A week after Web Summit

Credit: Web Summit

As you all may know, this year Web Summit moved from Dublin to Lisbon. Warm weather, 4 days, huge venue with 4 pavilions and 1 arena (my mi band was easily counting 11000+ step per day), 21 summits, 53 000+ people from all over the world — this is just a short overview of what was happening at Web Summit 2016. But first things first.

Speakers

Bishop Paul Tighe

This year Web Summit brought 650+ speakers among who were Gary Vaynerchuk, Mike Schroepfer (CTO of Facebook), Eileen Burbidge (Partner at Passion Capital), Takeshi Idezawa (CEO of Line), Sarah Friar (CFO of Square), Ryan Hoover (founder of Product Hunt), celebrities Ronaldinho and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and even Bishop Paul Tighe who is Culture Secretary at The Vatican.

How cool is that to bring a bishop to a tech conference?!

Talks

“I like founders who know their sh*t” Sanjay Singhal

Having 17 stages in parallel, it was hard to get to every talk you added to your schedule in Web Summit’s app. Nevertheless, my personal thanks to organisers for bringing so many startup talks including Startup University stage and Startup workshops. I loved listening to Sonny Vu, President and CTO, Connected Devices, Fossil Group, Dave McClure and Sanjay Singhal from 500 Startups Canada who shared very honest stories based on their own experience.

“Build a business, not just a product. Know when to pivot.” Sonny Vu

Startups

Nearly 1500 startups exhibited at the event: 135 joined START track for the most promising startups, 270 exhibited at BETA, and 1080 at ALPHA

I found startups from Malaysia, Indonesia, India, Jordan, Iran, Australia, USA, Brazil, from all over Europe, Russia, Canada, covering travel, security, eCommerce, FinTech, music, games, medicine and many other topics. It was not possible to talk to each one but looking at them it was not difficult to understand how hard you have to work to stand out today not create another Uber or Airbnb for something that will vanish in 1–2 years.

One of 3 final pitches

Parallel events

As you rarely go to a conference to listen to the talks, this (and all previous) Web Summit was an amazing place for meeting new people, that are changing the world. Hard to say what was more useful for networking: Web Summit’s app, queueing at the venue to get to the stages or buy food, or night events. Even though with wifi working everyone was busy looking into their phones, I can’t complain too much remembering how hard it was to stay connected last year.

My personal best was Sunset Summit with traditional music, food and drinks.

Dozens of Pateis de Nata

Speaking of which, organisers claim that participants have consumed 97,000 Pasteis de Nata — traditional Portuguese custard cream cake. That was my everyday breakfast. Yummy!

Women in tech

This year Women in Tech tickets were introduced, bringing number of female attendees to 42%. Attending evening meetups for female entrepreneurs, I couldn’t be more proud to claim that 60% of our clients have at least 1 female founder. Go girls, go!

Special thanks to Lu Li @houseofli, CEO of Blooming Founder @bloomingfoundrs, who organised a 250+ meetup of female attendees right before the conference.

Shall I say that if you haven’t been to Web Summit you’ve missed a great event?