Startup Europe at Web Summit 2015
Web Summit 2015 took place at the RDS in Dublin, Ireland from 3-5 November and Startup Europe was there representing the European Commission thanks to the WELCOME Project.
In the last 5 years this event has grown from a small one, with 400 attendees, to the biggest startup event in Europe with over 22,000 attendees from 110 countries. An amalgamation of 21 different summits with over 1000 speakers, Web Summit has become one of the “must attend” events in the European tech scene.
This event was ideal for the 9 WELCOME startups to attend as it was large enough for them to meet plenty of people including some very big names in the tech world, such as the President of Pixar, the Co-Founder of Instagram, among others.
The presence of the WELCOME stand as well as the complementary events organized by local ecosystem partner, DCU Ryan Academy ensured that WELCOME startups had a distinct advantage over their counterparts at Web Summit.
3 startups from 3 WELCOME ecosystems attended Web Summit as part of the Europass activity:
This was supplemented by the attendance of 6 startups from the WELCOME´s EU Roadshow activity:
- Artomatix – Dublin
- OpenBack – Dublin
- Kopjra – Milan
- Papem – Milan
- GroupEstate – Berlin
- Videona – Madrid
The WELCOME startups’ first event in Dublin was a pub crawl hosted by DCU Ryan Academy as part of the Web Summit “Night Summit” on the eve of Web Summit (2nd Nov). “Group 56” was comprised of 30 general Web Summit attendees plus some of the WELCOME startups and partner staff, who then joined the launch event with all the other attendees. It was a good first networking opportunity for the startups and provided a chance for the WELCOME group to get to know each other.
The following morning (3rd Nov) the group met at the WELCOME stand at Web Summit. This stand was located in the main exhibition space at Web Summit, right beside the Google stand. The stand formed a meeting point for the startups over the 3 days. Many of the startups used the stand as a meeting point for investors and partners that they met at the event.
After a full day at Web Summit, the WELCOME startups and partners attended a reception at the offices of Irelandia Investments, a partner of the DCU Ryan Academy located in Dublin’s Silicon Docks area – at the centre of Dublin’s tech scene. The event was hosted by Declan Ryan and was attended by several local investors, key figures from the Dublin startup community and corporates such as Google, the CEO of Hot Hotels, among others.
An investor matchmaking event was held for startups attending Web Summit as well as WELCOME startups at Web Summit on Wednesday morning (4th Nov) and the booth became a hot spot thanks to a qualified matchmaking event between investors and startups, which involved:
- 10+ top, international investors and corporate partners
- 12+ selected top startups from 4 different EU countries
The vibrant business atmosphere attracted many Web Summit attendees to the booth, looking to discover what was going on and how to take part in the WELCOME project and the Startup Europe initiative. Investors praised the organization of the event, especially the quality and internationality of the deal flow. For startups, the matchmaking event represented a unique opportunity since they had meetings with key investors such as Giannia Mattera from Growing Capital and David Bowles from Delta Partners. Startups also met with corporates including Mastercard and PCH International.
The final event in the Web Summit schedule was Flounders, an event held every year on the final evening of Web Summit designed to embrace failure in the startup ecosystem.
WELCOME startups such as Standard Access and Miito got noticed by relevant investors, such as Francesco Lato, Widening Ventures “Two startups attracted my interest, both in the hardware industry. One is Irish, and starting from New York their team will revolutionize how guests will access their rooms in hotels and potentially all kinds of accommodation, from Airbnb to commercial buildings. The other one is German, still a hardware company yet simpler. They recently completed a very successful campaign on Kickstarter”
About the WELCOME project
WELCOME is a project under Startup Europe initiative that aims to contribute to building a pan-European tech startup ecosystem. To that end, WELCOME lays bridges for startups from five vibrant EU startup ecosystems —Berlin, Dublin, Milan, Madrid and Salamanca— by connecting them with leading organisations committed to supporting tech entrepreneurship.
The project targets early and late stage startups with activities enabling them to grow across borders and access the right combination of finance while helping them to find the best talent.