Sarah Emerson (Year 14) was selected as one of 100 young innovators from Ireland, Northern Ireland, and the United States to participate in the U.S. Embassy’s Creative Minds Social Entrepreneurship Hackathon from 6 – 8 November 2015, in partnership with the Dublin City University Ryan Academy.
A hackathon is an intense event during which teams comprised of young leaders, designers, developers, and innovators come together to solve a social entrepreneurship challenge. The challenge was to ‘create a social innovation product or service that will improve the lives of young people.’
With the guidance of mentors from leading high-tech and multinational companies, the three-day hackathon was to encourage participants to ideate, incubate, network, and create solutions, culminating in a pitch zone competition where groups will present their ideas to an expert panel. This event provided a platform for Sarah to make invaluable connections to Dublin’s entrepreneurial community and through mentorship, experiential learning and collaborative teams guided the young people in the process of moving an idea to market.
The weekend began with an opening ceremony at the US Ambassador’s residence, where she was able to meet Kevin O’Malley, U.S. Ambassador to Ireland who commented on the young people saying, “fantastic example of creativity & innovation: you are leading the way for the next generation of leaders.”
After an intense three days Sarah concluded the event in leading her team in a pitch infront of both RTE cameras 200 spectators and the juding panel consisting of Kevin O’Malley, U.S. Ambassador, Eoghan Stack, CEO DCU Ryan Academy, Leonard Hobbs, Director of Global Public Affairs for Intel, Deirdre Mortell, CEO of Social Innovation Fund Ireland and Deiric O’Broin, CEO of NorDubCo.