Monday, October 5, 2015

Startup Ireland: Day 1 - Dublin

It's 2:30 am here, so I'm pretty "wrecked". Rachel and I got up at 5:30 this morning and have been running around with the rest of the team since. This post will be short, but I wanted to post a quick review of the wild day we've had.

The Go Cars are a unique car sharing/rental system that is taking off.
First thing in the morning, we were picked up in the Go Cars the Startup Ireland team has been given for the week. It's been so nice to have designated vehicles for the week.

It was raining when we left the hotel, but we were told its common weather in Ireland. At first I was disappointed to start off the day in such a gloomy way, but it didn't really impact us at all. The day turned out fantastic!

The Google facilities were fantastic!
The morning began with the big forum event at the Google European Headquarters. The space we were in was called Google Foundry and was filled with bright colors, interesting speakers and exciting ideas. So many people were running around to make the event possible and they really pulled it off. Our hashtag, #startupIRL was trending right away in the morning and every bit of the presentation looked professional. 

Throughout the day, the social media team was in charge of taking quotes from the speakers, turning them into tweets and matching up photos. We made sure the huge Fandom screens were constantly displaying the things attendees were tweeting in. It was also important that we struck a balance between posting our own original content and interacting with others participating in Startup Ireland registered events across the country. Seeing so many people participate in the online conversation gave me a huge adrenaline rush!

In the afternoon, we split up and attended a few smaller Startup Ireland events and got more time face to face with beginning entrepreneurs. I particularly enjoyed Dublin Beta where the three of us from Iowa State visited with very young startups to create short highlight tweets featuring their ideas. Follow the @StartupIreland Twitter account to see who we met and the projects they're working on.

After, we regrouped at a final reception to hear a few more speakers. Then we loaded up the Go Cars again to head to Waterford, which is about a 2 hour car trip. I rode with a sweet Irish girl just a few years older than me named Margaret and two of the event speakers. I'm a terrible co-pilot, but eventually we made our way to the final destination.

At the new hotel in Waterford, we set up and regrouped a little. Most importantly, we had a little team bonding. Rachel and I even tried our first Guinness! We had lots of good laughs and were able to find humor in some of our miscommunications from the day. Even though I just wanted to go to bed when we got in, I'm so glad I went and hung out with the team. It's going to be hard to leave on Sunday!

Well, I better get some sleep so I don't nod off in any of the events tomorrow! Thanks for reading! Cheers!  

Good night! Photo credit: Startup Ireland

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