Leaders in technology and design to join PCH Hardware Hackathon

Today we’ve announced a panel of technology leaders that will participate in the PCH Hardware Hackathon weekend in partnership with DCU and Irish Design 2015 (ID2015) on 22-24 May 2015 at the DCU Innovation Campus in Glasnevin.

Two panel discussions, open to the public and including some of the biggest names in technology, take place on Friday May 22nd and Sunday 24th May. The event will be sponsored by leading computing innovation company Intel.The PCH Hardware Hackathon panel discussions will include contributions from:

Sarah McDonald, Director Country IT Lead, MSD
Sarah has fulfilled the positions of PMO, Sector CIO and head of Information Systems and IT with global companies in the pharmaceutical industry since 1992. At MSD, Sarah is responsible for maximising the business value of IT, through careful management of people, projects, investments and systems, and developing a high performing organisation with exceptional standards of compliance and competency throughout.

Emer O’Daly, Co-Founder,
Trained as an architect at UCD and Yale University, Emer loves the idea of empowering people to become designers and innovators themselves. Her passion lies in discovering new intersections in design, technology and business.

Jack Phelan, COO, Drop
Jack is a seasoned technologist and designer in software development and engineering who’s designed and built many custom technological solutions over the years–from cycling robots to home automation systems.

Gaia Dempsey, Co-Founder DAQRI
Gaia Dempsey is the co-founder and director of public relations and marketing at Daqri, the leader in 4D experiences. At Daqri, she manages projects including the company’s first hosted conference, VOX: The 4D Summit and the Daqri blog. Gaia also currently serves as the liaison for global educational and art-related partnerships.

Tim Hannon, General Manager, Computers, Harvey Norman Ireland
Tim and his team travel the world sourcing the latest and greatest technology to bring to the Irish market first, He has played a vital role in establishing Harvey Norman as one of the number one destinations for technology.

Niall Austin, Co-Founder of Moocall Sensors
Moocall Sensors provide calving alerts to any mobile phone. By attaching a wearable device to the cow’s tail, it can send an SMS text alert to the farmer.

Panel discussions will be moderated by Ann O’Dea, CEO and Editor-at-Large at Silicon Republic, Ireland’s number one resource for technology news, and Katherine Hague, VP Community Engagement & Hackathons at PCH.

Topics for discussion include:

  • How big companies are adapting to hardware disruption;
  • The crucial role of design in the success of new products;
  • How to encourage startups in Ireland – learning from the global experience;
  • The challenges and opportunities associated with developing a hardware startup;
  • The global hardware revolution;
  • Things that every hardware startup should know.

In addition to the panel discussions, the PCH Hackathon will also include public demos on Sunday evening where the general public can come to see the prototypes that have been made during the 54 hour event. The public portion will also include the second panel, the announcement of the winning team and a networking reception. The PCH Hackathon aims to attract Ireland’s makers, designers, engineers, technology-enthusiasts, marketers, designers and anyone interested in the idea of bringing products to life to get their hands dirty to make a prototype of a connected device in just three days.

Judges include:

  • Niamh Bushnell,
  • Dublin Commissioner for StartupsShay Garvey,
  • Partner at Frontline VentureIvan Eustace, Co-Founder at TNS

PCH Hackathon participants will be invited to pitch ideas to the crowd and attract attendees to form design and production teams.

State of the art machinery will be available at the event

In 54 hours, the teams will go from idea to prototype with help from mentors. The event will include one-on-one mentorship, optional workshops, speakers and pitch practice. During the hackathon, participants will have access to an incredible list of resources including developer kits, prototyping tools, as well as 3D printers, CNC machines, soldering irons, and a laser cutter.

There will be cash prizes for the first place team of €3,000 as well as a free starter office for four months at the DCU Innovation Campus, should they wish to pursue their idea. Non-Hackathon participants (established startups) will have the opportunity to pitch for funding on Friday 22nd May, for a prize of €1000 funding.

Tickets can be purchased by visiting

  • Early Bird prices are €40 for the full weekend pass (available until Friday 15th May)
  • Early Bird prices are €10 for spectators of the Friday & Sunday demo nights (available until Friday 15th May)
  • Regular prices are €50 for the full weekend pass
  • Regular prices are €15 for spectators of the Friday & Sunday demo nights

What’s a Hardware Hackathon? Watch the video here.

(Contributions from Drop | | MSD | DAQRI | MooCall Sensors | Harvey Norman)