Tuesday 11 December 2018

TechConnect Live: Ireland's tech leaders join global peers in keynote speeches and showcasing start-up talent

TechConnect Live is taking place in the RDS today
TechConnect Live is taking place in the RDS today
Louise Kelly

Louise Kelly

Changing the mindset of how Irish people looking for car transport think is just one of the battles Uber faces here, according to Uber Ireland boss Kieran Harte.

"Irish people think that Uber is just like a Hailo [now MyTaxi], which just deals with taxis - which is such a small subset of cars on the road.

"I'm a big Hailo fan - and it's great - but there's 10,000 cars on its platform; that's a really small portion of cars that are available," he said.

"What happens in Ireland is that, when it gets busy, taxis switch off the apps and focus more on picking up off the streets so that they won't have to pay commission to use the apps. It's just not a reliable service.

"Uber's mission, however, is to do what Hailo is doing but include all the private cars in Ireland - of which there are two million," he added.

Thousands of delegates and speakers have crossed the threshold of the RDS in Dublin to 'connect' at Ireland's largest technology event.

Decision makers from the Irish and international tech sector are in attendance at TechConnect Live - a forum whether industry members, from startups to globally recognised names, can collaborate.

Keynote talks from leading Irish and global speakers are taking place at the unique gathering where attendees are free to mingle between a total of 20 conferences throughout the day.

Industries such as Internet and ICT, Finance, Gaming, Media, Cleantech and Energy, Software, Manufacturing, Communications, Sports, cloud computing and Aviation will be represented at the event.

While the merging of 200 startups and 400 investors will provide ample investment opportunities, there is one live pitching event taking place will be of interest to six companies in particular.

TechConnect Live is taking place in the RDS today
TechConnect Live is taking place in the RDS today

UK-based initiative Wayra is offering a potentially life-changing chance for these firms following their Dragons Den style pitch at TechConnect Live.

The six finalists are Local-Dublin, Sitepassport, Planetjuno, Popertee, Nuvolaria and Santifly.

The top prize on offer is three months of pre-acceleration in Wayra's London Academy, including free office space and access to best in class mentors and Wayra's incredible network.

In addition to the Main, Sales and Marketing, Grow SME, IT Data and Office Expo stages, a total of 11 open seminars are ongoing at different locations around the main hall.

From GDPR to Analytics, Health Tech to Social Media, these stall-style lineups are pulling in almost as large the crowds that are attending the more high-profile speakers.

Speaking at the start-up seminar (scaling a business), founder and Co-CEO of Girl Crew, Elva Carri shared her experience of 'How I started a global tech company for free'.

TechConnect Live is taking place in the RDS today
TechConnect Live is taking place in the RDS today

Started 'by accident' in 2014, the social startup now boasts over 90,000 members in some 46 cities around the world - with angel investors and Enterprise Ireland putting their hands in their pockets.

The Girl Crew app - available on Android, iPhone and desktop - is being launched in a matter of weeks, with Ms Carri hopeful that a Premium version will bring in the profits.

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