Start-ups from across the globe journeyed to Dublin this month to take part in Ireland’s first ever Uprise Festival – the largest start-up festival in Europe. Want to know what makes this festival such a hit with attendees? Read on to see how it mixes innovative tech with a fun and welcoming atmosphere.
This isn’t your typical tech conference. You won’t find any public Wi-Fi or big guest speakers here. Instead, you’ll find over 150 innovative start-ups and a host of practical workshops from companies like Google, Microsoft, Salesforce and Facebook. The event aims to put people first and technology second – with start-ups placed clearly in focus. Festival founder, Paul Connell, explains: “Our focus is on participation rather than on listening to guest speakers. Not to knock other events but they often treat start-ups as a side event, which always drives me crazy.”
From Amsterdam to Dublin
Although this is the fourth time the festival has happened this was the first time the team have brought it to Dublin. It was held in the library room of the RDS Dublin, a historic space which is lined from the floor to ceiling with old books. The room was buzzing with friendly faces as over 150 eager start-ups displayed their businesses on old beer barrels signposted with helium balloons.
The chilled out atmosphere of the festival lends itself to relaxed networking, while the practical workshops held throughout the day armed attendees with tools and takeaways to help grow their business. Food trucks and buskers were also on-hand for anyone who wanted a moment away from the main arena.
The festival culminated in spectacular style with an epic pitch battle. Six Irish start-ups and six international start-ups bravely took to the stage to pitch their businesses to the audience. They had just two minutes to do so and then faced a barrage of questions from the crowd. With €5,000 up for grabs, things certainly got heated. In this case, it was Melanie Goldsmith who bagged the coveted prize for her business Smith & Sinclair, who create a range of ‘adult sweets’ or cocktail pastilles.
You can find out more about Uprise Festival here.