Lets get digital, digital ♪♪

the-internet-of-thingsOn Tuesday, I welcomed my last ever DICE conference organised by Techspectations. Hundreds of students gathered one last time in The Helix to discover what it means to Get Digital. This mini-conference, similar to the others, was a huge success! The aim of Get Digital was to enhance our knowledge of Cloud Computing and Commerce and to explain to us how using these technologies can help us to change the world around us and improve how business is carried out.

123153663_4cf948c6fcNow, if you’re sitting at home wondering what in the world cloud computing is, it’s kind of simple! Eric Knorr once described Cloud Computing as what IT needs in order to …

increase capacity or add capabilities on the fly without investing in new infrastructure, training new personnel, or licensing new software

Just in case you are still a bit unsure, have a read of this article I found on the IC4 website which goes into a good bit of detail as to what cloud computing is all about cloud-computing-securityOn the day, we were joined by four amazing speakers who gave us a wide range of information about cloud computing and its various uses. We also heard from some of the speakers about the fascinating technologies that are out there available to us, which could help us to change the world we live in for the better.

Sean Baker opened the conference by telling us a little about IC4, the company who were running this conference in conjunction with Techspectations. He introduced us to the concept of cloud computing and told us IC4 do in order to promote the use of new technologies and raise awareness to the importance of cloud computing. If you want to find out about the various talks and workshops IC4 hold in relation to cloud computing and technology, why not visit their website www.ic4.ie/events/

After Sean had given us this overview of what the conference was going to be about, we were introduced to our first guest speaker of the evening.

mary-maloneyMary Maloney, CEO of Coderdojo for the past year, spoke to us about what Coderdojo is and how they encourage young children to get involved with the technologies that they are surrounded with in their everyday lives.

Coderdojo is a programme which was originally founded in Ireland in 2011 by a secondary school student James Whelton, with the purpose of teaching children between the ages of 7-17 how to code. It is a non profit organisation which has become a global success reaching out to 53 countries world wide! 

untitled (18) Mary placed major emphasis on the atmosphere that Coderdojo is trying to create for children. She described the ‘Dojo’ as

a space where children come to meet and share ideas with other children under the supervision of mentors, until they are capable of running the workshop themselves and helping each other to figure out their technical difficulties.

The work that Coderdojo is doing is excellent because it is allowing young children to develop enterprising capabilities from a young age while also teaching them valuable skills which will help them to succeed as the next generation of digital innovators. Now more than ever, I think that it is important for young people to start creating instead of just consuming these technologies which play such a major role in their lives.

Mozilla_26May_65Already, we can see the effect that these children are having on our society as they use their knowledge of coding and technology to build new software programmes and improve upon those which have already been established by fixing any glitches or faults that they may find in them.

Click on the link below to see what kids think of the Coderdojo programme!

Richard-Garsthagen-150x150Richard Garsthagen was our second speaker at Get Digital. Richard is the Director of Cloud Business and Development for Oracle. Oracle is a business which ”offers comprehensive cloud solutions for businesses IT infrastructure and development needs”

oracle y lupaHaving visited their website and listened to Richard speak about Cloud Computing, it is clear to me that Oracle a unique outlook regarding the definition of cloud computing and how it can be used to change the way that people do business.  Numerous times during his talk, Richard told us that cloud computing is about changing how we do business in order to make it easier for people to consume technology.

netflix-confirma-su-llegada-a-australiaHe gave us the example of Netflix and how they used cloud technology to change how people watch television and films. This helped me to understand what cloud computing was about because I had been a little confused before now! I enjoyed Richards talk because he helped me to further understand cloud computing by giving us examples of businesses who use it and giving us more simplified definitions! Simplicity is key!

To find out more about Richard and his thoughts on Cloud Computing you can follow his Youtube channel to see what he’s getting up to or you can follow him on twitter @the_anykey

john-masseyJohn Massey, the Manager of Cloud Business for SAP Ireland was next up to talk a little bit more about cloud computing and how it changed SAP for the better.

SAP is a business whose mission is to make every business a ‘best run business’ through the effective utilisation of business IT software and cloud computing. John’s talk was brilliant in helping me to understand just how much technology has changed business to date.

untitled (21)

John demonstrated this to us by giving us examples of how things were done in the past, compared to how they are done now. One example that really stood out to me was the hiring process. In the past, people had to submit CV’s, and then businesses would chose the ideal candidate from those CV’s. However nowadays, many business HR managers will look to LinkedIn, and search for people with the necessary requirements and chose from the list of people that comes up! 5339903957_f31a59fda0_z


shay%20garveyThe final speaker at Get Digital was Shay Garvey from Frontline Venture Capital. A perfect description of who Frontline Venture capital are can be found on their website. They are a company which offers;

capital, mentorship when needed, and a network of people that will assist founders in building their companies. We spend time working with companies to win reference customers, make key hires, and develop strategy for gaining commercial partners”


Having only heard of Venture Capitalists in previous DICE conferences (Get Started) and being warned to steer clear of them, I was unsure of what to expect from Shays talk. However, I must admit that I found it fascinating to hear about how they help new business get started in the marketplace. He spoke to us about the rapid growth that has occurred in the technology sector in the past 10 years and how VC’s are more than willing to invest in business which use cloud computing and other IT business software to get started because its cheap for them to ‘give it a go’.

Shays talk really seemed to highlight the advantages there are out there for start-ups involved with cloud computing and IT. images6HBR83J9He made me think a lot about how I could use cloud technology in the start up of my own business. Get Digital has helped me to see the importance of cloud computing and how it can change the world we live in for the better. It changes the way we do business, making technology easier for us to consume.

I hope you have all enjoyed reading about my DCU DICE experience and that I’ve given you a good summary of all of the talks! Also if you want to find out more about cloud computing talks coming up, click here.

 It’s been an incredible learning experience for me but until we meet again, Feel free to leave any comments about my blog below! Thanks for reading!


untitled (24)


Who’s ready to Get Started???

I certainly was! After a nice long Christmas break and plenty of rest, I was more than ready for my third DICE conference. This was the conference that I had  been looking forward to the most and it did not disappoint. Get Started was all about explaining to us about entrepreneurship; what is it, who can do it, and how can we do it?

These questions were answered by 7 different speakers, who varied in terms of success with some having reached the top of their game already and others still reaching for their end goal, but on a fantastic journey nonetheless. This diverse mix of entrepreneurs allowed us to see the different stages involved in setting up a business and taught us a little bit about what it means to be enterprising.

hatAs a business student, I’ve always aspired to become my own boss one day. In fact, I wanted it so much that the sole reason I chose to do my course in college was because I get to do two internships, which will give me good business experience and it might be easier for me to gain international contacts when the time comes if I have as second language! I never thought that there were organisations in Ireland which would be able to help me integrate with the wider world, until Get Started! 

Niamh Bushnell, Dublin Commissioner for Start-ups and Angel Investor

Niamh Bushnell, Dublin Commissioner for Start-ups and Angel Investor

Niamh Bushnell opened my eyes to the wonderful world of business in Dublin, as Dublin Commissioner for Start-ups, her job is to promote the city as a beehive of entrepreneurial activity in which businesses can thrive. I have to say that I found her talk really interesting because she seems to have had an amazing career and I think that it is brilliant that she is trying to encourage enterprise in Dublin because, as she mentioned, there are a number of reasons why Dublin is the ideal location for getting started in your own business…

  • Cheap as chips! The corporation tax in Dublin is lower than most other EU countries so this should attract a large number of international companies to the city who are looking to get started in the EU market or in any market
  • Can do attitude – There are so many organisations in Dublin specifically created to help people who are starting out in business find their way to success! The ones that Niamh mentioned were U Start and The Ryan Academy.
  • Collaboration among Entrepreneurs! Niamh went into detail about the fantastic enterprising atmosphere that was in Dublin and how all of the entrepreneurs are welcoming toward  ‘new kids on the block’ There are also numerous mentors in Dublin who coach start-ups and provide them with expert advice on how to go about getting started!

Overall, I learned a lot from Niamh about why I should set up in Dublin and not abroad! Before Niamhs’ speech I would have never considered staying in Ireland after college and trying to get started here in Dublin, but now that I can see how much of a catch the city is for budding entrepreneurs like myself, in a couple of years time, you might be listening to me at a Get Started Conference!

Dublin City, the ideal location to start up in business

Dublin City, the ideal location to start up in business

So now that we knew where we should start up, what else was there to java republicknow except for why we should start up and how we should go about doing so! Our next speaker, David McKernan, founder and CEO of Java republic spoke to us a little bit about why we should bother going out on our own and he gave us some insight as to how we can go about getting funding for our business when we do!

Going out on your own

Going out on your own

David had an interesting story to tell us about the journey he had to go on in order to become the successful entrepreneur that he is today. One thing resonated with me after his talk and it was that you have to be extremely passionate about what you are doing if you are starting up a business because it’s no easy task. His passion for Java coffee was so fierce, you could tell by the way he spoke about his business that it was his pride and joy. I think in order to be an entrepreneur you have to have a firm self-belief in your idea and also in yourself. It’s a huge task to undertake but it would be even harder if you had to try and inspire others to work for something you didn’t believe in, what would be the point? David described the challenges he faced on his journey ,such as being slated for ‘dressing like a knacker’ and I learnt that in order to be a successful entrepreneur you must be resilient and determined to do well because at the end of the day, its you vs. you. You will be the only one holding yourself back and you will be the only one who can propel yourself forward.

David mcKernan, CEO and founder of Java Republic

David McKernan, CEO and founder of Java Republic

David was of the opinion that we should all go out on our own because the freedom that accompanies the struggle of starting up your own business is incomparable with anything else according to him! He gave us the following and tips as to how we should go about getting funding for our future businesses;

dice money1

1.Trust is key!dice2 trustkey
Angel investors (rich people with a lot of money) always want to invest in someone they trust. If you can be open and honest with all of your shareholders and manage their expectations effectively you should have no problems sourcing finance!  David advised us to go with angel investors above anyone else when sourcing finance because you can get what you want in return for giving them a small share in the company!

2. Steer Clear of Venture Capitalists! They want to take back double what they gave you and you’ll end up in trouble! 

warning sign

Davids talk was very insightful and I feel like I learnt a lot about what type of personality you must have in order to become an entrepreneur, I would definitely take his advice on board for the future and try and apply the tips he gave me when I get to starting up my own business!

what nextSo now that I have a clear idea of how to get the funding for my business and I know where I’m starting off, what else should I take into account before my business is up and running and making me millions? The most logical answer is how am I going to get people to know what my product is about and want to invest in my product! This all comes down to explaining what my business is about and getting people to test it. The next two speakers at Get Started, Sean Ahern and Kealan Lennan were brilliant in explaining it to us! 

The answer to the first question “How do I get people to know what my product is about” was explained by none other than Sean Ahern, CEO and founder of ThankFrank.com . 

thankfrank logo

”ThankFrank.com is all about creating a thank you economy to reward goodwill.” Sean Ahern was a very interesting speaker for get started because he himself was still in the process of getting started! ThankFrank.com is an up and coming business whose vision is to incentivise people to interact with thankfrank and by putting a thank you button  on all social media platforms and rewarding people for using thankfrank.com by giving them vouchers. It is essentially a way of being polite on the internet and getting rewarded for it! Seans determination was evident in the way he spoke about his business because although they are currently ‘in the trenches’ he still had an extremely positive outlook on life! I enjoyed Sean’s talk because he spoke about entrepreneurship as a stepping stone of sorts and used a number of quotes to reinforce what the journey toward success is like! My favourite one is pictured below


The following is a list of tips which Sean gave us in the hopes that they would help guide us through the difficult challenges we may face as young start up entrepreneurs!

  1.   You must be able to explain your idea in the simplest form possible! simplicity
  2. As a famous batman character once said, the reason we fall is so that we can learn to pick ourselves back up again ! Resilience is key!fear
  3. Surround yourself with the best people who are able to do the things you can’t do
    .people dice

Kealan Lennon was fantastic at explaining to us how we can get people to test our product. As founder and CEO of Cleverbug, Kealan oozed creativity and passion for his business. Cleverbug is an inventive and creative app which removes the risk of forgetting someones birthday ever again! For someone as forgetful as myself, I fell in love with the idea from the moment he mentioned it! 

cleverbugCleverbug uses innovative software to sync your facebook friends list with the app. Once synced, you can scroll down through your friends list and turn on notifications for the people whose birthdays you wish to remember! It then uses photo curation technology to identify who’s who to you and suggests appropriate pictures for you to use on their birthday e-card/print card! 

As part of his speech, Kealan told us how he got Cleverbug into the public eye. It gave us a good insight into the type of attitude you need to have in order to get your product out there! I learnt that you need to be a risk seeking individual who isn’t afraid to put yourself out there for criticism. Kealan took a risk and contacted The Today Show when a speaker was on and said he would send in a bunch of cards for them to see! The cards arrived and the presenters were so impressed that they brought them onto the set and talked a little bit about Cleverbug and the quirky cards. This gave the organisation a lot of good media coverage and it also got people wondering about their brand! It generated huge success for Cleverbug all over america with a whopping 65% of the american population now on their database! This just proved Kealans theory that putting yourself out there will lead to success! If you want to find out more about Cleverbug and what they do, you can click on this video and see Kealan Lennon talking about the app or you can download Cleverbug for free on the appstore! 

At only 18 months old, Cleverbug has received 5 acquisition offers!!

The two speeches from both Kealan and Sean showed how every business progresses differently! Both Thankfrank.com and Cleverbug are 18 months old and yet one has managed to progress further than the other in that time period! I think by putting both of these speakers in the same mini conference it gave us students a good idea of how every business varies in it’s velocity of progression and just because one business idea may flourish faster than another, does not necessarily mean that they won’t both become huge successes in the future! 

At this stage there are 3 things we know for certain;

  • we know what we want to do
  • we know how to get funding
  • we know how we can get our product out on the market! However, there are still a few major questions that have not yet been answered, How do we find the courage to take that leap and go out on our own? What facilities are there out there to help us along on our journey to becoming world class entrepreneurs?  These vital questions were answered by our final 3 speakers of the day, Eoghan Stack, Richard StokesRonan Furlong and last but not least, Paul Kerley.

Eoghan Stack

Lets take the first question, how do we find the courage to go out on our own? Eoghan Stack, CEO of The Ryan Academy, had a very interesting methodology prepared in order to explain the journey toward entrepreneurship to us.

Eoghans methodology of the journey toward entrepreneurship can be summarised by the below 6 points; 

  1. Call to adventure! You get a business idea and are called by your inner entrepreneur to set out on this uncertain path toward success and self governance!
  2. Refusal to answer- Your nerves get the better of you and you shy away from the idea of starting up your own company. Every worst case scenario runs through you head and you’re afraid that you might fail or that people won’t like what you’ve got to offer.
  3. The Wise Stage- Some sort of supernatural aid finds its way to, a Yoda-esque figure perhaps,and you know what you must do. It’s your destiny to follow the advice of a wiser one (or your inner-self) and become the entrepreneur you have always wanted to be!
  4. The deep dark forest- You’ve stumbled into the unknown, not quite sure of what you are doing but you know that turning back would be as tedious as to go on with your journey, the light at the end of the tunnel is dim but you still have hope that you will emerge from the dark forest of uncertainty.
  5. Rebirth- You will be transformed as you emerge unscathed from the dark forest. This side of the forest is more clear cut, having trekked through the wilderness to arrive at this point in time, you’re more surefooted as to what direction you want to take the business in next
  6. Masterful Return- Your first adventure is over and you are able to say with certainty that you have emerged a master of entrepreneurship. All you need now is another call to adventure!

I thought that the 6 stages listed above accurately defined the journey that an entrepreneur must undertake in order to get through each stage of business start up. I like the way Eoghan simplified the process and made it relate to us students through use of well known film characters and humour. I personally felt like it made his talk seem more interesting than your run of the mill speech on how to become a successful entrepreneur! 

On to our next question that had yet to be answered, ”What facilities are there available to us to help us on our journey to becoming world class entrepreneurs?” Ronan Furlong, Executive Director at the DCU Innovation Campus and Richard Stokes CEO of the Invent Centre at DCU were brilliant at explaining this to us! 

Richard-Stokes ronan
Both men have primary roles in two of the largest facilities associated with DCU. Firstly, let me talk a little bit about Ronan Furlong and the DCU Innovation Campus.

Innovation Campus

The Innovation Campus is a facility just 8km from DCU dedicated to cultivating an enterprising community of companies with innovation at their core. The Campus is home to a cluster of like minded companies who are collaborating with DCU and each other to make a wide range of innovative products. The idea behind the Innovation Campus is to provide a safe and helpful environment for start up tech companies where they can grow and develop their businesses capabilities. it provides them with research facilities such as labs and equipment, meeting rooms and it also gives the businesses on the campus a good brand image by being associated with one of Irelands most enterprising Universities.

Novaerus_logo_stackedRonan spoke about how the innovation campus is the ideal place to start up a technology or science based company and he also was able to boast its success as one of the businesses who reside there, Novaerus, secured funding of 10 million euro from an angel investor because the investors saw that the business had brilliant access to research labs and fantastic equipment and they knew that they would be able to go far with such amazing help from the Innovation Campus.

dcu-invent-buildingRichard Stokes, CEO at the Invent Centre DCU was able to tell us about even more organisations and facilities that were available to young people like us who wanted to get started in business and who would be able to help us along the way. Richard is the current Director of Innovation here at DCU, which means he has a major role to play regarding the level of innovation at DCU and the programmes run to encourage enterprise here at DCU.

1064362_85391057 Richard spoke to us about the amazing service the people over at the Invent Center DCU provide for up and coming business people who want to get started in the high technology industry. The invent Center comprises of 210 sq feet of bio medical labs which can be rented out for use by any member of the DCU student body (engaged in the startup of their own business)to do their product research in.Invent, as he explained, is a spin in company that wants to work with DCU to try and help the young entrepreneurs with a flair for technology to start up in business by mentoring them and offering them expert business advice free of charge. I thought that this sounded like a brilliant idea because it gives the young tech geniuses at DCU the opportunity to gain free expert advice and opinions on their product which they may not have been able to gain otherwise.

 NORCOM-Paul-KerleyThe final speaker at Get Started was none other than Paul Kerley. Paul is a well known entrepreneur and investor. He was CEO of Norkom, a company based around preventing online fraud, until it was taken over in 2011(to read more click here) and he currently sits on a number of boards as chairperson or non exec director for companies such as Fenergo, MindConnex and SmartBin . Safe to say, Paul has plenty of experience in being an entrepreneur!
 norkom-logoTherefore it was very insightful to listen to him speak about his life as an entrepreneur and the ups and downs he had to face in order to get to where he is today. I felt as if Paul embodied the whole concept of being an entrepreneur and that he was an example of what can happen if you follow the advice that was given to us by the other speakers.
Paul was the only speaker who didn’t have a powerpoint presentation for us and his reasoning behind this was that he felt as if the journey he has been on as an entrepreneur in his lifetime,was too personal to share with everyone through a series of pictures and sentences. This gesture really struck me because I realised how much emotion must be involved with setting up a business. Of course, other speakers at Get Started spoke about the passion and love they felt for their companies but I feel like Pauls gesture was so powerful and it really reinforced what everyone else was saying about how passionate you must be about your business before you decide to venture out on your own because the challenges you will face  will  change the person who you are going to become and shape your life into something new.
I think Get Started has been my favourite conference thus far because this is the only conference where I feel like it has actually made an impact on my life and how I feel about my future. I learnt some life changing lessons from the various speakers that day and I will most definitely be referring back to this advice when the time comes for me to make my entreprenurial debut.
That’s all from me now guys! If you yourself  were in attendance at Get Started let me know what you thought! If not, you can follow the #GetStarted2015 on Twitter! 
I’ll be back soon to fill you in on Get Digital 2015 which will be held on the 14th of April ! If you liked this post feel free to click the follow button and share it with your friends! Alternatively you can follow me on twitter @OmgEllen for live updates from the conferences! 

Ladies and Gents, Get up, Get involved and Get mobile!

Ding ding ding…Who’s ready for round 2? 

Yep, that’s right folks! you guessed correctly, yet another DICE conference has come and gone and here I am writing my second blog post on one of  the four enterprise conferences which take place in the Helix this year. Last time we were being told to get social, and this time it was all about Getting Mobile. No…not in the literary sense, more importantly in the technical sense.

”How much more mobile can I get?” Is what I was thinking to myself before I attended the Get Mobile Conference on the 11th November 2014. I had previously believed that I was an avid user of mobile technology and that I knew everything about devices under the umbrella term, ‘mobile’. I hasten to say that I was wrong. I had no idea that the term mobile had come to symbolise a wide range of devices including wearable devices. Eg. Google glass and contactless devices! So what was the answer to my previous assumption? -A whole lot more.

I can honestly say that I thoroughly enjoyed this conference and although I was a bit bamboozled at first, as the speakers progressed in their talks and I became familiar with the terms mobile marketing, search engine marketing, search engine optimisation, algorithm but as the talks continued it all began to make sense to me. Thanks to the technical wizards and enterprise geniuses that spoke to us in The Helix on the at Get Mobile 2014, I now understand the importance of mobile in our rapidly changing world and hopefully, by the end of my post, you, the reader, will too!

Who was involved?

  1. DCU’s very own, Dr. Theo Lynn  Dr. Lynn is a senior lecturer in DCU Business School and Chief Investigator at the Irish Centre for Cloud Computing and Commerce . 

  2. Dr. Mark Hughes, Chief Technical Officer (CTO) of Digifeye. Digifeye is an app which amalgamates computer vision and machine learning technology  ( to learn more click here)to convert visual online content into an online store front.

  3. Dr. Cathal Gurrin, a computing lecturer in DCU and a funded investigator at  Insight Centre for Data Analytics .

  4.  Eoin Cruise, Market Lead,  for Microsoft Mobile Devices, Ireland

  5. Paul Davey, an IT mobile leader for IBM Ireland. IBM is one of Irelands leading  providers of advanced information technology, products, services  and business consulting expertise. It was founded by Thomas J Watson  and has been in Ireland for 50 years!
  6. Alex Meisl, Initial CEO of Legion, of Europe’s largest IVR company, Co. Founder of Sponge in 2002 and  Chairman of Wiforia Ltd . With such an in depth knowledge of all things mobile related, Alex was able to give us a detailed account of how mobile is becoming more important in business today and how people are underestimating the power of mobile as a business asset.



Get Mobile took place in The Helix main stage on the 11/11/14. Once again over 500 students gathered in the massive conference hall prepared for the talk which lay ahead of them. The atmosphere in the Helix this time around was electric as we now knew what to expect from the speakers and had a general idea of how the conference would go.


Opening Remarks;

Dr. Theo Lynn opened proceedings by introducing the audience to the importance of mobile in daily life, ie; how people interact with technology .This set the tone for the entire conference as we could gather that the point of this talk was to recognise the importance of mobile marketing and online marketing as a major asset to any business. From the outset, Dr. Lynn stressed the amount of time people spend on their mobiles. I myself was genuinely shock at some of the statistics he provided us with! 

photo credit to telegraph.co.uk

photo credit to telegraph.co.uk

”96% of people aged 18-35 own a smartphone”
”60% of smartphone users own an iphone”
”The average person spends up to 7.5 hours per day on their phone”
On hearing this I was taken aback by the seemingly colossal amount of time some people would spend on their phones, but as the talk continued and Dr. Lynn described how we use our phones, I came to realise that I myself was probably spending 7.5 hours or more on my phone per day! It never occurred to me before ‘Get Mobile’ how important it is for businesses to have some sort of mobile marketing strategy in place in order to fully exploit all markets.
Dr. Lynn went into greater detail as to how companies employ mobile marketing technology. He spoke about SEO and SEM, concepts which I had never come across before but after carrying out some of my own research on websites such as Search Engine Land and TinderPoint, I have discovered what they are. SEM stands for Search Engine Marketing and basically what it does is, it adjusts or rewrites website content to achieve a higher ranking in search engine results pages!  Here it is explained below!
On the other hand, SEO stand for Search Engine Optimisation, SEO is a method of getting traffic from free/natural/organic sources on the web. It is explained in more detail in the video below!
To learn more about SEO visit <<http://selnd.com/seomovies >>
Speaker 2;


”Every Vision a Transaction, Turn Vision into decision” – Digifeye

Our second speaker of the day was Dr. Mark Hughes, Cheif Technical Office of Digifeye. Digifeye is a company which focuses on combining machine learning technology and computer vision technology to convert visual content (eg; clothes on a model) into online shopping content/ an interactive store front. This essentially means that on sites which have partnered up with Digifeye, there would be a sidebar beside the image of the celebrity/model and it would have a list of products you could buy relating to what the person is wearing!!!
If the majority of you readers are unsure as to what machine learning is, don’t fret! I was too! Machine Learning is a way of getting computers to learn what things are, without being programmed to know the information. It does sound very confusing but Dr. Hughes explained it wonderfully! (to learn more about Machine Learning technology click here) He compared machine Learning to how you would teach a child how to recognise what different objects are. In Digifeye, they use  ‘Supervised Learning’ to teach the computers to recognise objects such as clothing, cars, etc.
Here' a small sample of some of the 900 retailers Digifeye is partnered with!

Here’ a small sample of some of the 900 retailers Digifeye is partnered with!

 Personally, I found Dr. Hughes’ talk fascinating. He opened my eyes to what goes on behind the scenes for online shopping which was really cool. As an avid online shopaholic, I constantly get pop ups from the web as to where I can buy the clothes on a celebrity in a picture I’m drooling over. I was fascinated by over 250 million images are uploaded online per day! I thought that Digifeye was the perfect solution to every shopaholic and celeb obsessed person’s needs! In fact, Dr.Hughes talk about the work that goes on in Digifeye interested me so much, that I am considering trying to get an internship in a company like Digifeye or even Digifeye itself, in my second year ! I think it would be a life changing experience!
Next up was..
DCU’s very own,  Dr. Cathal Gurrin.  A funded investigator at the Insight Centre for Data Analytics and a lecturer at the School of Computing in DCU, Dr. Gurrin spoke to us about the evolution of mobile in todays society, mobile computing and lifelogging.
Dr. Gurrin spoke to us about how rapidly the world of mobile technology is evolving. He startled the audience by informing us that the next billion internet devices to be sold will be mobiles, as mobile technology is becoming more powerful and also increasingly cheaper as years go by. His proof of this bold statement was that he bought a tablet last year for only 35 euro!
Mobile Technology is becoming increasingly cheap!I personally, was stunned by some of the facts that Dr. Gurrin provided in his talk! It dumbfounded me how
“The iPhone 5 is 60,000 ties more powerful than the computer that was used to guide Apollo 11 “ apollo-11-liftoff
Dr. Gurrin also opened our eyes to the fact that the term ‘mobile’ does not necessarily represent mobile phones alone. In recent years, the term has been broadened to include wearable computer devices. ‘Wearables’ as they are commonly called, are small electronic devices which are worn by the user either on top of their clothes or on their person. They are devices which have no on/off switch but are constantly interacting with the user and the users surrounding environment, in order to augment the device into the users life.
Here is an example of a few different types of ‘wearable computers
The Microsoft Watch

The Microsoft Watch

Google Glass

Google Glass

 As well as telling us about all of these wonderful technologies and how they are becoming more and more common, Dr.Gurrin also introduced us to a way of life that has emerged from the birth of these new technologies. Lifelogging.
I was blown away by the whole concept of lifelogging. For those of you who are wondering, what is life logging? It is essentially a method of documenting ones life. Lifeloggers use wearable devices to document every second of their lives and store this data on their personal search engine. This basically creates ‘An Internet of Me’ for the user which they themselves have sole access to. Lifelogging appeals to many because it is a method of storing one’s memories, of engaging with new technologies, and of analysing oneself through the data collected.
Lifelogs allow a surrogate memory because through use of automatic mobile devices the lifelogger will get a completely accurate, unbiased picture of themselves which they can keep on record in their personal ‘internet of me’
Dr.Gurrin himself is an avid lifelogger. He wears a sensicam around this neck which takes pictures every few minutes in order for him to document his life. He also makes use of google glass to supplement his data gathered from his camera. He told us that on average, the camera takes up to 4000 pictures a day. Since 2006, he has gathered a vast digital memory which includes over 12 million sensicam images! For those of you who think that you may have an interest in Lifelogging, you can view Dr.Gurrins’ research at
You can also visit << http://www.meetup.com >>and search for Lifelogging. This will give information on the next Lifelogging meeting in Dublin which will take place in Trinity College Dublin.
Speaker 4 was. microsoft_0
Eoin Cruise, Market Lead for Microsoft Mobile Devices Ireland and head of Nokia in Ireland. You’re probably wondering, who are Microsoft Mobile Devices? Well, They are the new name in Windows Vista replacing Microsoft ActiveSync, essentially, they are Microsoft device management for windows phone.
Eoin began his talk by asking the audience a question.
‘Who here owns a nokia phone?’
  The answer? About 3 people in an audience of over 500 people. Eoin used this response to begin telling us about how Nokia has fallen from the leader board of smartphone producers. Eoin has been a market lead for the Irish Mobile industry for 20 years and for 10 of those years he worked with Nokia, so it was good to get an insight into the new journey that Nokia and Microsoft are embarking on  from someone who knew the company so well and could tell us what it was like to be a part of such a big change. They now “have the best platform to change the world“. He backed up this bold statement by telinng us that their company alone can put software onto smartphones that others can’t, software like Xbox Live and Microsoft Office.
Nokia/Microsoft Alliance
He explained to us how the two companies have gotten together and how they plan to make both brands a huge success. Since 2011 Microsoft has been on a mission to renew their brand and make it popular. By joining with Microsoft in 2012, Nokia was revitalised and made a huge comeback, with the emergence of the Nokia Lumia (pictured below)
In 2013, Nokia’s sales gathered momentum thanks to the Nokia Lumia which combined Microsoft software with Nokia phones. Sales rocketed from 5% to 11.6% in 2 years.
Now in 2014, Microsoft are changing their strategy once again. Once the merger was consolidated this year Nokia and Microsoft became one. With a new mission in hand, Microsoft plan to;
  • Light up the Microsoft strategy by setting up Microsoft Devices Group
  • Set the bar for high quality hardware and software
  • Be one Microsoft
In my opinion, Eoin’s talk was very interesting because it gave a good insight into how strategic alliances can benefit a business in a real life situation. It was also invaluable to hear Eoin’s opinions about how to draw people in to the reinvented Microsoft by creating a mobile which will encompass essential features desired by customers. He told us his ideas of how to attract people to the new Microsoft which I thought was quite refreshing. Eoin believes that ” winning in the high end” isn’t as important as other companies make it out to be. After the conference, I began to think what other opinions Eoin h about business, so I began to follow his twitter account. If you too want to view Eoin’s opinions, you can follow his twitter page at  <<https://twitter.com/eoincruise>>
He said that he thought it would be better to produce good quality phones in the 60-150 euro price range to draw them into the ‘new Microsoft’. Then customers would be more willing to buy another Microsoft phone for a higher price because they would trust that the Microsoft phones are good quality.
Speaker 5…
”That’s how you know someone’s from IBM…We love our suits and we love our ties”
What a way to sum up IBM by none other than Paul Davey. As our 5th speaker of the day, Paul made a fantastic impression on the audience and on me personally through use of a combination of humour and extremely interesting fats about IBM and the technologies they use.
He began by telling us that IBM was 103 years old! I was stunned by this and I was equally stunned when I realised that IBM invented the first ever smartphone!  After carrying out some of my own research about this age old phone I discovered that it was called the IBM Simon, that it was made in 1994, and had a battery life of only ONE HOUR!  Can any of you reader’s imagine how difficult we would find it if our phones only lasted an hour before having to be charged again!
 It doesn’t bear thinking about!
Here’s a picture of the phone which would have been well ahead of it’s time back in 1994 but what we would consider ancient today, just so you can get an idea as to how mobile has evolved rapidly over the past few years!
Paul continued his talk by telling us how central IBM technology is in the background of all things IT related. Can you imagine that IBM technology is touched on 6 times in one flight to England!
The part of Paul’s talk which I found to be the most eye opening was Watson Technology. Just watch the video below and you’ll see for yourself why I was so amazed!
I think that the reason I enjoyed Paul’s description of Watson so much was because it really opened my eyes to how much technology has developed in the past years. I couldn’t believe that there was such advanced technology in the world I’m growing up in and its only 2014! The possibilities for technology such as Watson are endless and really do have the capability to change the world we live in today! A part of me felt like Marty in back to the future… Is this really happening?! However,  I’m thrilled that I get to experience this new age of evolutionary technology and I hope to be able to work in a company like IBM at some stage in my life to learn more about what goes on with the ‘smarts of smartphones’  Paul’s talk inspired me to seriously consider trying to get an apprenticeship with IBM as a part of my 2nd year in my course. I think it would be invaluable to get the chance to work for such a major IT giant and to learn from IBM how to incorporate Watson technology into my own companies app, when I establish it in the future, to direct more traffic to my app so that it does well on the mobile market.
Last but not least..
meisl_0untitled (3)
Alex Meisl concluded proceeding at Get Mobile. Having flown in from London that very day , I was grateful that he had made the effort to come and speak to us DICE students at Get Mobile.. As chairman and founder of Wiforia and Sponge, two highly esteemed mobile marketing sites, I’m sure you can guess what his talk was about? Alex began his talk by telling us some hilarious facts  which he had gathered from the Ipsos Mori research, about the British populations thoughts on giving up their mobile phones, in order to give us an idea of how important it is for businesses to have some form of mobile marketing campaign in place since, apparently, people seem quite attached to their phones and are not willing to let them go.
  1.   ”One third of British adults would rather give up sex than give up their phone”

  2. Two thirds of British adults would rather give up drinking than give up their phone”

I’m sure you are thinking that, surely most businesses would have an app or some sort of mobile site which consumers could visit to fulfil their online needs? Well, the answer is yes, they do have all of the above, however the content of their websites and the level of engagement with those sites is not very good, according to Alex. The rest of his talk concentrated on steps to be completed in order to make your mobile site a success. Alex advised us that if we wanted to make a good mobile site, we would need to let go of the things holding us back which he believes to be

  1. Fear
  2. Uncertainty
  3. Doubt
  4. Age and Attribution

digital_marketing-100480285-primary.idgeI was absolutely stunned to hear that only 17% of Chief Marketing Officers in the world have successfully intergrated mobile to their relative industry! In a world of a rapidly expanding mobile industry I would have thought that businesses would be up to date with what o RE; mobile marketing. After the conference I  carried out some of my own research and discovered that a whopping 57% of marketers surveyed by Forrester analyst Thomas Husson in his blog, did not have defined mobile objectives. If you want to read more about what Thomas Husson had to say about the matter, you can visit his blog by clicking here

Closing remarks;
I think that Get Mobile was a step up from Get Social and I found it extremely interesting to learn about developments in the mobile industry from people from huge IT companies such as IBM and Wiforia. I also found it fascinating to learn about new ways to utilise all of these new mobile devices from Cathal Gurrin and also to learn how to use these new technologies  to create a business like Mark Hughes did with Digifeye. I think that this conference will be invaluable to me with regard to creating my team app for DICE as I heard from the very best what I should and should not do!
Feel free to leave feedback in the comments section below and I would love to hear what you guys have to say about Getting Mobile! Until next time readers!

Wake up people of the 21st century, the time has come to Get Social


I’m sure you are sitting there wondering, what is get social ? It was an event I don’t think I will ever forget. Never before, have I been so inspired, so enchanted by stories of success from business gurus who started off just as I am today. Ladies and Gentlemen, Its time to get involved with the 21st century and get social!



  1. Dr Theo Lynn, – Senior Lecturer at DCU business school  and the Principal Investigator of the Irish Centre for Cloud Computing and Commerce Centre

  2. Deirdre Hogan- A DCU graduate who has founded her own company Gajo

  3. Jane McDaid- Co. founder of Thinkhouse

  4. Lucy Campbell- Marketing Director of RTE Digital

  5. Alan Coleman- CEO of Wolfgang Digital

  6. Nicolas Cappeillo – EMEA Sales Director at LinkedIn

  7. Eric Weaver- World Class Marketer, currently working for IPG Media Brands


What and When

Over 500+ business students gathered in The Helix on the 14th Ocotber 2014 as part of their DICE module to attend 1 of 4 mini conferences which would take place for them this year. Get Social is a talk, a talk about all things social media related. Those who attended were blown away with information on Cloud Computing , the concept of ‘content’ and other terms which I had never heard of before. However coming away from the conference I was enlightened with this new-found knowledge. I was left with the impression that if I wanted to make anything of myself and become half as successful as those on stage, I would have to listen up and be prepared to embrace technology and social media into my life.

First up is…

D.C.U’s very own Doctor Theo Lynn!

phot from google images

Theo Lynn with IC4

A Senior Lecturer  at Dublin Business School DCU and Principal Investigator of the Irish Centre for Cloud Computing and Commerce Centre, Dr. Lynn had a lot of really interesting things to tell us about current projects he is working on and also about concepts such asSentisense analysis’. All of which help people and businesses to interact with and embrace social networking  and social media without fear. One particular project which captured my full attention was Uonevu. Uonevu is a software which helps to prevent cyber bullying, It is able to detect speech/linguistic patterns and block or report the user to prevent social networking online and to quash peoples fear of online interactions.  For more see the link below!

Speaker 2:

Next up  was  DCU’s very own Deirdre Hogan!

A graduate from DCU with a PHD in natural language processing, Deirdre Hogan managed to open my eyes to the wonderful world of filtering. Having never put much thought into how certain ads got onto my Facebook or Twitter timeline, Dr. Hogan managed to make me understand how all this was made possible.  She founded her own company GAGO, having spent many years as a student similar to myself and having failed once before.  Learning how GAGO worked fascinated me and although I was a little lost due to the techy language involved, it opened my eyes as to how much work businesses put into specifying their market research techniques and defining their target markets. People like Dr. Hogan and companies like GAJO aim to ‘cut through the noise’ and get people what they want without having to go looking for it! 

photo cred to google images

Lets cut through the noise with social media!

Speaker 3:

Things got very exciting when Jane McDaid came on stage to wow us all with Thinkhouse , an innovative ‘youth communications agency that aims to connect 16-35 years olds with some of the worlds biggest brands’ such as Coke, Barrys Tea and Heiniken. Jane told us about all of the campaigns that thinkhouse organise in order to promote their clients and I was amazed that I had never heard of Thinkhouse before, as they seemed to sponsor almost every major event in Ireland! From Movember  to Heiniken Sound Atlas, the list was endless! Jane explained how Thinkhouse organised their video campaigns and we were privy to The 7 Sins of Killer Content

7 Sins of Killer ContentPhoto cred to google images


2. Epicness


4. WTF?

5. Zeitgeist

6.NSFW ( not safe for Work )photocred to google images


I really enjoyed the talk from Thinkhouse because I felt that it related to the students in the room. it was much more student focused than other talks however we were given a bit of a statistical overload which made it tough to decide which facts were worth noting!

“Sharing Content is just as important as uploading it”

 Here is an example of the type of campaigns Thinkhouse run! This campaign was designed by Thinkhouse  in order to try and raise money for Gavin Glynn, a young boy who had cancer and whose parents were trying to raise money to get him treatment in America. Their campaign was hugely successful and they managed to raise over 1/2 a million euro for Gavin’s cause! See more

To see more of what thinkhouse do visit their youtube channel below:



Speaker 4:

RTE’s Marketing and Circulation Director, Lucy Campbell!

Before this talk I had always thought of RTE as a traditional Irish channel suitable for the elder generation. Now I know different. RTE has undergone a major transformation and has evolved rapidly in order to catch up with the latest craze of online advertising across various social platforms. The RTE player has become one of the main platforms on which people watch television since it was est. in 2009.  Ms. Campbell gave us many interesting statistics to demonstrate peoples current obsession with social networking, social media and technology in general which really reinforced her point of why RTE was expanding its horizons and embarking on a new ‘digital  journey


“53% of people would rather give up  their sense of smell rather than give up their mobile phone”


“For the Fifa world Cup 2014, there was an increase in 70% of live streaming the match on RTE’s sports website”

 photo cred to google images

More than 56% of the Irish Population tuned into RTE to catch the 1st episode of the new series of Love/Hate”


The reason I found Lucy Campbells talk the most interesting was because I felt that she had given my a fantastic insight into how any business can get itself back onto the publics radar by embracing technology and by Getting Social. I felt like RTE embodied the whole concept of getting social because it went from a television station which was more old fashioned to a television station which was becoming popular again because it was not afraid to embrace social media and to exploit it for their own benefit.


Speaker 5:

Alan  Coleman, Co-Founder of Wolfgang Digital!

 –I don’t think anyone who was at the mini-conference on Friday will forget Alan Coleman, from the outset he engaged and dazzled his audience with incredible stories. Can you believe that at the ripe age of 18 Alan taught himself how to use google adwords!? From there he grew to become a digital marketing scientist and CEO of Wolfgang Digital. I was astounded by his risk taking attitude  which he employed to set up a sex shop for Wolfgang Digital in order to make more profits and demonstrate the effectiveness of Wolfgang Digital as a marketing company! A genius yet daring idea! Alan made some very interesting points about how much we rely on technology today, He used to example of google going ‘black’ on the 16th august 2013 to demonstrate how much we rely on modern social media and the internet today


When google went black, the worlds internet usage dropped by a massive 40% ”

‘Google makes the world go round”

 I like Alan’s talk because he was good at relating the topic of his talk back to us, as students, he managed to make his talk interesting by adding humour and he made a good use of statistics to back up his point of how fixated people today are with technology and digital media. I also like how he gave us an insight into the mission of Wolfgang Digital, that they aim to target their clients consumers needs at every level such as;



3. Action




1.5mn people watched the Late Late Toy Show last year and everyday 2mn people are actively watching television every day”

Speaker 6:

Nicolas Cappiello from LinkedIn !

Nicolas’s talk fascinated me! Before his talk, I had only heard of LinkedIn and didn’t actually know what it was about. As it turns out, LinkedIn is a diverse and globally acclaimed social networking site for business professionals who aim to become bigger and better by communicating on this platform and sharing their opinions and ideas. LinkedIn contains remarkable content which allows its users to

1. Share and Publish thoughts/opinions on business techniques with their peers

2. Share experiences with peers and idols such as Barrack Obama and Richard Branson

3.Regulate the content users want using pulse, to keep users up to date

I liked how Nicolas left us after his talk with an insight into the mission of LinkedIn and I felt that it was a good way to summarise what he had previously told us about LinkedIn itself.

Our Long term vision is to build the worlds first economic graph to visualise every economy”

-Jeff Waites CEO

Last but not least…Speaker 7!

Our final speaker of the day was none other than, Eric Weaver! A 24 year marketing veteran/advisor to some of the worlds biggest brands!

Eric Weaver spoke about a very interesting aspect of ‘Getting Social’. His talk was based around the Social Media Crisis of Faith. For me personally, it was a very interesting talk because he spoke about how he and his colleagues in IPG Mediabrands worked to restore people’s faith in social media and social marketing campaigns by acting as ”cheerleaders and ambassadors for the worlds biggest brands” .

He was witty and engaging and so enthusiastic that I felt myself really believing in what he said! After 6 other talks about ‘content’ and having no idea what it was, Eric Weaver addressed our lack of understanding of the word and explained to us what it was! It was eye opening to say the least!

Eric Weaver showed us how important ‘real time social content’ was by showing us the video of how Oreo used social media to re vamp its age old brand and make it popular in the eye of the public once again, Oreo Daily Twist, was a prime example of how he helps his clients to use social media to come back onto or to make themselves known on the public radar. Watch below!

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7bYqgw4lUOY&w=560&h=315%5D



I found my first DICE experience very eye opening.,having attended the conference and listened to the above words or wisdom, I came away feeling intrigued and optimistic that one day I might be able to achieve something similar in my lifetime! However, I was also left a bit confused which spurred me on to do some research and I can now proudly say that I have been enlightened by the meaning of content, cloud computing and sentiment analysis and that I now know how I could use them to embark on my own business venture and stay socially relevant.

 Finally, I would love to hear from you, the reader! Comment below if you too attended the DICE conference and share what you got out of it with me and other readers! I hope that you will all be as enthusiastic as I am about getting out there and getting social!!