10 things to do at the web summit first day

From food to fireside chats there’s a lot going on at the summit

At number 10, Michael Acton Smith, the man behind the Moshi Monsters

There are plenty of speakers to see at the Web Summit, but here are a few of the things you shouldn't miss today

1. Spot up and coming firms: Don’t miss the Pitch stage, where you can see the up and coming firms pitch their wares. Not all firms will make it to the final stages of the Spark of Genius contest, so have a look for that diamond in the rough that could be the next billion dollar tech firm, and maybe you can tell people they heard it from you first.

2 Tony Hawk's fireside chat: it's not every day you see a professional skateboarder as a speaker at a tech event. But Tony Hawk is flying in to speak in a fireside chat at 4.20pm at on the Main Stage. Should make for an interesting chat, and proof that the Web Summit is about more than pure technology.

3 Food Summit: Far be it for us to think purely of our stomachs, but the Web Summit is hoping to make a name for itself with its food too. The Food Summit will run alongside the Web Summit and bring some o the best Irish food producers to attendees. Not to be missed.


4 Spark of Genius: The Spark of Genius competition will showcase some of the best Irish startups, all competing for a cash prize of €25,000 and a fund of services to boot. The shortlist of firms will make their pitch on stage, with the winner announced on the main stage at 4.45pm.

5 Twitter: Forget about updating your own Twitter feed, this afternoon will see the head of Twitter in Ireland, Stephen McIntyre, take to the Web Summit’s digital marketing stage to deliver the keynote speech at 3pm. It’s a good chance to catch up with what the social network thinks and is planning for the future.

6 Developer to founder: What does it take to move from being a developer to founding your own firm? At 2pm on the Developer stage, N3twork cofounder Erik Lammerding, Jimdo coufounder Fridtjof Detznr and Engine Yard's Eamon Leonard will be taking you through their experiences, what you should avoid and what you should look for. Learn from others' mistakes.

7. Nasdaq opening bell: It may not sound like a big deal, but getting the Nasdaq opening bell rung outside the US is actually a bit of a rarity. At 1.30pm, it will be happening at the Web Summit , one of the few times the bell has been rung outside the New York Stock Exchange and certainly a first for Ireland. History in the making.

8. The Library Stage: Swing by the Library Stage to hear a bit more in depth discussion on technology, from how digital security affects human rights defenders to how technology can help battle childhood obesity. There's also the chance for startups to pitch their company to The Irish Times, with two sessions running at 11am and 3pm.

9. The Summit.me: Networking is key to the Web Summit, but with about 10,000 people expected to walk through the event’s doors over two days, it might get a bit challenging. Enter Summit.me, the Web Summit’s answer to social networking. The service allows people to search, communicate and connect with each other online, making it that bit easier to track down your intended target. Once you have a valid ticket for the Web Summit, you can sign up at www.thesummit.me.

10. Michael Acton Smith: Described as a rock star version of Willy Wonka, Michael Acton Smith is behind the Moshi Monsters craze that so many parents are finding is a slow drain on their wallets. Not only is he on the main stage giving his top 10 tips for building a killer start up, he is also participating in a session on gaming and how it's gone global.