Startups move forward after summit


After two days of investor meetings, talks, speakers, interviews and collaboration, the 250 plus startups at the Dublin Web Summit will be leaving with a lot to think about.

"It’s been a great conference. A lot of amazing entrepreneurs here. Lots of meetings, insights and ideas about where to go next and what are the big trends right now,” said Ori Goshen, co-founder and vice president of research and development for Tawkon.

“Tawkon is a mobile app that helps people to talk on, as much as they want, on their mobile phones while letting them know these very instances that mobile radiation spikes during the call. It’s actually an anti-virus for cellphone radiation,” he explained.

Once a user is alerted to a spike in radiation they can adjust their position, plug in a headset or move locations to return to a safer level.

“It was really nice here to present it to people, to get the feedback,” Mr Goshen said. “It actually was pretty encouraging to see that people are interested in this product. They think that it’s practical and could be very helpful for them.”

That feedback startups received at the conference will also help guide them in how they take their next steps forward.

After their own meetings with investors, Ross Linnett, Founder and chief executive of Recite Me, said they are able to see that the opportunity is in their business-to-consumer model rather than their alternative business-to-business model.

“Recite Me is an online system that automatically makes websites accessible,” he said, citing that 95 per cent of websites are not accessible to users with dyslexia or vision impairment.

The company aims to change that number by making accessible websites easier to create through a simple line of code and a button.

“It’s one of those things where you’ve gotta be in it to win it and it’s all about critical mass,” Mr Linnett said.

“You might meet your perfect client. You might meet your perfect investor, but you’ll never know that. You just need to be in the space and trying until all the stars align.”

Other changes, too, such as when to incorporate a new facet of a business, have also been made in light of what’s been learned.

Gavin Lynch, a salesman for Cluey, said his company will now move up the timeline for becoming a merchant services provider, allowing users to process credit card payments.

Cluey, which is based in Dublin, is a browser-based Electronic Point of Sale system aiming to be inexpensive, quick to install and easy to use.

“We think we need to bring that forward a little bit because there seems to be a huge appetite out there for companies that can process credit card payments, merchant service providers, etc.”

Hopefully, many of the startups will be leaving not only stronger but also with a renewed drive and sense of purpose.

Chief executive of Camara John Fitzsimons said being at the conference has reaffirmed the importance of his company’s work in bringing children, who might not otherwise have the same opportunities, into the online world.

Camara refurbishes computers, outfits them with educational software, and puts them into disadvantaged schools in Ireland and Africa.

“Aside from just meeting loads of really good people, we’ve really increased the awareness of Camara, especially in the tech sector,” said Mr Fitzsimons.

“The tech sector has worked really well for us because those companies will see the value in working with Camara because we’re in Africa and we’re producing the next generation of tech users.”