Paddy Cosgrave

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Paddy Cosgrave
Sportsfile (Web Summit) (22554473410) (cropped).jpg
Cosgrave at Web Summit 2015
Patrick Cosgrave

1982/1983 (age 36–37)
Known forCo-founder of Web Summit

Paddy Cosgrave is an Irish entrepreneur. He is a co-founder of Web Summit, an annual technology conference, and CEO of the company that runs Web Summit and other events. In 2015 he was listed 18th in the Wired UK list of the most influential people in Europe in the field of technology.

Early life and education[edit]

Patrick "Paddy" Cosgrave grew up on a farm in County Wicklow.[1] He was educated at Glenstal Abbey School and Trinity College Dublin, where he studied Business, Economics and Social Studies (BESS).[2][3] While at Trinity he was president of the University Philosophical Society (The Phil) and editor of Piranha, a satirical college magazine.[4] During his presidency of The Phil, the society introduced Phil Speaks, an outreach initiative aimed at promoting debating and public speaking in Irish secondary schools. Cosgrave graduated with a BA from Trinity College, Dublin's BESS program in 2006.[5][6]


Cosgrave was one of the organizers and the executive director of Rock the Vote Ireland, a campaign launched in April 2007 to encourage young people to vote in the May 2007 Irish general election.[7] He was also a co-founder of MiCandidate, a website that "provided detailed information on every candidate running in the 2007 general election".[4] MiCandidate expanded its scope to become a syndicator of news and information about European politicians to media organisations. The company was sold for "an undisclosed sum" in October 2009.[8]

Cosgrave is a co-founder of the Web Summit and F.ounders conferences, and the CEO of Ci, the company that runs the two conferences and other events. F.ounders is an invitation-only event first held in Dublin in October 2009 as a result of his not getting preferential treatment for this by the Irish government. He has engaged in attacks against Ireland and its tax system, an attack which is a joke since Amaranthine, an investment fund set up by Mr Cosgrave with other Web Summit founders, is based in California, but registered for tax purposes in Delaware, an effective tax shelter.[9][10] The first Dublin Web Summit in November 2010 was attended by approximately 400 people.[3] The fourth annual Web Summit in November 2014 had an attendance of over 22,000, and 30,000 were expected to attend the event in Dublin in November 2015. Starting in 2016, the Web Summit was held in Lisbon, although Ci continued to be headquartered in Dublin.[11] In 2014 Ci began introducing new events in the United States (Collision) and Hong Kong (RISE), with an event called SURGE planned for February 2016 in India.[12]

Cosgrave was awarded the 2015 Irish Exporters Association annual gold medal.[13] He was listed 18th in the 2015 Wired UK list of the "100 most influential individuals in the wider Wired world".[14]


  1. ^ Connolly, Philip (4 November 2014). "Profile: Web Summit founder Paddy Cosgrave". The Daily Business Post. Dublin. Retrieved 28 September 2015.
  2. ^ Duggan, Barry (20 September 2015). "Top school enrols boys who won't start classes until 2027". Sunday Independent. Retrieved 28 September 2015.
  3. ^ a b Medeiros, Joao (5 January 2015). "Scaling Dublin's Summit". Wired UK. Retrieved 28 September 2015.
  4. ^ a b Crowley, Aoife (2013). "Spinning a web summit". Trinity Today. pp. 15–16. Retrieved 28 September 2015.
  5. ^ Keenan, Lisa; O'Hare, Aidan (2010). "Universities, Societies & Clubs. Culture, Extracurricular Activities & Career Progression: Trinity College Dublin, Four Case Studies" (PDF). Trinity Long Room Hub. p. 19. Retrieved 29 September 2015.
  6. ^ "Paddy Cosgrave". World Economic Forum. Retrieved 29 September 2015.
  7. ^ Kane, Conor (21 March 2007). "Celebrities call on young people to rock the vote". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 29 September 2015.
  8. ^ Kennedy, John (7 October 2009). "Political media start-up MiCandidate acquired in MBO". Silicon Republic. Retrieved 29 September 2015.
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ Temperton, James (23 September 2015). "Web Summit 2016 will ditch Dublin for Lisbon". Wired UK. Retrieved 29 September 2015.
  12. ^ Cosgrave, Paddy (23 September 2015). "The Next Chapter". Web Summit Blog. Retrieved 29 September 2015.
  13. ^ "Exporters Association presents Gold Medal to Paddy Cosgrave, Web Summit at IEA President's Lunch at The Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin". Irish Exporters Association. 12 June 2015. Retrieved 29 September 2015.
  14. ^ "The 2015 WIRED 100". Wired UK. 6 August 2015. Retrieved 29 September 2015. The only rules for nomination to the WIRED 100 are that the individuals must have a strong European connection, if not a base here; and they are being judged on their influence today, rather than historic achievements or funding raised.

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