The Facebook Garage on Wednesday was an absolute thrill to be a part of. We had 140 sign-ups so, using our normal measures around free events, we expected 50-60. In fact it peaked at over 90 people! Luckily the lovely Gateway Ireland building was easily able to accommodate everyone.
We have a bunch of people to thank:
Louise Byrne from Gateway Ireland who took care ofÂ absolutelyÂ everything. It wouldn’t have happened without her
John McColgan for giving us the use of the building
Niamh Walsh and Will Peat who helped Louise throughout the day
Alan Duggan for helping to control the flood of arrivals
Colm Doyle and the Facebook Ireland crew for all their support and the schwag
Brynn Holland, Julia Lam and the Facebook US crew for all of their support and the Garage Pack
Everyone for turning up
And of course…..
The Garage opened with Richard Delevan of BetaPond talking about Facebook Places
This was followed by Ben Arent and Jonathan Siegel providing insights into the the challenges around different sign-up flows and abandonment on RightRental.
Then we had David Johnston from OWJO talking about f-Commerce and in-Tab stores.
Sebastien Sicot from Bluecube Interactive gave some genuinely surprising stats on competitions, engagement and incentives.
Sean O’Sullivan from Rococo Software talked about Local Social and how proximity adds a layer of personalisation to location
Finally Colm Doyle from Facebook gave a run-down on Places, Credits and the latest news on the Platform. Of course if we’d had the Garage on Thursday we’d have been there all night withÂ questionsÂ on the changes to Pages
As I said at the end of the event, we want as wide a range of people speaking at the Garages as possible. Whether you are a lone developer or a large company doing interesting, useful or fun things on the Facebook Platform, we want to hear you speak.
Why not contact firstname.lastname@example.org now if you think you’d like to speak at the next Garage.
The plan in 2011 was to do one Garage per Quarter but the feedback on Wednesday was that you want them more often. So we’ll aim to have the next one much sooner. Keep an eye on Web2Ireland.
The event will bring together people with different skillsets to build prototype web/mobile applications which could form the basis of a commercial opportunity; more specifically, the event will bring together software developers, graphics design folks and business strategists. During the event, the participants divide into teams, each of which builds a basic prototype of their concept and develops ideas on how it could form the basis of a startup.
Startup Weekends take place all over the world and are generally considered to be a place to learn about the startup world, get to know folks who are interested in doing something in the space, bounce around some ideas and, importantly, try to turn some of them into reality. Some of the teams formed during startup weekends have gone on to much bigger and better things, e.g. Foodspotting and memolane.
The event has been held once before in Dublin – May 2010 – and was a fantastic success: of the 6 teams that were formed throughout the weekend, 4 of them subsequently went on to enter the NDRC Launchpad incubator to bring their ideas from some basic concept prototype developed over the course of the weekend to a working system with a potential commercial case. (More info here).
The response to the weekend so far has been great – ticket sales have been strong and we’re expecting the event to sell out. Tickets for non-technical folk – people who have neither developer nor graphics skills – have sold out already and the amount of technical folk in attendance is increasing steadily.
We’re reaching out to developers and/or graphics design folks who are interested in the startup scene – it promises to be a great weekend, with some great people, great ideas and great energy and who knows, it might be the place where some great Irish startups are born!
Tickets are on sale here. There is a modest cost for participation which mainly covers the catering during the event. Further information can be found here.
I met Mike from supply.ie yesterday and was hugely impressed by this new business which only launched in December. The premise is simple: put up a spec for a printing job on the site, it automatically sends it to all the relevant suppliers they have in the system and a percentage of those quote for the business. You then pick the quote which makes most sense to you.
When Mike told me about some of the cost savings he has seen, I was pretty shocked. But it’s about more than that, it’s a massive time saver. We got a big print job done last year and it took huge effort ringing around, waiting for callbacks, sending the job spec etc etc. Supply.ie deals with all of that for you.
The service is free during the pilot period and well worth a look.
Belfast-based tech start-up Shhmooze, founded just in April 2010, has been selected as one of the 20 finalists at the Mobile Premier Awards for the Mobile World Congress.
Shhmooze is a free location-based app that lets you use your smartphone to check into a conference or business event and broadcast your presence to other attendees. It is currently available on iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad and is coming soon to Android (hurry!) and Blackberry.