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.

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

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