Tomorrow marks the opening of the fourth Web Summit at the RDS. A record total of 10,000 attendees from Ireland and around the globe will attend this two-day festival of ideas which will see some of the world’s leading company founders, investors, start-ups and industry-leading firms come together at more than 60 events organised across the city.
Founder and CEO of the Web Summit Paddy Cosgrave said of this year’s event: “This is an event like no other. It is a melting pot where entrepreneurs can share experiences, collaborate on new ideas and have the opportunity to meet people who have blazed a trail in their respective fields as well as pitch their business ideas to some of the leading investors in the world. In four short years the Web Summit has become the ‘not to be missed’ event in Europe and has helped put Dublin and Ireland on the global tech stage.
“The Web Summit’s success has provided a superb platform from which to showcase Ireland and its start-up culture to the world’s foremost technology companies, but what is very exciting this year is how we have expanded the Web Summit to provide a platform for Ireland’s food producers to showcase their produce to an international audience with the Food Summit. It also provides a new and unique experience for Web Summit attendees.”
Cosgrave added: “We’re also promoting over 30 of Ireland’s best established and up and coming music acts during the Night Summit, a music and arts festival which takes place alongside the main event.”
Over the next two days of the Web Summit, 950 start-ups from Ireland and Europe will have the opportunity to meet with over 300 investment groups who between them manage billions of dollars in venture capitalist funds and are on the hunt for the next ‘Facebook’ or ‘Twitter’.
According to Cosgrave: “Investors from Google Ventures, KPCB, Accel, Atomico, Andreessen Horowitz and Greylock will meet with Irish and international start-ups. We’ve given start-ups the best possible platform, these funds manage billions of dollars and they’re all looking to invest. The Summit is a great opportunity for start-ups, including hosting PITCH presented by Box and the ESB Spark of Genius awards.”
Keynote addresses at the Dublin Web Summit from some of the world’s leading technology experts and innovators include: Aaron Levie, co-founder and CEO Box; Tony Fadell, CEO of Nest; Jay Bregman, founder and CEO of Hailo; Phil Libin, founder and CEO of Evernote; and Vice Media CEO, Shane Smith.
350 speakers will deliver talks from six main stages in the RDS and in workshops during the Summit.
It is estimated that over the course of the Web Summit 15,000 hotel bed nights will be sold in the city. In addition to accommodation, the hospitality sector will also receive a significant boost from the number of expected bookings for restaurants, bars, hotel boardrooms and other venues, resulting in substantial revenues for the city. Last year the event generated €24mn to the local economy.
Since its humble beginnings in 2010, the event has grown from attendees to be what is now recognised as Europe’s largest tech conference. Demand for this year’s event saw 2,000 tickets sold within the first hour of going on sale.