Problems, the world is full of them. Some of them are much more important than others, some can be fixed and others are seemingly unsolvable.

Advertising has always been about solving problems for clients – granted, not always the most weighty problems in the grand scheme of things but problems nonetheless. Consumers don’t know about my brand, consumers don’t care about my brand or they prefer another, consumers can’t seem to make up their mind and so on.

This is the starting point of any brief – define the problem and uncover compelling insights that will lead to an effective communications solution.

But what if the problem we’re trying to solve isn’t actually the problem that needs to be solved after all? What is we haven’t fully defined the problem?

Potentially, we’ll end up focusing our efforts on a problem that wasn’t really that important in the first place – enthusiastically striving to find an answer to the wrong question. I’m sure most of us have experienced this.

The world in many ways has become more complex, which means the world has become more complex for brands and the agencies that work for them.

The age old problems still exist but new problems have emerged along with new ways to tackle them.

Very often too, these problems can present themselves as opportunities. This is something that start-up companies, and in particular technology companies know all about – when there’s a problem to be solved there is very often an opportunity that comes with it.

The tech sector is often cited as a key pillar in unlocking and driving economic growth because it excels at finding new ways to harness technology and to create something new or open up areas that have previously remained untapped.

Consumers have embraced this technology with gusto and are using it to empower themselves to solve their own day to day problems – how to stay in touch, how to stay informed or how stay on top of their increasingly busy lives.

As the representative body for the advertising industry in Ireland IAPI is focusing our collective attention on tapping into the opportunities that exist in this space.

As an industry, advertising has always used understanding, insight, creativity and craft to help brands grow and now new opportunities exist to partner with technology start-ups to unlock the potential of ideas.

The 10% Academy “Meet the Makers’ networking evening will bring together some of the most exciting innovators and tech makers in Ireland with the advertising agencies responsible for making some of Ireland’s most beloved brands famous.

The event will take place on Wednesday 28th October at 6pm in the Gibson Hotel, Point Village, Dublin 1 and will give 15 technology start-ups the opportunity to pitch (and be pitched to) by advertising agencies who can help them unlock new opportunities with some of Ireland’s biggest brands.

In true ‘move fast and break things’ style the evening will run as face-to-face speed dates culminating in an open networking session.

If you are an established or growing technology start-up and would like to take part please send us your details along with a brief description of your company, product and target market to or

A final shortlist of 15 start-ups will be announced on Friday 9th October and details of the agencies and brands taking part will be shared well in advance.