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Future Leaders’ Hackathon 2018

American Chamber Future Leaders’

Hackathon 2018

in partnership with the DCU Ryan Academy

8 – 10 February 2018

Following the success of #WorldofTalent Future Leaders Hackathon 2017, the American Chamber of Commerce Ireland is delighted to announce its return, from 8 – 10 February 2018. The Hackathon will gather 80 – 100 future leaders from the member companies to form multi-disciplinary cross-sector teams to hack a solution to the #WorldofTalent Challenge: To create an innovation, service or product that facilitates Ireland to be the best place to live and work.

The DCU Ryan Academy for entrepreneurs will be hosting this Hackathon in partnership with the American Chamber of Commerce Ireland, the Hackathon provides a fantastic opportunity for nominated future leaders to hothouse their leadership skills – communications, marketing, team-building, negotiating, pitching, presenting, to name a few – to network in a fun, yet competitive, environment and to create innovative solutions.

The multi-disciplinary, cross sector Hackathon teams will be formed from our members, ensuring that all participants have an opportunity to maximise engagement with other companies. A great opportunity for your next generation leaders – no matter their skills background as a Hackathon needs all kinds of participants (it is not just for techies!) – to participate in a great personal and professional development opportunity.

The Challenge:

To Create an Innovation, Service or Product that facilitates Ireland to be the Best Place to Live and Work

When:            Thursday 8 February – kicking off at 6pm – Saturday 10 February 2018

Where:           DCU St Patrick’s Campus, Drumcondra, Dublin 9

Who:               ‘Future Leaders’ – high potential individuals drawn from member companies of the American Chamber

How Many:     80 to 100 participants/75+ Companies

A range of skills backgrounds required including:  Communications, Marketing, Operations, Business Development, Engineering, Software/App/Web Developers, Talent/HR, Administration, Financial, and Legal.

*Please note that applications will only be accepted from members of the American Chamber of Commerce Ireland.

Application deadline is 5pm on Friday 15 December 2017
Successful participants will be notified by Friday 12 January 2018.


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Building Better Futures: Migrant Women’s Entrepreneurship Training









‘Building Better Futures – Migrant Women’s Entrepreneurship’ is a training programme aimed at increasing migrant women’s entrepreneurial activity in Ireland. The course is being run by Migrant Rights Centre Ireland (MRCI) with partners DCU Ryan Academy for Entrepreneurship and is free of charge for participants. The bespoke training programme delivered by DCU Ryan Academy for Entrepreneurs will provide 25 migrant women with an overview of key aspects of being a successful entrepreneur in Ireland. The modules delivered will provide technical knowledge and expertise for participants to start and grow their own businesses. Students will be supported and mentored by leading industry and education experts.

Modules include:

  • Setting up a Business in Ireland
  • Customer Journey and Customer Discovery
  • Sales Strategy and Process
  • Branding and Digital Marketing
  • Financial Planning
  • Communicating your Business
  • Mentorship Support

Who is this for?

The training is for migrant women entrepreneurs who:

  • have previous business experience either in Ireland or in their country of origin
  • and/or have a great start-up idea and need support to make it happen
  • and/or have an early stage start-up and need support to upscale and expand their business

Places on the training are limited to 25. The course is open to migrant women in Ireland. Thosefrom outside the EU must hold a valid Stamp 4 or be naturalised Irish citizens.

Restrictions due to funder requirements: women on jobseeker’s allowance/benefit are not eligible to apply for the course. Other social welfare payment recipients are eligible.

Deadline for applications: November 30th 2017.

What are the costs?

This course is fully funded by the ESF Gender Equality Fund under its Women’s Entrepreneurship funding stream 2017-2020.

The course is FREE for participants.

Where is it on?

DCU Ryan Academy for Entrepreneurs, 3013 Lake Drive, Citywest Business Campus, Dublin 24, Ireland.

When is it on?

The training will run over 9 days in late Spring/Summer 2018, taking place on Saturdays from 9.30am to 4.30pm. Exact dates and timetables will be confirmed at a later date.

How do I apply?

Complete the Building Better Futures application form and email it to by Thursday November 30th 2017.

Questions? Contact Project Coordinator Aoife Smith at 5242397 or Jane Xavier at

Ireland’s first legal blockchain hackathon takes place in Dublin


Matheson was delighted to host Ireland’s first ever legal hackathon over the weekend, in partnership with Deloitte, IBM with the hackathon event run by DCU Ryan Academy.

Participants gathered in Matheson HQ for the two day event focusing on blockchain and the new business opportunities that is brings.  The initiative is part of Matheson’s wider Smart programme, launched in 2016, which is focused on looking for innovative ideas to improve client service, efficiencies and collaboration incorporating the latest themes such as fintech, AI and blockchain.

Michael Jackson, Managing Partner at Matheson, said –

“We were delighted to host Ireland’s first ever legal hackathon, another piece in the innovation jigsaw here at Matheson – innovation is at the core of what we do and ensures we stay ahead of the curve.  We recognise the need to change and embrace new technologies in order to provide the best possible level of service to our clients.”

Blockchain technology facilitates transactions and stores information using a secure, distributed ledger system. Its most famous application, the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, allows users to send money directly to another user’s ‘wallet’ saving time and money. Blockchain has the potential to revolutionise every industry that transacts goods and services, including law.

Speaking after the event, Rebecca Ryan Matheson partner and leader of Smart, the firm’s innovation initiative said –

“Following two very busy but rewarding days of ideas building and innovative discussions, our participants are walking away with valuable insights into the world of blockchain and the opportunities it brings for both the financial services and legal services sectors.  Shaping the future of business and revolutionising the way we communicate, collaborate and create, blockchain is all about how we organise trust in our systems and in our society.”

At the hackathon, attendees pitched blockchain ideas for further development, including a distributed energy grid, a qualification registry, and a smart contract system for housing rental. Teams voted on the best ideas and spent the hackathon fleshing them out and working on their implementation.  Ideas were judged on their creativity, innovation and feasibility.

Speakers included Lory Kehoe, leader of Deloitte’s Europe EMEA blockchain lab who explained the workings of blockchain, its features and the advantages it offers over existing technologies and systems while David Fisher, founder and CEO of Integra Ledger, provided insights and gave participants a hands-on, live experience of a blockchain specifically developed for the event.  The schedule also included Niall Dennehy, COO and co-founder of Aid:Tech, who gave a demonstration of Aid:Tech’s blockchain, which was recently used to successfully deliver aid to Syrian refugees in a transparent, secure way.

Ireland’s first STEAM Hackathon explores intersection between arts and technology

Dublin City University students from diverse disciplines came together over the weekend for Ireland’s first ever STEAM hackathon, powered by Intel Ireland.

The 72-hour ideas marathon brought together student innovators, creatives, entrepreneurs and developers to build exciting new products using Intel technology. Putting the ‘A’ into STEM education, the students were challenged to explore their artistic and creative sides in combination with STEM skillsets and to discover how the arts can interact with technological creativity by blending music, visual arts and performance arts with enabling Intel technology.

The aim of this weekend was to expose students to the intersection between arts and technology to see what could be achieved when innovative ideas and critical thinking is applied in this space, while also inspiring students, expanding their skillset and helping them to grow their networks.

Overall winners, D’ART Space created a digital art space using Intel technology, and demonstrated with their ‘interactive paintbrush’ prototype how people could use the space to express themselves in both public or corporate spaces including public parks, office lobbies, children’s hospitals and waiting rooms.

Other ideas and awards included:

  • Alarm IQ, who were awarded Best User Experience for an alarm clock that would leverage your data to adapt and give you your preferred wake up experience.
  • GPLights who won Best New Experience for developing a device to help cyclists navigate without having to use a map or their phone.
  • Hunger’s Hope who won Best Use of Technology by developing an app to tackle the world’s hunger by redistributing food wastage, connecting people who have surplus meals or good with those who need it.

Congratulating the teams, DCU President, Professor Brian MacCraith said:

 “It is wonderful to see the level of diversity within the teams and that you have come together in terms of cultures, ethnicity and disciplines with all DCU five faculties strongly represented here today.

Sincere congratulations to you all on what you achieved in such a short period of time. I am genuinely impressed by the level of innovation and believe that each one of the nine projects presented today could go further.

In my opening remarks on Friday I said that this hackathon would be a journey of discovery. That you would discover things about yourself, about your innate creativity, about innovation, that you would discover new friends and knowledge. From what I have witnessed this evening, you have all come on such an incredible journey in such a short space of time and that certainly validates what both DCU and Intel set out to achieve.”

Eamonn Sinnott, Intel Ireland General Manager and Vice President, Technology Manufacturing Group, added:

“The world around us is changing at an almost unbelievable pace and with that change comes challenges that are unlike any we have faced before. What is becoming clear is that the solutions to these challenges will require us to be more creative in how we think about solving them and to apply solutions that are increasingly multi-disciplinary.

Intel is delighted to come together with DCU to host this STEAM hackathon which I believe is one of the most exciting, and effective, ways to bring creative and diverse thinking to life. Watching the students produce real functioning solutions and prototypes over just a weekend is fantastic and it’s particularly exciting for us to see many of these smart solutions powered by Intel technology.”

Are you attending DCU’s first ever STEAM Hackathon on 20th October?


Dear DCU #STEAMHAck Participant!

Ahead of this weekend’s Hackathon event in the Auditorium in DCU St. Patrick’s Campus, here are some short videos to help you start thinking about what you might be able to do using the Intel technology that will be provided to each team.


  1. For starters, here’s a a good Intel video to motivate you about what Intel’s “Genuino 101” kit is all about:

“Intel and Massimo Banzi on Arduino and Genuino 101”


  1. And next, here’s another video with a bit more geeky detail on the tech built into Intel’s Genuino 101 kit:

“Genuino (Arduino) 101 Explained – with SparkFun!”


  1. Ok – so again for beginners, here’s a short (4min) step-by-step video of how you can use the Intel Genuino (Arduino) to get a bunch of coloured LED lights flashing on and off .. it’s super simple!

Arduino Tutorial: LED Sequential Control- Beginner Project


Remember, there will be lots of help available throughout the Hackathon weekend – so don’t get freaked out if you are not a “techie”.  The Intel Genunio kits are designed for everyone to learn and use quickly.  What we want you to do in the coming days before the event is to start thinking about how you can use this tech to create artistic and creative project ‘prototypes’ over the weekend as per the Hackathon challenge theme.  And to help you think further about this, a good hackathon prototype should:

Provide a new experience

  • Whether you are prototyping a gadget or art installation, don’t be limited to building things you’ve seen before. Utilize colour, sound and motion to express your creativity and come up with something totally new.
  • How has your design incorporated Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths into a new experience? What was your inspiration? Is there a problem you are trying to solve or an interesting question you are trying to answer?


Use technology in an interesting way

  • There is a lot of useful hardware and software available to you over the weekend. Try and get something really simple working quickly and then add in other features. If you don’t have the kit you need, fake it!
  • What are the novel bits of hardware and software in your prototype? How does your prototype get information from the world and what does it do? Did you have to improvise? Were there any difficult bugs you had to squish?


Know the audience

  • Think about where you prototype will exist and what demographic will be interacting with it. Imagine your idea goes beyond this weekend and exists in the real world. Any demonstrations should be based on your prototype’s natural habitat.
  • Is this concept something that people will have in their homes or in their pockets? Who is your audience? How will they interact with this? Will your design inspire others to explore STEAM?

Hope you’re getting excited about DCU’s first ever #STEAMHack.  Stay tuned for further event information in the coming days!

If you haven’t yet registered, you can still do so here:

Shane Carter

DCU #STEAMHAck EventCoordinator

Let’s Connect…! Explore how DCU research can provide opportunities for your business!

There are real opportunities for companies to engage with researchers in Dublin City University. DCU Invent is here to help companies and researchers to collaborate and innovate. We want to meet and tell you more!

Register today: EventBrite

DCU Ryan Academy, Citywest Business Campus, Dublin 24

25th October 2017 9.00 – 10.00am

Why attend….?
We can solve technology problems for companies
We help you create new products or services
We help maximise your R&D budgets through government grants
We connect you with talented researchers
We facilitate collaborative research opportunities
We offer licensing opportunities for new technologies

9.00 – 10.00am
Why – An overview of why companies might consider engaging with DCU
What – Summary of DCU research expertise
How – Funding and collaboration models to enable companies to collaborate and innovate
Overview of DCU facilities & equipment available for companies to access

Followed by teas & coffees with the DCU Invent team

Get Started 2017 – Free Entrepreneurship Conference, 21st of November, The Helix, Dublin City University

Interested in and ?

Free conference in The Helix on the 21st of November.

DCU Business School in conjunction with IC4, DCU Ryan Academy and DCU Alpha is holding its annual “Get Started” mini-conference on the 21st of November in Mahony Hall, The Helix, Dublin City University.

Get Started 2017 is a free mini-conference on starting your own enterprise, whether a social enterprise or otherwise. It will feature talks from a number of award-winning startups and successful entrepreneurs, who will share their experiences of starting their own business. The event will take place on Tuesday the 21st November 2017 from 14.00-18.00.

Event Webpage: 

Register here: Eventbrite

Matheson to Host Ireland’s First Legal Blockchain Hackathon – Supported by DCU Ryan Academy

Matheson, in partnership with Deloitte, IBM and the Dublin City University Ryan Academy, will host Ireland’s first ever legal hackathon in November.

On 3-4 November, participants will pool their tech talent to identify ideas and innovations in blockchain that could have a positive impact on the financial services and legal services sector.

The initiative is part of Matheson’s Smart programme which is designed to inspire innovative thinking and the creation of new efficiencies incorporating the latest innovation themes such as Fintech, AI and Blockchain.

The hackathon will be split into two phases:

  • Friday, 3 November: ‘Learn It, Pitch It
    Participants will learn about blockchain – how it works, what its features are and the advantages it offers over existing technologies and systems.
  • Saturday, 4 November: ‘Create It, Win It
    Participants will learn how to “hack” an idea in a team setting and will put that into practice, finding ways in which blockchain can be used to improve their businesses and industries. Teams will then pitch their ideas to a panel of judges.

Blockchain technology facilitates transactions and stores information using a secure, distributed ledger system. Its most famous application, the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, allows users to send money directly to another user’s ‘wallet’ without passing through a ‘middleman’, like a bank or clearing house, saving time and money. Blockchain has the potential to revolutionise every industry that transacts goods and services, including law.

Speaking ahead of the event, Rebecca Ryan, partner at Matheson, said: “We are delighted to partner with Deloitte, IBM and DCU Ryan Academy to host the first legal hackathon in Ireland.

“This event is all about bringing together, appreciating and rewarding new ideas. Blockchain is a completely new way of working and a technology where the rules have yet to be set. There are no losers in a hackathon and everyone walks away with valuable insights and brilliant networking opportunities. Matheson is delighted to host Ireland’s first legal hackathon and we hope to uncover some really great and inspirational ideas for the future development of the financial services sector.”

Niamh Collins, Chief Operations Officer at DCU Ryan Academy added: “DCU Ryan Academy is excited to be supporting this event which is at the intersection between an innovative Irish law firm in Matheson and a massively disruptive new technology in blockchain.  We’re already looking forward to seeing what innovations participants develop as well as the new networks and partnerships that will be formed”.


A total of €500,000 in start-up funding will be available from Enterprise Ireland when a new Competitive Start Fund (CSF) competition targeted at Experienced Business Professionals opens for applications on Wednesday 11 October 2017.

This CSF is directed at mature and highly experienced business professionals with 25 years or more of relevant business experience in Ireland or abroad, of which at least 10 years should be at a senior or leadership level.

Up to 10 successful applicants will receive high-level business development support and an investment of up to €50,000 each. Enterprise Ireland’s CSF is designed to accelerate the growth of start-ups and enable companies to reach key commercial and technical milestones.

As well as securing up to €50k in funding, the successful applicants will have the opportunity to participate in a business development programme. Delivered over three months by DCU Ryan Academy and Ireland’s Smart Ageing Exchange (ISAX), the programme will increase the capabilities of the participants and move them to investor-ready within a short period.

An Tánaiste and Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Frances Fitzgerald TD said: “My Department through Enterprise Ireland implements a number of initiatives which target and support various entrepreneurial cohorts, including females, graduates and overseas entrepreneurs. The Competitive Start Fund programme aims to support companies at the start of their journey and now, for the first time, the focus is on helping professionals with extensive business experience to build scalable businesses. According to the 2017 GEM Report, the rate of entrepreneurship among 55-64 year olds stands at 10%, with the majority of entrepreneurs falling within the 25-44 age category. This new fund, targeted at Experienced Business Professionals, will help to stimulate start-up activity within a specific group which holds significant potential that largely goes untapped by existing initiatives.”

The fund is open to companies active in manufacturing and internationally traded services including Internet, Games, Apps, Mobile, SaaS, Cloud Computing, Enterprise Software, Lifesciences, Food, Cleantech and Industrial Products.

Joe Healy, Divisional Manager, High Potential Start-Ups, Enterprise Ireland said: “Current EU studies suggest that many people who are nearing the traditional age of retirement don’t wish to retire and are interested in alternatives. Furthermore, these studies have found that approximately two thirds of people believe that they should be able to continue working if they wish to do so. This Competitive Start Fund for Experienced Business Professionals is targeting a group that has accumulated significant business knowledge and leadership experience at a senior level, both indigenous and international. It aims to provide the financial support required to get a start-up off the ground and this will be further enhanced with the addition of a tailored accelerator programme which will help bridge any existing skills gap in starting and growing a business”.

Eoghan Stack, Chief Executive, DCU Ryan Academy added: “DCU Ryan Academy for Entrepreneurs and Ireland’s Smart Ageing Exchange (ISAX) are delighted to have been selected to work with Enterprise Ireland for the delivery of a start-up programme for Experienced Business Professionals and we welcome the recognition that this cohort of experienced professionals comes with a very cumulated industry expertise and life experience that is invaluable in creating ideal entrepreneurs. ISAX and DCU Ryan Academy have previously delivered successful business start-up programmes for mature entrepreneurs and this new programme will enable us to build on the success of previous programmes to enable early stage companies fast-track their business development”.

In addition to written online applications, companies will be asked to prepare an online video pitch. Applicants must meet certain eligibility criteria.

The CSF competition will close at 3pm on Wednesday 25 October 2017.

Full details are available at

DCU Centre for Family Business Women in Leadership Series – Thursday 16th of November

The DCU Centre for Family Business Women in Leadership Series, on Thursday 16th of November 2017 in DCU Ryan Academy, Citywest Business Campus.

This event aims to address the unique challenges faced by our female leaders, and the inspirational ways in which these difficulties can be conquered. An interactive forum with keynote addresses by Peaches Kemp Co- founder of Itsa Ltd, Orlaith Carmody MD of Gavin Duffy & Associates & Roslyn Bell Director of Commonhall Apartments followed by expert clinics and networking lunch.

This event is not for Women rather about Women in Family Business & Leadership so everyone is welcome!




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