O Web Summit é uma conferência global com sede em Dublin que promove um conjunto de encontros por todo o mundo, mas cujo principal evento é o Web Summit anual, que se tem realizado em Dublin desde 2010, ano em que surgiu. Esta iniciativa cresceu de 500 empresas locais de tecnologia participantes, que marcaram presença no evento em 2010, para 22 mil participantes de todo o mundo em 2014.
Em 2010 apenas 3 jornalistas internacionais apareceram, mas em 2014 foram mais de 1200, e no que toca a investidores o número subiu de 4 no primeiro ano para mais de 800 em 2014.
Em apenas quatro anos, o Web Summit tornou-se num dos mais influentes eventos a nível mundial, e em 2015 em Dublin, de 3 a 5 de novembro, vai contar com mais de 500 oradores, 2000 startups, 1000 investidores experientes e 800 dos melhores jornalistas de tecnologia e inovação.
Portugal entrou no mapa desta conferência em 2012, quando o vencedor da competição de startups foi a empresa portuguesa Seedrs, uma plataforma de crowdfunding (financiamento coletivo) liderada por Carlos Silva que venceu face a 19 outras empresas concorrentes. Já em 2014 a vencedora foi a Codacy, uma empresa que disponibiliza uma plataforma de análise e monitorização de códigos de programação, que opera em várias linguagens e pode ser ajustada a diferentes necessidades, que passou à frente das 199 empresas concorrentes.
Em 2016 a maior conferência internacional de tecnologia vem para Lisboa e quer ficar por três anos, pelo menos. O LISPOLIS, enquanto parceiro estratégico de várias empresas e entidades e com forte presença no ambiente empreendedor português, quis saber mais sobre esta mudança e falou com Paddy Cosgrave, CEO do Web Summit.
Abaixo está a entrevista na íntegra, na sua língua original (inglês).
LISPOLIS: Do you still remember Seedrs , winner in 2012?
Paddy Cosgrave: I do. As I remember, they had just won approval from the Financial Services Authority for their model. They were in the early stages of their journey, and it’s been just great to watch them grow – expanding into the US and the like – as we’ve grown ourselves.
LISPOLIS: Was Codacy’s victory in 2014 important on bringing Lisbon to your radar?
Paddy Cosgrave: We have always had a steady stream of Portuguese startups at Web Summit but it would be fair to say that Codacy helped bring the growing startup scene in Lisbon on the map. Lisbon is rising fast up the ladder as a place for innovation and it is a great place for Web Summit to be located. It’s almost too perfect: from the thriving startup community, the transport and hotel infrastructure to our new state-of-the-art home. When I went to a Startup Lisboa event when we were putting pen to paper on the deal, I just couldn’t get over the buzz and excitement in the city. It’s just great.
LISPOLIS: What surprised you the most in Codacy?
Paddy Cosgrave: Their growth. I knew they had a great product – that’s why they won PITCH. To see the Codacy guys return to Web Summit as a START startup with thousands of users in almost 2,000 cities worldwide is incredibly gratifying.
LISPOLIS: What other Portuguese start-ups have caught your attention?
Paddy Cosgrave: We’ve actually got four great Portuguese startups taking part in PITCH this year. Ioqr and Facestore are competing in the ALPHA category; Cuckuu and B-Guest in the BETA category.
I really hope they enjoy themselves. They’re pitching in their ‘home conference’ now.
LISPOLIS: What do you like the most in the Portuguese entrepreneurship environment?
Paddy Cosgrave: You guys don’t hang around and wait for anyone do it for you. It sort of reminds me of the Irish entrepreneurship environment. Both countries have been through some tough times over the last 5 years or so, and both are being rejuvenated by a wave of young people who aren’t afraid to try and build and create..
LISPOLIS: How big will be the impact of 3 years of Web Summit in Portugal?
Paddy Cosgrave: We like to think we’ve made a difference to Irish and international startups over the last five years in Dublin. Forty of our Web Summit startups from 2014 have raised $40 billion; Uber raised their first major round of funding in Dublin. Around our HQ, we like to say that the move to Lisbon is our next chapter. I’m confident it will include similar stories.
LISPOLIS: Did other countries get jealous of your decision?
Paddy Cosgrave: You’re going to get me in trouble here! We’ve been open about the fact that we made the right decision for us. The other countries we had been speaking with all respected that.
LISPOLIS: What can you tell us about Web Summit 2016?
Paddy Cosgrave: Web Summit is something we’ve been working on for some time. In fact, we’ve actually started some work on 2017 already. What I can say is that we’ve already booked dozens of top speakers, and many thousands of people have already signed up for our 2 for 1 offer. That level of interest in an event still more than a year away is unprecedented for us.
LISPOLIS: Why should people go to Web Summit 2016 in Lisbon?
Paddy Cosgrave: Whether it’s around our HQ or in Lisbon itself, I just feel such excitement for our move. Web Summit is already the most influential and important startup event in the world and in 2016 we are determined to deliver even better speakers and even better networking opportunities for our attendees. This is the start of something big. It’s your chance to get in on the ground floor and be there with us from the start
LISPOLIS: How many people have registered so far to Web Summit 2016?
Paddy Cosgrave: Many thousand have already signed up for our 2 for 1 offer. That is an amazing reaction.
É com entusiasmo que Paddy Cosgrave vê a vinda do Web Summit para Portugal, e é também com entusiasmo que o LISPOLIS vê a chegada desta mega conferência ao nosso país!