Congratulations to DCU student, Daniel Kyne who was recently selected for the Business Post 2017 30 under 30 list. Back for the second year, the 30 under 30 list identifies ‘ones to watch’ and the most interesting people in Irish tech under the age of 30.

At just 19 years old, Daniel is one of the youngest members of the prestigious group. Speaking on the award Daniel said:

It’s always fulfilling to be recognised and noticed for the work you’re doing, and being listed alongside people like Patrick and John Collison, the latter of which is the youngest self-made billionaire in the world, is incredibly inspiring.

Daniel has just completed his first year of DCU’s Marketing, Innovation and Technology degree, an innovative course with a strong focus on creativity, innovation and high-tech entrepreneurship. With cross-discipline modules, the MINT course is designed to meet the industry demand for high-tech marketers.

My favourite thing about the MINT course is what it is best known for – the way it combines traditional elements of business and marketing with an entrepreneurial and innovation-focused outlook on new technology trends. In my opinion, one of the most important skills in modern business is the ability to both create and address a market need, and this is at the centre of all learning outcomes in MINT.

Outside of his college life, Daniel is the Startups Manager at Dublin Tech Summit, which he has been involved with since it’s early days as one of the company’s first employees. He was also part of the DCU team that won the Enactus Ireland Third-level Social Entrepreneurship competition with a project called ‘Second Scoop’. The project which partnered with Ben & Jerry’s, aims to reintegrate former prisoners through employment by providing ice cream at corporate events, festivals and fairs.

Second Scoop is only one of five projects we’re currently working on at Enactus DCU. Second Scoop Academy is a 6-week long training and skills program for ex-prisoners, which – in partnership with Ben & Jerry’s UK and Unilever Ireland, aims to upskill and provide work experience selling Ben & Jerry’s ice cream at events, creating a roadmap to societal reintegration and future full-time work. We’re currently designing our first Second Scoop Academy, which should be ready to launch by mid-July!

Second Scoop is one of the main Enactus DCU projects, along with Well on the Way – which sells bottled water and uses the proceeds to build wells in the Democratic Republic of Congo with Trocaire, and HeadstARTs – drama, dance and art workshops for people living with disability.

Enactus is keeping me busy on the run up to World Cup taking place September 28th in London. We’re doing a big push to make progress between now and then, and as incoming Team Leader for Enactus DCU 2017/2018, I’ll be overseeing the society’s five main projects, as well as building on any potential new and exciting ideas. We keep the Enactus DCU Twitter account up-to-date with what we’re up to and where we’ve been, so make sure to follow our progress there at @EnactusDCU or on Facebook and Snapchat at the same username.

A founding member of the Digital Youth Council of Ireland and a member of the international advisory board to the Excited Digital Learning Movement, Daniel has undoubtedly immersed himself in the Irish tech scene and become a key player at a very young age. He has this advice for anyone who is looking to get more involved in the tech community.

Startup Weekends are 54-hour weekend events where attendees pitch an idea on Friday evening, and on Sunday evening you present a full company to a panel of judges, investors, media and broader tech community. Attending startup weekends bring together a huge variety of opportunities; networking and meeting new people, some like you and some that are very experienced, instant acceptance regardless of whether you’re brand new or well experienced, and getting to practice and get a taste of what startups are like in a risk-free and pressure-free environment. Definitely one worth checking out.

Another important point is that you do need to specialise in order to make progress. When you’re starting out, it’s tempting to focus on everything and try to develop skills in a number of different areas – programming, marketing, finance, design. You can’t dabble and flick between different disciplines. Figure out which one you’re best at, but also which one you love the most, and get working at it. 

An idea is only an idea – only a set of words. Be prepared to walk away from it, be prepared to share it with others, be prepared for it not to go anywhere, but definitely be prepared to work hard at it.

It’s too easy to set up a Twitter profile, update your LinkedIn profile and slightly change the logo every week. The number one rule of Startup Weekend applies here – get out of the building.

Not one to take time off, Daniel also has a number of other side projects that keep him busy.

My main focus at the moment is Dublin Tech Summit, a global tech conference which brought in 10,000 tech innovators to our inaugural event last February. I started in the company as an intern 10 months ago, and now I’m currently overseeing the Speaker & Startup Departments of the company, bringing in main conference keynote and panel speakers for April 2018. Just recently, we announced Jordan P. Evans, NASA JPL’s Deputy Director of Engineering and Science, along with some other really cool speakers. Student tickets coming soon too, so worth keeping an eye out there.

I’m also a Techstars Community Leader in Ireland, where I help to organise Startup Weekend events in Dublin. To date, I’ve attended 6 Startup Weekends and organised 3, including 2 Dublin events. Last weekend, June 16 – 18 in Google’s HQ, we hosted over 100 entrepreneurs for 54 hours, where 11 teams created their own startups in less than three days. This coming weekend, Techstars are hosting their annual European Summit for community leaders in Dublin –  so I’m really excited for that too.

This week marked the start of my Global Facilitator training for Techstars too. Global Facilitators fly to startup weekends around the world to act as a host, emcee and “momentum magician” for startup weekend events. I’m really looking forward to getting involved in the great Techstars community at this new level!

As semester 2 came to a close, myself and a group of other MINT students started planning the launch of a new DCU society named MiSoc (Marketing & Innovation Society). We’re in the process of planning some great events for the incoming college year, and looking forward to getting loads of students involved at an ordinary and committee member level. Keep an eye out for our campus presence when we return to college in September.

I’m always chatting to people in the industry and broader tech community about different ideas, and with my 11 month INTRA work placement coming up at the end of 2nd year, I’m keen to find a fast-paced and compelling position that I’ll learn loads from. I actually turned 20 while writing this piece, and I’m looking forward to another year of working on great projects, meeting interesting people and having a bit of craic along the way.

If you interested in following Daniel’s journey you can follow him on Twitter at @Daniel_Kyne. Certainly one to watch for the future.

About the MINT course

The BSc in Marketing, Innovation and Technology degree prepares you for a career in the marketing of high technology products and services. You’ll learn to anticipate and respond to consumers needs, and to develop and market new innovations in a way that makes sense in today’s marketplace.

By the end of your four years you’ll have gained:

  • An in-depth understanding of marketing techniques.
  • A core grounding in science and technology.
  • Knowledge of web design, communications and industrial design.
  • An entrepreneurial outlook.
  • An understanding of the processes involved in new product development.

You’ll learn through lectures, case studies, research projects, and from the vast knowledge of visiting practitioners.

You’ll also do a one-year INTRA work placement in Year Three, which will give you the unique opportunity to experience the relevance of your study in the real business world.

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