Tech centre stage at RDS with Coolest Projects and Launch’d

More than 10,000 people are expected to descend on the RDS this Saturday

Pictured at the launch of CoderDojo Coolest Projects Awards 2016 was young coder Lexi Schoener from Monkstown, Co Dublin with Lightron the robot. The fifth annual CoderDojo Coolest Projects Awards takes place at the RDS on Saturday, June 18th. Photograph: Conor McCabe

Pictured at the launch of CoderDojo Coolest Projects Awards 2016 was young coder Lexi Schoener from Monkstown, Co Dublin with Lightron the robot. The fifth annual CoderDojo Coolest Projects Awards takes place at the RDS on Saturday, June 18th. Photograph: Conor McCabe

 

More than 10,000 people are expected to descend on the RDS this Saturday for tech event Launch’d and the CoderDojo coolest projects awards.

Launch’d, which is aimed at inspiring and supporting the next generation of technology entrepreneurs, will feature 50 international speakers and 100 Irish tech start-up companies.

Among the speakers is Michael Hunger, caretaker of the Neo4J community, who will be talking about how his organisation helped to unravel the Panama Papers.

Seattle-based Dubliner Aidan Hughes, the developer of the world’s most popular calculators with more than 50 million combined downloads and 11 million monthly users, will be talking on the secrets of making it big in the app store.

Other speakers include Mastercard Labs chief innovation officer Garry Lyons and Emmet Connolly, the creator of Google Wear.

This one-day tech gathering will be hosted in parallel with CoderDojo’s annual Coolest Projects awards. More than 800 young people from across Ireland and Europe entered the awards, which will feature robots, gadgets, games, blogs and websites designed by coders between the ages of seven and 17.

Harvey Brezina Conniffe (14), from The Warehouse Dojo in Dublin, has created an online editor that helps kids design their own website. He also designed an app that enables homeowners to check in on their personal security cameras by tweeting them – a project that was featured at SXSW and TechCrunch Disrupt NY.

The kids at the CoderDojo Warehouse on Dublin’s Grand Canal Quay have also developed a low-cost phone for developing countries that does not require a network, as well as a dementia aid app to help with medication reminders and important contacts.

Coolest Projects co-founder Noel King said the competition provides the bridge from learning coding skills at CoderDojos to innovating and creating future employment.

“We are the piece in the middle which makes the connection. These digital skills are vital if Europe is to address the coding skills shortage which has led to 500,000 open job postings across the region in 2015.”