DCU Ryan Academy

Roadshow 2016: what we learned in our second year!

With the activity Roadshow 2016, for the 2nd year, Welcome Project  gave to ten top early stage startups from across Europe the extraordinary opportunity to travel in four different startup ecosystems, to meet investors and corporates, to exchange their experiences with other startups, living precious experiences for helping their project to grow up in the international contest and… have a lot of fun!

The Roadshow activity had been designed to support the selected startups, to build a connection network with local investors, corporates, startups and media, to find prospective partners and clients and to raise funds.

The whole program foresaw 4 stops in the 4 ecosystems of Madrid-Salamanca, Milan, Berlin and Dublin, and it was reserved to 10 top startups coming from these ecosystems. The same program was carried on in 2015.

The first stop was in Milan, 11-13th May, where the guys had a special spot at Seeds & Chips to pitch and meet local investors, whereas the second trip was to Berlin, on June 9th-10th, where the teams attended the Startup Europe Summit 2016, met international accelerators, corporates and other startups, and participated to workshops  and panels.

After these two stops where startups enjoyed special moments and had the opportunity to acquire useful contacts, the summer was even more extraordinary for the ten teams, as they travelled  to San Francisco for a three-week immersive program (August 29th – September 16th) at the Mind The Bridge Startup School. For many of them it was the first time they faced the Silicon Valley and they were very excited to discover the stimulating ecosystem and contest that It offers to startups.

Finally, as back to Europe, the ten startups participated to other two stops and attended to two great European innovation events:  in Madrid on October 5th-7th for South Summit and in Dublin on 19th-21st in occasion of Startup Grind and Uprise Festival.

South Summit!
Meetings with Google at Uprise festival!
Meetings with Google at Uprise festival!

The Roadshow 2016 was defined by the guys as a great experience for networking and connecting with different people and ecosystems; particularly they appreciated the possibility to present their startups and to acquire feedbacks about their startups from Investors, corporates, media, and to find strong motivation for their future. Good luck guys!

What they said:


What did you like most about the Roadshow?


The Roadshow was a great experience for SwiftComply. It was great to visit with the other startup ecosystems and learn from the experiences of other businesses and share our own experiences.


The opportunity to meet different ecosystems, entrepreneurs and potential partners from different cities


Networking, meeting people related with startups. It was a unique experience for learning many useful things for doing business. Also the international part its great.


San Francisco, far ahead. The phrase is disneyland for startups.


What was most helpful part of the Roadshow to help your startup/idea?


Collecting feedbacks from different markets to improve the product, and meet potential partners to promote it abroad


Understanding other ecosystems outside Spain. It open your eyes to your possibilities


Meeting with so many startups from all over Europe gave us great insights into the available talent all across Europe. It has definitely opened up avenues for us to develop cross border collaborations and new market opportunities.


Reality feedback, experts of the startup ecosystem gave me a clear view of my projects.



5 Things We Learned from WELCOME Project Matchmakings

This is a post written by Mind the Bridge, one of Welcome’s partners. 

It’s been a great ride, the WELCOME project has almost finished. Still, we feel this is just the beginning.

Last month, we flew to Berlin and Dublin for the final stops of Welcome Project’s “matchmaking train”: two years of travelling around Europe to organize 8 light matchmaking sessions between top startups, investors, corporates and accelerators.

Without further ado, let us share some insights from this great experience.

1. Looking for funds? Cross some borders

We couldn’t have organized over 300 meetings in 2 years without thinking “cross border”. The EU is a huge market, with over 700 million people getting more and more connected. All the startups we met have always been keen to find opportunities all over Europe, especially for funding.
Welcome Matchmakings have been a small – yet fortunate- step in the right direction: more than half of our investors and corporates showed specific interest to connect and invest in startups from other EU countries. This effort is surely paying off: our startups collectively raised over €11M, and this is just the beginning.

Entrepreneurs, take note!

2. Keeping it lean always works

During these 2 years, we joined several large tech and startup events, setting up our matchmakings there. We had pitching sessions, matchmaking rooms, networking arenas, 1:1 meetings in Audi limos and buzz-electric booths packed with top investors. More than 90 startups, 50 investors and 30 corporates joined our sessions, set up during large tech events that inspired thousands of people.
It would have been literally impossible to achieve this, adapting to several, very different tech events in 4 EU top hubs without working lean, listening to everyone’s feedback to tailor the experience each time.

Yes, “going lean” still works.

3. From diversity comes strength

One of the things we loved the most about this journey has been the opportunity to connect with people from all over Europe and the world. We met “happiness managers”, “node.js ninjas” and “candy makers” and a legion of brilliant developers, CEOs of all ages and amazing female entrepreneurs. Just…wow.
Our startups connected with more than 160 of these international partners, and 75% of them got follow-ups.

Walls? No, thanks.

4. Connecting EU hubs is crucial

Plant a tomato in Norway, and we’re safe to say it’s not going to grow glowing red and juicy as if you planted it in Spain or Italy. We learned a lot by hosting an average of 40 1:1 meetings per event, each time with around 12 international startups breaking more and more barriers. We saw creativity and hardware companies thrive in Berlin, brilliant foodtech ones in Milan, drones flying over Salamanca and cleantech startups painting the Irish landscape even greener.
Where were they coming from? That’s right, from all over Europe and beyond.

5. Let’s do it together!

Last but not least, this highlight is also a “thank you” note. We wouldn’t have been able to do this without the fundamental support from all our Welcome partners, especially the amazing folks at Betahaus, Bisite Accelerator, dPixel and Ryan Academy.
Want to connect with their local ecosystems? The bridge is open!

And that is all, folks. Looking forward to the next journey!
Stay in touch, more to come.

See Mind the Bridge’s original post here: 5 Things We Learned from WELCOME Project Matchmakings


Startup Europe and Welcome Roadshow Companies attend Uprise Festival, Dublin!

Eight top early stage startups from across Europe travelled to Dublin last week to attend Uprise Festival. These startups are part of two Welcome’s  ‘EU Roadshow’, where selected startups attend various events across Europe and spend 3 weeks in Silicon Valley.

Dublin was the final event for these startups who have visited  Silicon Valley, Berlin & Milan earlier in the year and South Summit in Madrid earlier this month.

The trip to Uprise began with the official pre-event, Startup Grind which took place in Dublin’s historic city hall. Startup Grind began with a short introduction from David Scanlon who has worked with startups in Dublin in many roles and is currently Venture Investment Leader with NDRC. David then introduced Sean Blanchfield.

Sean Blanchfield is CEO and co-founder of PageFair, the company at the forefront of the digital adblocking debate. He co-founded his first business, Phorest, while still an undergrad at TCD, exiting in an MBO 2 years later. In 2003, he dropped out of a PhD to co-found DemonWare.

DemonWare created P2P technology for video games, and helped drive the mainstream popularisation of multiplayer video gaming until its acquisition by Activision Blizzard in 2007.

Today, PageFair has been integrated on over 5000 websites, and is used by many leading international publishing brands. Sean is a well-known figure in Irish technology, and is a frequent speaker, panelist, columnist, and occasional mentor and investor.

Sean gave a very interesting talk about his journey in founding these companies and the lessons he has learned along the way. This talk was followed by networking during which the startups got to meet people from the local startup ecosystem.

Next morning the startups arrived at the Uprise Festival in the RDS for an early appointment with 4 mentors from Google. These mentors specialised in areas such as search quality, marketing, export and tools development and the startups gained a lot from these sessions.


Next up was a matchmaking session organised by Welcome partners Mind the Bridge and DCU Ryan Academy.  Startups were matched with corporates and investors for quick, intensive meetings to pitch their startups (read more here!).




Corporates and investors included:

  • Brian Quinn – Intel
  • Joe Perrott – PCH
  • David Bowles – Delta Partners VC
  • Stefano Francavilla – Growing Capital
  • Ian Lucy – Lucey Fund

Three of the startups exhibited at Uprise, Solo, Toursnapp and Link Fish and reported great interest in their booths.

Following an afternoon of networking, talks and workshopsat Uprise, the startups headed to the LaunchBox incubator for an afterparty with local Dublin startups.

The trip to Dublin was very successful with great feedback from the startups.

The startups were:

  • GirlCrew (Dublin) a global community for women
  • Link.Fish (Berlin) a bookmark manager that allows people to work with the information behind URLs
  • Replex (Berlin) a service for IT teams that enables them collecting critical information on all infrastructure assets both physical and virtual
  • Solo (Milan) a virtual POS that lets merchants accept credit and debit card payments
  • SwiftComply (Dublin)a platform solution for Fat, Oil and Grease compliance in the food service industry
  • TourSnapp (Berlin)a service that applies the concept of Smart cities to cultural tourism
  • Up to Seven (Madrid) a social network that enables foodies to share recipes and suggestions
  • CloudRoom (Madrid) a Cloud-Based Learning Platform that enable the integration of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) into the corporate world

 What they said

What the startups enjoyed most about this event:

Talking with the people that came to the stand!

All the chances to have 1-on-1 meetings 

What was most helpful for the startups:

People loved the idea!

The feedback that I received!


WELCOME is a project under the Startup Europe initiative that aims to build a pan-European tech startup ecosystem. To that end, Welcome links startups from five vibrant EU ecosystems — Berlin, Dublin, Madrid, Milan and Salamanca, to customers, VCs, business angels, corporates, mentors and other startups. The project targets aspiring entrepreneurs as well as early and late stage startups with activities enabling them to grow across borders and access the right combination of finance while helping corporates identify the best talents.

This competition is part of Welcome’s Europass Programme


Our festival was founded by Paul O’Connell an Irishman living in Amsterdam. Through his stubbornness and focus we are moving into our fourth festival to help young companies grow even faster.

UPRISE is the largest startup festival in Europe. We focus on growth and visibility for Startup Talent. Connect with universities, companies and the public in our one day festival. In over 1 year we have brought 15,000 visitors to talk, connect and invest in young vibrant companies from our base in Amsterdam. Now in October 2016 we base from Dublin bringing Europe to this great city.