In February, we held Founder Weekend online, broadcasted from the PorterShed in Eyre Square, and it was a huge success as over 100 people (some 60 start-ups all told) came together to hear each other’s ideas and engage across a three-day innovation event.
Rosemary Gallagher, PorterShed Programme Manager, led the proceedings as host as the event kicked off on February 18th, and it was fantastic to see so many people take part throughout the next few days.
For those who don’t know, Founder Weekend is an NDRC programme for early-stage founders to develop their ideas, pitch to a panel of judges, and receive guided mentorship from experts across a number of industries, and with diverse backgrounds.
The winners of the Best Pitch award were PitchedIt, a community-powered fundraising platform for both founders starting out and investors to turn ideas into realities.
PitchedIt is led by Robert Halligan and Scott Ashmore, and the start-up was originally set up in 2021.
The winners of the Most Potential award were Mindful IVF – a start-up founded by Gordon Mullins that ‘leverages science to improve fertility mental fitness, bringing mind and body into balance and helps couples, women and men achieve a healthy, happy IVF experience.’
Over 100 applications were received prior to February’s Founder Weekend launch, and it was so satisfying to see so many ideas shared, dozens of pitches made, and new ventures kick-started overnight.
We heard from Salaso Health CEO and founder, Aoife Ni Mhuiri, Content Llama co-founder, Joleen Looney, as well as many NDRC champions, speakers, and leaders.
Founder Weekend also hosted a number of informative workshops designed to build early-stage founders’ knowledge bases across pitching, how to craft an engaging presentation, and more.
In just a few short weeks from April 8-10, there will be another NDRC Founder Weekend, hosted by our hub partners in the RDI Hub in Kerry, and they are already welcoming applicants for their edition – so be sure to check out that link and apply before it’s too late.
In the coming weeks, we’re set to publish exclusive interviews with the winners of February’s event – both PitchedIt and MindfulIVF, and we can’t wait to share their insights with you in our end-of-April newsletter.
By Trevor Murray