Dublin Makes Me

25 Feb 2016
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Dublin has always been known as a city of imagination, inspiration and invention. In the next few weeks, the Dublin Commissioner for Startups, Niamh Bushnell is taking that story to Austin, Texas.

On Friday March 11th, Dublin Makes Me, a series of remarkable events to celebrate Dublin as a city of creativity and innovation, will launch at South by South West (SXSW) in Austin, Texas. SXSW is an annual tech, music and film festival attended by 75,000 aficionados. It’s been going for the last 30 years, but in more recent incarnations has become a favourite of the tech industry in the US and globally. SXSW is also a festival where cities lay out their innovation stalls before a global audience – Detroit, Berlin, London, DC – and this year, for the very first time, Dublin. The objective in Austin is to put Dublin firmly on the innovation map for key industry influencers and to attract them – investors, media and serial entrepreneurs – to our fair city to see Irish innovation first hand and on a company-by-company basis. This will mean talking about our city’s people and neighbourhoods, the challenges we face, how we meet them, the potential that’s there.

Participating in the event is also an opportune way of developing a PIVOT Dublin pilot project being launched shortly called ‘FrameWork’.
Framework is inspired by a successful initiative run by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) called the Design Assistance Team programme, managed by the AIA Centre for Communities by Design in Washington DC. FrameWork will introduce the Design Assistance programme to Ireland on a pilot basis to test how it can work in the Irish context. The idea came out of the PIVOT Dublin Hidden Rooms event hosted by Dublin City Council in November 2014. Joel Mills, Director of the Centre, was an invited speaker under the theme of ‘The Empowered City – enabling people to activate neighbourhoods’. His story encouraged DCC and participants to think about how the programme could be used to benefit communities in Dublin and Ireland. It turns out that Austin has been a major beneficiary of the Design Assistance Programme; it will be interesting to learn more about this first-hand and how it might have even sown the seeds for SXSW.

But back to Dublin Makes Me.

The two anchor events, Dublin Made Me, and The Irish Startup Wake are already completely oversubscribed – with more than 800 people registered for less than 400 seats – and that’s in advance of any marketing. A one-on-one “Meet the Commish” is being held during office hours to promote visits to Dublin and our companies. These will be similarly booked out before the team leaves for Texas.
After Austin, The Commissioner is taking Dublin Makes Me on the road, to Tech Open Air in Berlin in mid July and back to the US west coast in October.

It would be great if you could help promote the event by sharing your stories. What does Dublin make you? Connected, healthy, hungry, global, more than crazy? Use hashtags #DublinMakesMe and #SXSW2016

Dublin Makes Me is an initiative of the Dublin Commissioner for Startups Niamh Bushnell, helped by Sarah Leahy and Cathal O’Sullivan. It’s sponsored by Dublin City Council and the DCU Ryan Academy. The Dublin Makes Me support team consists of: Jim Carroll, Ali Grehan, Eoghan Stack, Catapult, Zero G, BeachHut PR, Failte Ireland, Tourism Ireland and Bord Bia.

We’ll be launching FrameWork in a few weeks with a brilliant website designed by Maria Hinds, photography by Aisling McCoy.