Featured on Sep 02, 2016
"Create more value than you can capture - Tim O'Reilly"
Since I was 19, I've been on a mission to change the world! Incredibly passionate about psychology, anthropology, philosophy and building technology that brings them all together. One of the founding members of 091Labs hackerspace in Ireland. Studied CS in Mexico City, Denmark and London. Co-Founder of CrowdScanner, building mobile gaming technology to get people talking to new people!
- Title: Co-Founder, Crowdscanner
- Age: 31
- Location: Brooklyn
- Contact: @amonter5
What was your motivation for founding 091Labs? What did you find to be the biggest challenge when getting started?
After coming back to Ireland from a hacker conference in Berlin. I was incredibly inspired about meeting so many cool, smart hackers from all over the planet. I also met Mitch Altman. He's the founder of Noisebridge in SF. He kept saying how hackerspaces are a fundamental place for creative people in cities and towns to come together, make awesome things and change the world.
I knew we needed a hackerspace in Galway, Ireland -- so few of us started meeting up in a coffee shop. Increasingly more and more people kept coming to the meetings, until we finally managed to get our own space.
The first challenge was convincing people that a hackerspace full of hackers was a legitimate endeavour. And not a criminal organization. The second challenge was not having enough money to pay the rent -- so in order to solve these problems. We organized a lot of events and workshops to get more people involved and gather funds. We had really successful events like Ignite Galway. But some other months we were completely broke. It was always a challenge. Right now there are over 40 active members, and it's a self sustaining hackerspace.
The most amazing thing overall is how you can create, learn and make so many incredible things by having a strong community. Who is willing to work together and share. It's all about community really.
You run between 40-50km per week. What are some of your favorite places to go for a run here in New York?
I love running at night after 12:30am. NYC is so quiet at this time. I usually run from WeWorkLabs to the Hudson river Greenway, and all the way down to lower Manhattan until the Brooklyn Bridge. It's really amazing! I highly recommended. You can also see loads of people fishing too.
You’ve lived and worked in a number of different countries. What are some of your favorite parts of living here in New York?
Yes, I've lived in Mexico, Holland, US, UK and Ireland. The thing that I love the most about NYC is how you can get so much stuff done in one day. You can run in the morning, code and meet a VC in the afternoon, have a veggie dinner in the evening and go to see Circle Du Soleil at night.
The tech scene is also booming here, and it has been a great place for our start-up. We definitely made the right decision on coming here to NYC instead of Silicon Valley. It's a fantastic city for people who want to make great things. Both positive and negative.