A SPECIAL coding event, a networking evening and a chance to look into space are just three highlights of a business festival set for the city next month.
Limerick is to play a key role in the first ever Start-up Gathering event which takes place between October 5 and 10 next.
More than 40 events will take place in Limerick, with the aim of the event being to promote entrepreneurship and help develop regional start-up hubs.
The week will be launched by leading economist David McWilliams in the Castletroy Park Hotel on October 5.
At the other end of the week, on October 10, there will be an event at the Limerick Institute of Technology, which aims to show off the joy of coding to youngsters and parents.
Codenamed ‘Mega Dojo Limerick’, the event also promises technology talks and fun science events, plus a youth ‘hackathon’.
Further afield, on October 8, second level schoolchildren will be invited to take part in a series of science education workshops at Lough Gur Heritage Park, which will explore the European space agency programmes for Mars.
The main sponsors of the festival, Bank of Ireland, will also host a number of events aimed at small businesses.
Speaking at the launch, which took place at the Limerick School of Art and Design on Thursday, Gillian Barry, who is co-ordinating the gathering here said: “We want to create an entrepreneurial environment in the city which will encourage people who have left the county to come back and either take up jobs created by new start-ups, or set up their own business.”
Also addressing the audience at the launch, the Minister for the Diaspora Jimmy Deenihan agreed, saying: “Two-thirds of all new jobs across the economy are created by start-ups. That’s why it is so crucial that we get our policies on entrepreneurship right. There is an opportunity here to encourage people who have left Limerick to return to either take up jobs in start-ups or create their own business and I would encourage anyone with an interest in starting a business in Limerick to get involved and gain as much as they can from the Start-up Gathering experience.”
It is hoped Limerick’s Start-Up gathering could ultimately lead to the creation of 2,500 jobs in the region.
The Start-up Gathering is led by the not-for-profit organisation Start-up Ireland.
Supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, there will be more than 300 start-up gathering events taking place across five days in Dublin, Cork, Galway, Waterford as well as the Treaty City.
It is anticipated the event will represent one of the biggest weeks for start-up companies in the world.
The original aim of the first start-up gathering is to promote entrepreneurship and help develop world class regional start-up hubs, as well as highlighting Ireland’s small business sector to global entrepreneurs, investors and research and development teams.
For more information on Limerick’s events, visit the web site at www.startupgathering.ie