Tech titans come out for Dublin summit
Start-ups mingled with tech industry titans at the Web Summit in Dublin today.
The first day of the event ended with Skype co-founder Niklas Zennstrom urging entrepreneurs to go global, rather than be satisfied with being the top company in a small market.
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“If you have something that works, you have to go out and scale internationally very quickly or else someone is going to copy you,” he said.
While start-ups took the opportunity to pitch to potential investors, companies used the tech conference, now in its third year, to announce their latest news.
Web content management provider pTools launches its Software as a Service (Saas) content management product at the event, which will securely distribute content to users across desktop, tablet and mobile devices from a single secure source.
Coder Dojo founder James Whelton was awarded with a fellowship on the Web Summit’s main stage by Ashoka, a network of social entreprenurs that includes Wikipedia’s Jimmy Wales.
The award will help grow Coder Dojo’s global presence at a faster rate than the operation could previously have achieved, with €100,000 of investment to back the coding clubs.
“It’s a massive opportunity, “ Mr Whelton said. “There’s so much potential there an information there that can be used.” Coder Dojos are free clubs that encourage participants to create programmes and collaborate with others.
More than 1,000 Irish children take part each week in the clubs, and they have also spread further afield to the UK, South Africa, Uganda and the US.
“The biggest challenge that society Ireland, Europe and other parts of the world are facing is the unemployment challenge,” said Paul O’Hara, director of Ashoka Europe.
“The skills gap that James is bridging, helping young people learn how to code, is so critical for bridging at least some of tat unemployment. But also in terms of creating the value creators and entrepreneurs of the future, a lot of whom be coming out of these coding communities.”
This is the third year the Web Summit has been held, and organisers expect it to be the largest yet. With 200 speakers scheduled to take part, attendees had a number of options at some of the event’s different stages and areas.
Also speaking at the event was payments firm Stripe’s Patrick Collison outlined what it is like to work in a start-up, although the company has managed to grow considerably in recent months.
Its latest announcement was Stripe Connect, which allows users who signup for a site or app to start accepting payments almost immediately, with a Stripe account set up automatically for them. Elsewhere, a new social fundraising model was also unveiled at the event, Knudger.com.
The company uses groups to raise money through their own social networks. When clubs recruit members to register their social networks, they are teamed up with an organisation that will promote itself through the network. Each click on a shared link will earn revenue for the club.
It was a successful start to the Web Summit, which has grown significantly in size this year. According to founder Paddy Cosgrave, the event will contribute more than €12 million to Ireland’s economy over the next two days and beyond.
Close to 4,000 Irish and international attendees will have passed through the RDS by the time the conference closes tomorrow evening, including hundreds of venture capitalists and startups seeking to make an impact on the market. Start-ups also vied for the chance to make it to the final of the Electric Ireland Spark of Genius competition.
The final of the competition will take place tomorrow afternoon, with the winner announced at the close of the Web Summit.