weekend. People with ideas, including developers, marketers and designers, merged to form teams and pursue ideas for new start-ups. Startup Weekends takes place almost every weekend in cities across the globe.
Will Martin, the organiser of Cork Startup Weekend, said attendees heard 32 idea pitches for new ventures on Friday evening. From there, teams then formed to develop these start-up ideas. Over the weekend they were helped along with some mentoring from entrepreneurs.
The winning start-up, Task Me Now, impressed the judges for its business strategy for mobile apps to allow businesses to crowdsource for expertise.
The start-up’s co-founders Robin Yearsley and Martin Horton travelled from the UK for the Cork event. Their first app called BrainCredit aims to allow managers and business owners to complete specific tasks using the ‘knowledge sourcing’ app without having to endure additional recruitment costs.
“Our solution matches the knowledge a business requires with exactly the right skills and experts through the BrainCredit app,” explained Yearsley.
“We deliberately chose to come to Startup Weekend Cork as we know the entrepreneurial culture here is very vibrant,” he added.
The judges who picked Task Me Now as the overall winner included Gareth Keane, an investor at Qualcomm Ventures; tech investor Sean O’Sullivan; Eamon Leonard from Engine Yard; and Pat Phelan, CEO at Trustev.
Siobhan Finn from Cork Innovates, who was one of the organisers of the event, said there was a strong focus on apps and technology products over the course of the weekend.
“Real credit is due to those who brought their ideas here, and particularly to the entrepreneurs and business community who gave their time freely to ensure their market and customer insights was available to the start-ups,” she said.
Another start-up idea that also caught people’s attention was the Diabetic Dan app. Naomi Sirmans, Kieran Desmond, Ina O’Mhurchu and Grainne Daly worked on the idea for the app, which involves a game to help children understand Type 1 diabetes. Alex Cooney, a second-year student at UCC, came up with the original idea for the app.
Team behind the Diabetic Dan app: Naomi Sirmans, Kieran Desmond, Ina O’Mhurchu and Grainne Daly