Start-ups from every continent heading for the Web Summit
Companies from more than 100 countries will be at the last summit to be held in Dublin
Paddy Cosgrave, founder of the Web Summit, with Taoiseach Enda Kenny last year. Photograph: Eric Luke
This week’s Dublin-based Web Summit will have something of a Latin flavour, with a large number of start-ups coming from South America. At least 16 young companies are coming from Brazil alone, and there will also be representatives from Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.
They’ll be joining would-be entrepreneurs from more than 100 countries, who will arrive over the next few days to take part in the final summit to be held in Dublin before it relocates to Lisbon next year.
Speaking of Lisbon, Portugal’s start-up scene is also well represented at this year’s Web Summit, with at least 12 companies coming to Dublin. These include BGuest, which has developed a mobile concierge app, and begin.media, an online space for young journalists to exhibit their work.
Among the South American start-ups at the summit will be Aveeza, a Chilean company offering an app that enables parents to monitor their children while travelling on school transport, and Monitorica, an Ecuadorian firm that has created an online dashboard tool for testing and monitoring websites.
It wouldn’t be a proper summit unless there was also a large contingent of North American start-ups and, once again, they are arriving en masse. They include: San-Francisco-based Timbuktu, described as a Netflix for creative learning; ChoreMonster, a suite of apps from an Ohio-based firm that promises to make chores fun for kids; and Taboola, from New York, a start-up that claims to be the world’s leading content distribution and discovery platform.
Asian start-ups will also feature prominently, with more than 20 coming from India, including the intriguingly named TongueStun, a Bangalore-based food network, and Zapyle, a woman’s fashion hub from the same city.
East Asian firms at the summit will include the Taiwanese firm Doremi Stat, a social game developer which aims to produce fun and creative games for social networks, mobile phones and tablets. Others from the region will be Hong Kong-based platform analytics company Klarity; Rocket Punch, a South Korean firm providing company profile and open job positions to candidates; and HealthGrid, a Japanese startup providing a personal health system.
The African start-up scene will be represented by firms from South Africa, Morocco, Nigeria and Egypt. The Nigerian online dating site Friendite will be among them, as will the Cape Town-based Bsavi, which has developed a personal finance app.
A host of young Middle Eastern firms from Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan and Saudi Arabia are also expected, including Transterra Media, a Lebanon-based news agency that provides on-demand human-interest video and photo content. The Jordanian start-up eKtab, which is the first and largest Arabic electronic-book marketplace and publishing company, will also be in Dublin, along with the Dubai-based Drawdeck, which has developed an online community connecting artists, companies and art lovers.
Israel has become a hub for tech start-ups, and 25-40 of them are expected to be at this year’s summit, compared with just four in 2012, according to the Israeli embassy in Dublin. Among those participating will be Wix, Bizzabo and Alcohoot.
Australian start-ups expected in Dublin include: the Perth-based babysitting and nanny-hiring site Jungle Juniors; Xplor, a Melbourne-born childcare activity monitoring company; and Queensland-based app developer Vuid.
Closer to home, plenty of European firms will also be in attendance, such as Austrian start-up Robo Wunderkind, whose investors include entrepreneur Sean O’Sullivan’s SOS Ventures.
Others include Swedish firm BehavioSec, which is hoping to kill off passwords, and the Greek company Peekintoo.
No show: Kenny receives last-minute invite
Taoiseach Enda Kenny looks almost certain to miss the final Web Summit in Dublin this week after only receiving a formal invitation late on Friday evening.
Mr Kenny has been a big supporter and high-profile attendee at the high-tech networking event – which has received €700,000 in State funding over the last three years – since it was first held in Dublin in 2013.
Last year he rang the Nasdaq opening bell from the RDS and in 2013, he shared a platform with PayPal and Tesla co-founder Elon Musk.
However, it appears he will not be making an appearance at the final summit in Dublin before it controversially decamps to Lisbon next year.
In a statement issued yesterday evening, the Web Summit rejected reports Mr Kenny had not been invited but admitted an invitation was only emailed to his office on Friday “along with invites to other participants”. Typically a taoiseach’s diary is planned weeks, if not months, in advance.
Informed sources said it was unlikely he would be able to make space in his schedule.
A spokesman for Mr Kenny played down talk of a snub. “The Taoiseach has been delighted to attend all previous web summits, particularly given the level of support he has offered it.” He confirmed that “no invitation had been received at least by 4.30pm on Friday evening. The Taoiseach wishes [organiser] Paddy Cosgrave and all the Web Summit team well in Lisbon.”