Web Summit

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Web Summit
Web Summit 2015 logo.png
Status Active
Genre Technology
Venue Altice Arena + FIL
Location(s) Lisbon
Country Portugal
Inaugurated 2009 (Dublin)
Founders Paddy Cosgrave, David Kelly and Daire Hickey
Attendance 53,000 (2016)
Organized by Web Summit

Web Summit (originally Dublin Web Summit) is a technology conference held annually since 2009. The company was founded by Paddy Cosgrave, David Kelly and Daire Hickey. The topic of the conference is centered on internet technology and attendees range from Fortune 500 companies to smaller tech companies. This contains a mix of CEOs and founders of tech start ups together with a range of people from across the global technology industry, as well as related industries.

Web Summit runs events throughout the world including f.ounders,[1] RISE Conference in Hong Kong,[2] Collision in New Orleans,[3] SURGE in Bangalore and MoneyConf in Madrid.

For the first five years the event was held in Dublin, Ireland. In September 2015 Paddy Cosgrave, Web Summit co-founder and CEO, announced that Web Summit would be held in Lisbon starting in 2016.[4]


Web Summit 2017 will take place in the Altice Arena in Lisbon again from November 6 - 9. The event promises to bring 60,000 attendees from over 160 countries together.[5]

Currently there are 300 speakers confirmed for the conference, with 1,000 more to be announced. From the political sphere, speakers such as Former Vice President of the United States of America Al Gore, European Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager, and former president of France François Hollande have been announced. In addition to these speakers, some of the biggest names in tech will be attending including Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, Oracle CEO Mark Hurd, Microsoft president Brad Smith, Reddit CEO Steve Huffman, Slack co-founder and CEO Stewart Butterfield, Asana co-founder and CEO and Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz, and Booking.com president and CEO Gillian Tans.

Other notable speakers include former world heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko, actress and activist Sophia Bush, former Portuguese professional football player and Ballon D'Or winner Luis Figo, Vogue international editor Suzy Menkes, former chess world champion Garry Kasparov, musician Wyclef Jean, and Game of Thrones actor Liam Cunningham.[6]


Paddy Cosgrave, Web Summit founder (left) and António Costa, Prime Minister of Portugal (right) at the opening ceremony

In September 2015 Web Summit co-founder and CEO Paddy Cosgrave announced that the event would be held in Lisbon for three consecutive editions, from 2016 to 2018.[7] Cosgrave cited the local startup scene and a "cosmopolitan city with better infrastructure conditions and a larger number of hotel rooms" for the decision.[8]

The three-day event held from November 7—10 at the Altice Arena, site of Expo '98, drew 53,056 attendees from more than 150 countries and more than 1,500 start-ups spread over 21 venues.[9]

Among the more than 600 speakers were a number of tech top executives from around the world, including John Chambers of Cisco, Facebook CTO Mike Schroepfer, and Amazon CTO Werner Vogels. Also speaking at the event were prominent figures from non-tech areas, such as actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Salil Shetty of Amnesty International and Mogens Lykketoft, president of the general assembly at the United Nations, as well as footballer Luís Figo and both the Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa and Prime Minister António Costa.[8][9][10] The percentage of women among speakers at the Web Summit was 21%, when the percentage of women among participants was 47% according to independent estimates.[11]


Web Summit, 2015

Web Summit 2015 was held over three days from 3 November until the 5 November at the RDS in Dublin. Over 42,000 people attended the event over the three days. Speakers included Ed Catmull of Pixar, Michael Dell, Bill Ford and Chris Froome.

In September 2015 Web Summit announced that they would be moving the event from Dublin to Lisbon. Following the announcement organisers released email correspondence between the Irish Government and Web Summit CEO Paddy Cosgrave about hotel costs, traffic and other issues around infrastructure in Dublin. This led to a debate in the Irish media about the support the Government had provided to the event since it began and what future promises they could make.[12]

Problems arose with the Wi-Fi,[13] but on a lesser scale than in 2014.


Paddy Cosgrave and Taoiseach Enda Kenny at the 2014 Web Summit

Web Summit 2014 was held over three days and consisted of nine stages or Summits as they are known; Centre, Machine, Enterprise, Marketing, Builders, Society, Sport, Film and Music. Eva Longoria, Peter Thiel and Bono were among the speakers that spoke over the three-day event, with attendance of 22,000 people from 109 countries.[14][15]

On Day 1 there were problems with the WiFi network and Web Summit founder Paddy Cosgrave took to the stage on two occasions to apologise for the connectivity problems. The RDS defended their technical set-up with CEO Michael Duffy saying, "The WiFi has successfully responded to the exceptional demands placed on it. This is an unprecedented WiFi density compared to similar European tech events." Attendees were mostly disparaging in their remarks, with some deriding it on social media as "the most Irish thing ever".[16]

International broadcasters including CNBC, CNN, Fox Business News, Bloomberg, Sky News. Al Jazeera and the BBC all covered the event.

After the announcement of the decision to move the 2016 Web Summit to Lisbon, several Irish technology correspondents cited the WiFi debacle as one major push factor behind the move.[17][18]


Web Summit, 2013

In 2013, over 10,000 people attended the Web Summit, the vast majority from outside Ireland.[19] Speakers included Elon Musk, Shane Smith, Tony Hawk, Drew Houston, and Niklas Zennström.

The event expanded in its scope with a number of side-events launching as part it, including the Night Summit,[20] a series of after-hours events featuring musicians from throughout the world, and the Food Summit, a two-day showcase of gourmet Irish Food.[21]

Irish Prime Minister, Enda Kenny, also opened the NASDAQ Market from the Web Summit, the first time it was opened outside of New York since the Facebook IPO.[22] The event was covered substantially in the international media with Bloomberg Television, CNN, the Wall Street Journal and Wired covering the event.[19]


Web Summit, 2012

In 2012, 4,200 people attended Web Summit, approximately 40% of these came from companies based in Ireland (which provides a European HQ for several major tech companies) and 60% came from companies based elsewhere in Europe. Speakers included Tim Armstrong, Wael Ghonim, and Arkady Volozh.

A number of companies from across the world also launched their new products or made announcements as part of the event.[23]


Dublin Web Summit, 2011

The first Web Summit was a mix of bloggers, journalists and technologists in a hotel on the outskirts of Dublin.[24] Panelists and speakers included Iain Dale, the political blogger, Ben Hammersley of the Guardian and Ian Douglas of the Daily Telegraph. In 2010 it was a meet-up for 400 or so of the local technology community in the Chartered Accountants House in Dublin. Speakers were mainly local entrepreneurs, business people, and investors.[25] In 2011, the event tripled in size and moved to the Royal Dublin Society. Speakers included Chad Hurley, Jack Dorsey and Matt Mullenweg.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Dublin Hosts World's Technology Elite". Wall Street Journal. 28 October 2011. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ "TOOD at RISE Conference 2016, Hong Kong". TOOD. 8 June 2016. Retrieved 8 June 2016. 
  3. ^ "Power Wear: Collision 2015". Forbes. Retrieved 19 March 2017. 
  4. ^ Temperton, James (9 September 2015). "Web Summit 2016 will ditch Dublin for Lisbon". Wired UK. Retrieved 29 September 2015. 
  5. ^ "WEB SUMMIT | LISBON 2017 | WHERE THE TECH WORLD MEETS". WEB SUMMIT | LISBON 2017. Retrieved 2017-08-24. 
  6. ^ "Speakers - The biggest names in tech | Web Summit". WEB SUMMIT | LISBON 2017. Retrieved 2017-08-24. 
  7. ^ "Web Summit ditches Dublin for Lisbon". 23 September 2015. Retrieved 10 November 2016. 
  8. ^ a b "PLEASE WELCOME THE WEB SUMMIT 2016 IN LISBON". Global Corporations Society. 26 September 2016. Retrieved 11 November 2016. 
  9. ^ a b "Meet 53,056 attendees with tickets". WebSummit. 20 June 2016. Retrieved 11 November 2016. 
  10. ^ "O Web Summit já acabou. No próximo ano há mais". 10 November 2016. 
  11. ^ "Gender in Research and Innovation". 10 November 2016. Retrieved 10 November 2016. 
  12. ^ "Criticism over Government handling of Web Summit grows". The Irish Times. Retrieved 19 March 2017. 
  13. ^ "Old problems surface one last time at Web Summit". The Irish Times. Retrieved 19 March 2017. 
  14. ^ "Live Blog: Web Summit 2014". Irish Independent. 4 November 2014. Retrieved 4 November 2014. 
  15. ^ "Web Summit guests to spend €100m in city". Herald. 4 November 2014. Retrieved 4 November 2014. 
  16. ^ "'The most Irish thing ever': WiFi trouble at Dublin's Web Summit". TheJournal.ie. 4 November 2014. Retrieved 30 September 2015. 
  17. ^ "Web Summit to move to Lisbon in 2016, cites infrastructure reasons". Silicon Republic. 23 Sep 2015. Retrieved 30 September 2015. 
  18. ^ "Harsh reality for Irish technology scene". Irish Examiner. 28 September 2015. Retrieved 30 September 2015. 
  19. ^ a b "Dublin Becomes Center of European Tech World". BloombergTV. 31 October 2013. Retrieved 31 October 2013. 
  20. ^ "Dublin The story behind The Night Summit". Web Summit. 22 October 2013. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  21. ^ "Food Summit a unique opportunity to promote Irish food". Web Summit. 30 October 2013. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  22. ^ "Trading on NASDAQ opened in Ireland for the first time". Web Summit. 31 October 2013. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  23. ^ "Web Summit Picks SmartThings Out Of 100-Strong Startup Competition". TechCrunch. 20 October 2012. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  24. ^ "Revolution in media and politics to dominate Dublin Web Summit". 21 October 2009. Retrieved 5 October 2016. 
  25. ^ "Payments at the Web Summit". Realex Payments. 20 October 2010. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 


External links[edit]