Last weekend, I had the pleasure of attending a Dublin startup weekend called “Dublin Launch48”. The premise of the weekend was to develop good business ideas from inception to realisation over the course of 48 hours. At the end of the weekend, you (and your newly formed team) have present your work, explain how you came up with the idea to solve a problem, demonstrate your solution, and have a business model and revenue plan in place.
The weekend consisted of:
- Short 60 second pitches
- Idea selection / voting
- Team formation
- Mentor advice
- Boardroom meetings
- Hacking / Planning /Discussing / Fleshing out ideas
- Final presentation of a weekend of sweat.
This was my first foray into the world of startup companies and entrepreneurship, something that I’ve wanted to explore for quite some time. I arrived to the venue – the Guiness Enterprise Centre with no ideas, no expectations, and no mates. But I’m delighted to say that the weekend was astoundingly rewarding, and very well run.
Unplanned, I actually ended up pitching an idea for a mobile phone service that can automatically estimate what the cost of your mobile phone bill would be under all of the available plan options in Ireland. A team of 7 of us worked on the idea, (which was dubbed KillBiller!) over the weekend. We managed to get a rudimentary prototype working, a website developed, the business model in place.
Launch48 was the ideal place for these activities since it truly brought people from a range of backgrounds together and added a dose of 24 experienced Irish entrepreneurs (mentors) to the mix. I was blown away by the ease at which the mentors could help the teams contact influential people in a range of industries, and the experience they brought to the table free of charge.
Some of the other memorable ideas that came out of the weekend were:
- Lunchbox – a company focussing on pre-ordering sandwiches at busy lunchtimes to use the pre-lunch down time and reduce waits.
- MiHealth – a mobile phone app designed to reduce heart-disease risk
- CloudDock – a platform that seamlessly consolidates online document-sharing facilities like Dropbox and Sugarsync.
- Tribe Foodie – an online loyalty card system that gamifies restaurant loyalty through a level-up system.
As for KillBiller – we’re in the decision-making process as to whether it continues!