Start-up weekend looks to give migrants a chance to build businesses – The Irish Times

People in direct provision and techies designing solutions to help assist migrants are among those who will be taking part in a special start-up weekend taking place in Dublin next month.

Techstars, the international business accelerator programme that has backed more than 1,300 companies globally, is teaming up with Dublin City Council and the Dublin Local Enterprise Office for the event, which runs from March 8th to the 10th.

The Techstars Start-up Weekend Immigration Edition will see would-be entrepreneurs bashing out their business ideas with developers, designers and mentors to see if they can take their plans further. The goal is to create an environment where people from diverse backgrounds can come together to create, collaborate and find innovative solutions.

The overall winner of the event will be offered free working space at Huckletree, a place on a start-our-own business course and one-to-one time with a leading investor. Other prizes include exhibition space at the Dublin Tech Summit, and a place on the event’s Scale X programme.

Week-long programme

The start-up event follows on from a week-long programme organised by Techstars and Dublin City Council in mid-November.

“We are very pleased to support this event as it will help to highlight and encourage diversity, inclusion, innovation and entrepreneurship in Dublin which are key areas that we seek to assist in through policy, programmes and various supports,” said Greg Swift, head of economic development and enterprise at Dublin City Council.

Other backers include the Guinness Enterprise Centre and Techfugees, a social enterprise co-ordinating the international tech community’s response to the needs of refugees.

Commenting on the event, Sophie Benoit, one of the event’s organisers, said: “This could be a life changer for those attending as many of them don’t get a chance to express themselves and showcase their skills and ideas,” she said.

Among the speakers will be Bank of Ireland’s former entrepreneur in residence Gene Murphy, while judges include Irish Refugee Council chief executive Nicholas Henderson, and Tech for Good founder Mairin Murray.

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