GoPrezzo’s Startup Survival Guide to the Dublin Web Summit

Image: One of the hundreds of tech startups pitching at the Dublin Web Summit 2013

Out of the 10,000 attendees at this year’s Web Summit over 2,000 are listed as the founder, CEO or employee of a technology startup. Most of these companies are manning stands in the main hall and hundreds are pitching at one of four dedicated stages running from morning until evening. With a sea of entrepreneurs vying for attention, how can a startup make it worth their while?

It’s exhausting but worth it, says GoPrezzo founder and CEO Aaron Taylor. GoPrezzo is a casual mobile gaming tournament platform with a base in both Belfast and New York. This is their first time at the Web Summit and it’s been a busy few days.

“The most important thing is that you’re meeting like-minded individuals,” says Taylor. In an environment like this, the key thing is to meet as many people as possible. “Meetings can lead to great opportunities. Get yourself out there and make people aware of who you are.”

One wonders if startups have come here hoping for instant success or if they’re envisioning the longer play. “A lot of people are probably here looking for the big sell or the big round of investment but the likelihood of that is obviously slim,” says Taylor.

He sees the Web Summit as a fact-finding mission in part; as long as startups are organised and have meetings set up in advance it’s useful. “Come here with an open mind, soak up the atmosphere and just wait and see what comes out of it.”

The tech startup game is a crowded market so differentiation is important, says Taylor. While GoPrezzo is in the mobile gaming space, the service it offers is just different enough to stand out; it’s a tournament platform that connects brands to gamers.

As a relatively young startup, GoPrezzo’s Web Summit highlight has been meeting other similar startups: “It’s been good to meet others who have passed the fund-raising stage and are now trying to scale their business and find distribution partners.”

Despite all the buzz and activity at the Web Summit, it all boils down to three basic questions for every startup here, says Taylor: how do we get funding, who’s actively funding and how do I make my startup look as attractive as possible to the funders.

Stimulating an Interest in App Development Amongst Galway’s Students

This month, CodeNinja – an app competition for third-level students in Galway – is back on Galway’s college campuses and is gearing up to give students the skills and knowledge required to create their own apps. CodeNinja is open to teams from NUI Galway and GMIT who want to build an innovative web or mobile app, with prizes to be awarded to the top entries in February 2014.

The competition has been designed by local businesses and academics to train and encourage students to be creative in the cultivation of their own technology ideas. Students will be encouraged to build web and mobile applications, and will be given a number of tutorials and workshops along the way.

Clodagh Barry, CodeNinja organiser says “CodeNinja represents a unique opportunity for students from any discipline to innovate at the leading edge of app technology. Multidisciplinary teams of students can learn new skills, network with the technology entrepreneurs and academic experts, with a view to fostering a culture of creativity and excitement as well as adding value to their curriculum vitae”.

Galway technology entrepreneurs like Mic FitzGerald from OnePageCRM and Paul Killoran from ExOrdo have supported the CodeNinja initiative, agreeing that this is an opportunity which sows more seeds to build on the blossoming tech startup culture that exists in Galway, whilst building links between Galway’s tech scene and its third-level colleges.

Organiser Dr John Breslin of NUI Galway says: “CodeNinja is a collaborative effort where our colleges and industry partners are connecting to share a combined skillset and knowledge to meet the demands of the on-campus population.

“The app economy is credited with having created nearly 800,000 jobs in the EU according to a recent study from ACT 4 Apps. We had quite a successful outcome from previous CodeNinja events with competition winners finding employment with local app companies and also achieving recognition through subsequent global app competitions.”

More information is available at

Episode #6: It’s Almost Like Getting a New Phone

Hosts: John Breslin, Marie Boran, Fergal Gallagher. Producer: Tom Murphy.

iOS 7, BlackBerry, Nokia, Skype, Stripe, MOR Solutions, New York Times incubator, “Can We Trust Our News?” at DCU, Andy Carvin interview, Loebner Prize in Derry and interviews, Enterprise Ireland’s “IT’s Happening Here”,, Tile, BitTorrent bundles, BioBeats, and more.

Download or subscribe to this show at

For additional show notes, visit the full page for this episode.

Technology Voice is brought to you by BuilderEngine, a next-generation cloud-based website builder. And by the BuilderSpace Accelerator, a new incubator space for technology companies in Galway City.

Running time: 1:00:00

00:30 Introduction by John Breslin @johnbreslin
–:– Marie Boran @pixievondust
–:– Fergal Gallagher @gallagherfergal
01:00 Ads
–:– BuilderEngine
–:– BuilderSpace Accelerator
01:17 Topical news
–:– iOS 7
04:44 BlackBerry
10:00 Nokia
11:00 Skype
13:21 Stripe, MOR Solutions
15:32 New York Times incubator
18:32 “Can We Trust Our News?” at DCU
19:57 Interview with Andy Carvin from NPR
30:40 Loebner Prize in Derry
33:52 Interview with Hugh Loebner, founder of the Loebner Prize
38:25 Interview with Steve Worswick, winner of the 2013 Loebner Prize
42:50 Interview with Noel Sharkey, judge for the 2013 Loebner Prize
46:18 Interview with Anne Lanigan from Enterprise Ireland’s “IT’s Happening Here”
51:20 Cool tech
–:– Tile
53:37 BitTorrent bundles
55:33 BioBeats

Produced by Tom Murphy
Special thanks to Flirt FM
Intro/outro music is “Alone But Not Lonely” by Stefan Ternemar
Queries and suggestions to
Visit our website at
Follow us on Twitter @technologyvoice

Ireland’s Technology Women: Yet Another Talented 38

This post is brought to you by the girls and women initiative of Intel, Sponsors of Tomorrow™ and the world leader in silicon innovation.

It has been a year since our list of “Another Talented 38” Irish and Ireland-based technology women. This year, we have chosen yet another talented 38 women driving the technology and startup scenes in Ireland and around the world.

Aedhmar Hynes


LinkedIn | Wikipedia | Twitter @aedhmar

Aedhmar Hynes is the CEO of Text100, a global communications agency for many of the world’s top technology brands including IBM, Xerox, Lenovo, Gartner and AMD. She has worked for Text100 for over 20 years, setting up their San Francisco office in 1997, and is a graduate of the National University of Ireland Galway. She also sits on the boards for the Council of Public Relations Firms, the Arthur W Page Society, and Technoserve.

Aideen O’Hora

The Green Way

LinkedIn | Twitter @aideenohora

Aideen O’Hora is executive director of the Green Way, a collaborative cleantech cluster that aims to stimulate economic development in the clean technology sector in Ireland. She has worked with the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, Abbott Laboratories and Novartis, and has a Master’s degree from the University of Bath. She has also been an investor panellist for the Future Energy event organised as part of Ultra Light Startups.

Ana Maria Valarezo


LinkedIn | Twitter @ana_zend

Ana Maria Valarezo is a senior manager at Zend, the PHP web infrastructure company with a base in Dublin. She has previously worked for both Dell and IBM, and has a degree from the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador. She is passionate about technology and open source, and has coached at Rails Girls Galway.

Anita Sands

UBS Wealth Management

LinkedIn | Twitter @anitamsands

Anita Sands is the chief operating officer and group managing director for UBS Wealth Management in the US. She previously worked for Citigroup and Royal Bank of Canada, is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, and has a physics PhD from Queen’s University Belfast. She was a member of the Global Irish Economic Forum in 2011 and 2009, was named one of the “Elite 8″ by Bank Systems and Technology in 2008, and is an active advocate for the advancement of women.

Ann Kelleher



Ann Kelleher is vice president with Intel, where she has responsibility for a number of plants in the Arizona and New Mexico region. She joined Intel in 1996 as a process engineer, and prior to that worked in IMEC after completing her PhD in Cork. She was the first female doctoral graduate from the NMRC (now the Tyndall Institute).

Ann Shortt

Full Health Medical


Ann Shortt is co-founder of Full Health Medical, a software system that renders medical reports along with associated analyses that are more comprehensible to patient and practitioner alike. She has worked in Brooklands Medical Centre and at Fitzrovia Medical Centre, and graduated from University College Cork. She is also an accident and emergency doctor and qualified GP in Galway.

Anne Lanigan

Enterprise Ireland

LinkedIn | Twitter @ei_alanigan

Anne Lanigan is the senior development advisor for enterprise software solutions at Enterprise Ireland. She was the founder of Ainichi, has worked with Bayer Diagnostics, Sanwa Bank and Nihon Software Kaihatsu KK, and is a mechanical engineering graduate from University College Dublin. She is the lead for Enterprise Ireland’s “IT’s Happening Here”, an effort to raise awareness of available high-skill IT jobs in Ireland’s indigenous tech companies.

Listen to our interview with Anne Lanigan from Enterprise Ireland at 46m18s below.

Anne O’Leary


LinkedIn | Twitter @annatters‎

Anne O’Leary is CEO of Vodafone Ireland. She was previously enterprise director with the company, has worked with BT and Esat, and studied at Cork Institute of Technology and the London Business School. She is also a board member of University College Cork and the Dublin Chamber of Commerce.

Arlene O’Neill

Trinity College Dublin

LinkedIn | Twitter @arlene_oneill

Arlene O’Neill is a research scientist specialising in the area of nanotechnology, and is also a science communicator at Trinity College Dublin. She has received scholarships from the Irish Research Council and Intel, and has a physics PhD from Trinity College Dublin. She was also the Dublin Rose of Tralee in 2012.

Caroline Faulkner



Caroline Faulkner is senior managing director and head of Pramerica Systems Ireland. She was previously the CIO of Pramerica, an IT manager with Abbott Laboratories, and was educated in the University of Ulster and Letterkenny IT. Pramerica is a software subsidiary of Prudential Financial that employs 930 people in Ireland.

Cathriona Hallahan



Cathriona Hallahan is the Managing Director of Microsoft Ireland. She was previously the managing director for Microsoft’s EMEA operations, and holds an ACCA qualification from the Dublin Business School. She was recognised as Business Woman of the Year in the 2009 Women Mean Business awards, and also serves on the VHI’s board of directors.

Cathy Kearney



Cathy Kearney is vice president of European operations with Apple Distribution International in Cork, where there are almost 4000 employees. She has worked in a variety of roles with Apple including financial controller in 1997. Apple’s Irish operations earned the company $22 billion in 2011, and she has been credited as being crucial to this success.

Claire Lee

Microsoft Ventures

LinkedIn | Twitter @claire0h

Claire Lee is a principal at Microsoft Ventures, where she heads up strategic partnerships with the likes of StartX Stanford and TechStars. She was previously head of partnerships with Microsoft, and has also worked with Marconi, Ingram Micro and IBM. She is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, was part of the UK Prime Minister’s Women’s Enterprise Taskforce from 2007 to 2010, and was also recognised as an “Icon of Technology” by the UK’s House of Commons.

Clare Gilmartin



Clare Gilmartin is Vice President for UK and greater Europe at eBay, which employs 2500 people in Ireland. She has worked at eBay for eight years, previously worked at Boston Consulting Group and Unilever, and is a graduate of University College Dublin. She is in charge of business strategy across the ten countries within her remit.

Dana Strong

UPC Ireland


Dana Strong is the chairman of UPC Ireland, and chief operating officer of Virgin Media since its acquisition by UPC’s parent company Liberty Global. Previously, she was CEO for UPC Ireland, and before that was COO for AUSTAR Communications in Australia. She is also the Chairman of the Telecommunication and Internet Federation in Ireland.

Dorothy Creaven

Element Wave

LinkedIn | Twitter @dorothycreaven

Dorothy Creaven is co-founder and CEO of Element Wave, an award-winning Irish software company specialising in mobile technology. Her background is in IT business analysis and software development, having worked for corporate giants such as Google and Abbott Vascular. She also holds a degree in electronic engineering from the National University of Ireland Galway.

Edel Creely

Trilogy Technologies

LinkedIn | Twitter @edelcreely‎

Edel Creely is managing director and head of operations at Trilogy Technologies, a managed services and ICT solutions company. Previously, she was the managing director of Datapac where she worked for 16 years, and she is an engineering graduate from Trinity College Dublin. She is chair of the Irish Software Association, and a member of their executive council.

Edel Lynch



Edel Lynch is a senior executive at Accenture, and director of Accenture’s Analytics Innovation Centre. She has a Master’s degree from Queen’s University Belfast, and a degree in applied physics from the National University of Ireland Galway. Referring to her educational background and current job, she says: “If I can get my head around quantum mechanics, I can understand these real-world business problems.”

Eileen Burns



Eileen Burns is senior portfolio lead for the CIO of Accenture. She has worked with Accenture for over 13 years in various IT strategy and leadership roles, and has a degree in electronic and computer engineering from the University of Limerick. She is a member of Accenture’s global CIO leadership team.

Emer Coleman


LinkedIn | Twitter @emercoleman‎

Emer Coleman is the founder of DSRPTN, a company that specialises in supporting individuals and organisations to understand technology as a disruptive force for good. She was previously deputy director of Government Digital Services in the UK, and is a graduate of Warwick Business School and University College Cork. She was listed in Wired Magazine’s “Top 100 Digital Power Influencers” in 2011, and with her interests in open data has served as a judge for the Rockefeller Foundation’s Innovation Challenge: Decoding Data.

Georgie Smithwick

LinkedIn | Twitter @georgismithwick‎

Georgie Smithwich is founder of, a review website for third-level education across Ireland. She has worked with Childreach and Manchester Square Partners, and has a degree from Trinity College Dublin. She was a winner in the Eircom Spider Awards for Best Education Website in 2011, and in the Irish Web Awards for Best Student Website in the same year.

Isabel Hughes

Fraction Calculator


Isabel Hughes is the 12-year old daughter of Dublin native Aidan Hughes, with whom she co-invented the Fraction Calculator and Calculator Plus apps that have been downloaded millions of times. She is currently living in Redmond, Washington, and came up with the idea for a fraction calculator whilst trying to solve a homework sheet of fraction problems for school. At the age of 9, she was invited in to Microsoft to explain her ideas for improving the Bing search interface, and her suggestions now form part of Bing’s image search experience.

Iseult Ward



Iseult Ward is co-founder of FoodCloud, a social enterprise that brings food businesses and charities together with an easy-to-use and reliable platform and app. She was a participant in the Launchbox accelerator, and has a business and economics degree from Trinity College Dublin. She was also awarded Business Student of the Year by Bank of Ireland and Trinity Business Alumni in 2013.

Jennie McGinn


LinkedIn | Twitter @jenniemcginn‎

Jennie McGinn is CEO and co-founder of Prowlster, a digital lifestyle magazine featuring integrated ecommerce. She was previously fashion editor with the “What Will I Wear Today” website, has worked as a journalist, web editor, and advertising executive, and has degrees in communications and cultural policy. Prowlster is part of the LaunchPad programme at the National Digital Research Centre.

Judith Gleeson



Judith Gleeson is chief operating officer with Avaya EMEA, which is based in Galway. Prior to this, she was COO with Nortel EMEA and Asia-Pacific, and she has a degree in accounting and finance from Dublin City University. She has worked in the telecommunications industry for over 25 years in finance, the supply chain, sales and marketing, and business transformation.

Julia O’Rourke



Julia O’Rourke is lead promoter for REMPAD, a web-based system to support reminiscence therapy in group sessions for people with dementia. She is a speech and and language therapist in a Dublin hospital, and has a related degree from Trinity College Dublin. Her work on REMPAD is a collaboration with the INSIGHT Centre for Data Analytics at Dublin City University.

Julie Byrne



Julie Byrne is executive director for Alcatel-Lucent’s Bell Labs research arm in Ireland and the UK. She has worked with Alcatel-Lucent, its predecessor Lucent, and Intel, having received a degree in physics from Trinity College Dublin. Also, as head of Irish operations for Alcatel-Lucent, she oversees 130 employees working here in Ireland.

Julie Sinnamon

Enterprise Ireland

Twitter @entirl

Julie Sinnamon has recently been appointed chief executive officer of Enterprise Ireland. Previously, she was executive director for global business development in Enterprise Ireland, has worked in various roles in both Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland, and obtained a Master’s degree in international business from Fordham and IMI. She also has a specific interest in Enterprise Ireland’s strategy for female entrepreneurship.

Karen O’Connell

CoderDojo Divas

LinkedIn | Twitter @karenboconnell

Karen O’Connell is the founder of CoderDojo Divas, which encourages girls between the ages of 12 and 17 to learn how to write code. She worked in a variety of senior and lead roles at Dell, and graduated with a degree in computer (systems) technology from the University of Limerick. As well as being a science and technology advocate, she is passionate about social and economic empowerment.

Leonora O’Brien


LinkedIn | Twitter @leonoraobrien

Leonora O’Brien is founder and CEO at Pharmapod, a cloud-based incident reporting system for pharmacists. She previously worked at the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland, Celesio, and Unicare. She won an award at the Tech Entrepreneurs workshop as part of the EU Digital Agenda Assembly in 2013.

Listen to our interview with Leonora O’Brien from Pharmapod at 21m43s below.

Lorraine Twohill


Google+ | Twitter @lorr2hill‎

Lorraine Twohill is vice president of global marketing at Google, based in Palo Alto. Formerly the head of marketing for EMEA at Google, she also worked at Opodo and Bord Fáilte, and is a graduate of Dublin City University. She serves on the board of Williams-Sonoma Inc.

Louise Phelan


LinkedIn | Twitter @louise_phelan

Louise Phelan is vice president of global operations for PayPal EMEA, employer of 1800 staff in Ireland. She joined PayPal in 2006 and previously was a senior manager for GE Money. She received the Michael Smurfit Business Achievement Award in 2006 and is on the boards for the American Chamber of Commerce and Ryanair.

Múirne Laffan


LinkedIn | Twitter @muirnelaffan

Múirne Laffan is the managing director of RTÉ Digital at RTÉ. She previously worked in McCann Erickson Worldwide, John Ayling and Associates, and is a graduate of Dublin Institute of Technology. She leads RTÉ’s overall digital strategy, bringing content and services to both Irish and International audiences across platforms, devices and markets.

Myriam Leggieri


LinkedIn | Twitter @iammyr

Myriam Leggieri is a researcher at the INSIGHT Centre for Data Analytics at NUI Galway, where she recently won the best demo award at the Future Internet Assembly. She worked as a research assistant with the Biomedical Technology Institute in Bari, was a software developer and recipient of a Google Summer of Code grant, and has a Master’s degree in computer science from the Università degli Studi di Bari. In 2013, Myriam organised the Rails Girls Galway event, lining up 21 coaches to train 65 female participants on web application development.

Sandra Collins

Digital Repository of Ireland

LinkedIn | Twitter @sandricollins

Sandra Collins is the director of the Digital Repository of Ireland (DRI), a national digital repository for the humanities and social sciences that is part of the Royal Irish Academy (RIA). She previously worked for Science Foundation Ireland, Ericsson and Dublin City University, and received her PhD from University College Dublin. She is also a funded investigator in the INSIGHT Centre for Data Analytics.

Sarah Flannery Barthelet


LinkedIn | Wikipedia

Sarah Flannery Barthelet is the director of analytics at RockYou. She previously worked at Tirnua and Electronic Arts, having received her degree from the University of Cambridge. She received the top prize at both the Esat Young Scientist Exhibition and the EU Contest for Young Scientists in 1999 for her work on the Cayley-Purser algorithm, as described in her 2001 book “In Code”.

Suzanne McArdle


LinkedIn | Twitter @sumcardle

Suzanne McArdle is head of operations for Zynga in Ireland, where it employees 50 people. She previously worked at PayPal,, eBay, Creative and HP, and is a graduate of University College Dublin. She was listed in the “Ireland INC Tech 100″ list under the multinational internet-led companies category for 2013.

Una Fox


LinkedIn | Twitter @unafox

Una Fox is vice president for integrated retail and ecommerce technology with Disney. She previously worked at Yahoo! and KPMG, and is a graduate of University College Cork. She also leads the recently-formed Women’s Leadership Group for the Irish Technology Leadership Group.

This post is brought to you by the girls and women initiative of Intel, Sponsors of Tomorrow™ and the world leader in silicon innovation.

Additional research by Tom Murphy.