Archive for June, 2008

Irish ‘Dragons Den’ for July’s OpenCoffeeClub BBQ – enter now!

June 27, 2008

Only three weeks to go until the Open Coffee Club BBQ and organizer Evert Bopp has been busy.  There are now over 70 confirmed sign-ups, 9 confirmed sponsors and 11 proposed talks for what should be a fantastic day.

What’s more is the BBQ will stage a special version of the infamous"Dragons Den" competition. There will be an option for start-ups and people with a business idea to give a 5 minute pitch to a panel of experienced entrepreneurs. Based on this pitch the panel will give away prizes that will help the winners in getting their idea/business/venture of the ground. Prizes so far include serviced office space (thanks to Shannon Development), 1 years free webhosting on a dedicated blade-server (thanks to Hosting 365), Business software (Microsoft), and laptops (thanks to LEAP). The organizers are also in discussion about the possibility of broadcasting this event on Television!!

What’s needed now is entries for this competition. There are only a few criteria – your venture cannot be older than 1 year, it cannot have more than 3 employees and it has to be based in Ireland. If you think you qualify and would like to enter send a description of yourself and your venture (no more than one page) to:

By the way, if you know a company who would like to sponsor this part of the Open Coffee Club BBQ by donating services or products that would be of use to a start-up venture, please contact the above email for more details.

Kudos to the list of sponsors so far – Spicendipity, Mac-Sys, Digino, Pixelapes and The Derg Inn.

OpenStreetMap conference coming to Limerick, July 12th & 13th

June 24, 2008

Will King brought my attention to an excellent conference coming up in Limerick on the 12th & 13th July. State of the Map will take place in Kilmurry Lodge near the University of Limerick.

It’s quite an honour for Limerick to be the venue for what is only the second international conference to be run by the OpenStreetMap Foundation. I’ve written about this group before – they were the inspiration behind the OpenEir mapping project.

So State of the Map is basically aimed at OpenStreetMap users, hackers, and anyone interested in an open source user generated alternative to Google/Microsoft/Yahoo mapping.

Get your PONC!

June 22, 2008
no original description

Image via Wikipedia

Gary Delaney of GPS Ireland sends word that Irish Post Codes is now live and also now available for use on Garmin Nuvi 7xx series SatNav’s. Some more spiel from the site –

"In Ireland more than 40% of addresses are not unique, causing problems for Emergency Services, Courier and Postal Services, Taxis, Service providers, Visitors to your location etc – that is why we in Ireland spend a lot of time giving directions to drivers and visitors.
PON Codes will speed up the reaction times of Emergency Services;- the Efficiency of delivery services and generally make Businesses, Tourist Attractions and any place easier to find."

I’ve no idea whether this will take off or not but I do admire the apparent audacity of the effort.

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Don’t miss out on CrunchLudd

June 18, 2008

Remember, TechCrunch is coming to TechLudd on the 26th of June in Dublin.

The event is on upstairs in 4 Dame Lane. Mike Butcher of TechCrunch UK and Ireland will be there and he wants to talk to Irish startups and get a feel for the ecosystem here. So it’s a great opportunity for some Irish companies to get exposure in one of the best read tech blogs around.

Event details here. And registration is now being powered by Amiando. If you have some cool technology to show off then go here to register to demo (It’s free).

They’re also looking for sponsors so if you’re interested in guaranteeing promotion on both the main TechCrunch site as well as the TechCrunch UK and Ireland site just give them a shout.

Who else wants to video chat with YL ventures on July 2nd?

June 12, 2008
Meetings are often held in conference rooms

Image via Wikipedia

I wrote previously that Yoav Andrew Leitersdorf, a venture capitalist with YL Ventures, wants to make contact with Irish startups and entrepreneurs, through a convenient video conference (you don’t even have to leave your home-based office!)

Joe Garde of OnlineMeetingRooms has since been chatting with Yoav and arranged for the video conference to take place on Wednesday 2nd July at 10am. Joe advises

"The online meeting room only requires a webcam / headset and bandwidth of at least 2mb down and 256kbps out. More information is available on the online meeting rooms website…. There are options to demonstrate your technology off your PC with desktop share and presentation of active applications using the online meeting room. If NDA’s need to be signed pre-meeting or any other requirements please raise this subject with Eirepreneur."

We still have seats left for the conference so who else would like to have a chat with Yoav? Remember, it’s just a casual meet & greet. No pressure, no preparation required.

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The CoffeeCooler – a virtual watercooler for OpenCoffee Clubbers

June 10, 2008
Skype Limited

Image via Wikipedia

Damien Mulley pointed to an experiment in ‘ambient Skype‘ where Roo Reynolds used Video Skype with his remote partner as an "ambient backdrop to life, rather than just as tool for having a conversation". I found that fascinating and it reminded me of something Chris Messina previously wrote about "ambient socialization" or "digital overhearing" via Twitter, in terms of the co-working movement –

What I’m more interested in is 1) finding social energy while you work and 2) knowing that you’re not in the slog alone. These two ideas I think fit really well with the ethos and spirit of the coworking community.

I think ambient socialization can also be a valueable addition to the OpenCoffee Club scene. Each time after visiting Limerick OpenCoffeeClub I’m reminded of how much serendipity I miss out on by working from a home-based office. Not having colleagues in the same physical space reduces my opportunity for interesting conversation and so OpenCoffee is a monthly chance for me to bathe in an invigorating spring of informative discussion. If you catch my drift 😉

So I’ve revisted Skypecasts, a sadly under-appreciated voice chat room feature launched by Skype over 2 years ago. Skypecasts support a large number of participants but unfortuantely only 5 hours max per event. Therefore I’ve setup a new Twitter account @CoffeeCooler in order to post the new Skypecast address each day. So just follow that account if you’d like to drop in at any time.

A few notes about using the CoffeeCooler –

  • There is no etiquette! Informality is key. Come and go as you please… no need for hi and goodbye.
  • You’re welcome to ‘have it on in the background’, just like the radio. So there’s no need to introduce yourself or say hi if you’re just ‘tuning in’ for that purpose.
  • The corollary of the above is that those already chatting shouldn’t feel obliged to welcome those logging in, because they’re probably only ‘tuning in’ without necessarily wanting to engage in converation at the time.
  • Because I have to launch the Skypecast anew each day I’m automatically set as moderator. But I don’t intend to do any moderation and I obviously won’t be tuned in all the time. So please don’t think I’m ignoring you 🙂
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Irish startups, YL Ventures wants to video conference with you

June 3, 2008

Yoav Andrew Leitersdorf is a venture capitalist with YL Ventures, "a mid-market venture capital fund that invests in European Internet, telecommunications and media software companies, accelerates their development via active business development, and arranges their medium-size (not home run) acquisitions within 6-24 months, mainly to US-based corporations."

TechCrunch UK & Ireland went into more detail on the YL strategy and Tom Raftery reported that he met with Yoav in Berlin last year.

Yoav has been Founder and CEO of multiple start-ups for which he arranged successful medium-size exits. And now he wants to make contact with Irish startups and get better visibility for his fund among local companies that may be suitable for their investment criteria. This is part of a wider initiative at YL Ventures to expand the geographical footprint of their deal flow.

As Yoav can’t travel to Ireland at the moment I’m organizing a meet & greet with him over video conference. So hands up who wants to be included – it’s first come first served.

DISCLOSURE: Yoav’s original message indicated that they were looking for local representatives for whom a ‘success fee’ would be involved where YL invested. But I’m not interested in that (and would waive it) – this is only about introducing people to each other.