Startup Weekend is a global network of startup events that take place on the same weekend in hundreds cities and last weekend Ireland held its very first Startup Weekend Education. During this startup event entrepreneurs, educators, developers and designers came together for the first time to tackle challenges in education and learning. The different mix of skill sets on offer worked well with the one thing everyone had in common, a hunger to form a passionate team and build a startup over last weekend.
The winners of Startup Weekend Dublin were Hello <Coder> co-founded by Carlos Pinto and Clodagh Connell. Hello <Coder> is a fun, easy to use and fresh way to teach girls how to code. Hello <Coder> allows girls to design clothes through using code. Everyone is aware of the major gender imbalance in the tech, business and STEM fields. Hello Coder aims to change the perception that computer science is too “difficult”, “boring” “uncool” for young stylish girls to be involved in.
Clodagh, is the founder of kidswear brand, Hello Bezlo who recently launched a kickstarter funding campaign explained how it all came about “I found out about this Startup Weekend on twitter 3 hours before the event. Over the past few weeks I’ve come up with a new way to encourage girls who love fashion to become coders but I realized I needed a founder with the right skill set to develop it”. Shortly after arriving on Friday, Clodagh enthusiastically pitched her idea, which piqued the interest of Carlos and they quickly formed a small team to help develop her idea.
Carlos, is a successful Venezuelan developer, project manager and software instructor and was keen to be involved with a startup as he explained “I arrived not with an idea but with a keen interest to be involved in a startup. I really believe this has huge potential and speaking as a Father to a daughter of four years, Clodagh’s pitch caught my attention straight away and I just had to get involved”.
With the support and encouragement from organizers of Startup Weekend, mentors, educators and investors, they grow the idea into something truly incredible. Clodagh’s creative bursts and insight to kids fashion complimented Carlos’s business operations, software and technical skills resulted in a winning combination.
Carlos and Clodagh won a three month mentorship from Versari, free consultation from Sprint Fire and a very sought after meeting with Imagine K12, an accelerator focused on education technology based in Silicone Valley. They also will move forward to another stage of Global startup weekend to compete with other startup weekends winners.