Web Summit the numbers: breaking its own records

This year there are 10 summits including a Builder Summit, Enterprise Summit and Food Summit

The opening day of the 2013 Web Summit in the RDS.Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

The opening day of the 2013 Web Summit in the RDS.Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

 

It started out as an informal gathering of 450 techies four years ago, but this year’s Web Summit is so big, it has its own mascot – a quirky cartoon character chosen following a competition on its blog.

More than 20,000 people from 109 countries are going to the Dublin tech festival organisers call “the biggest event of its kind in Europe” this year and 86 per cent are from overseas. The summit has almost doubled in size since last year, when 10,242 people attended.

More than 600 speakers, 15 per cent of whom are women, will take to one of many stages this year.

A press corps of more than 1,190 journalists from 70 countries will be watching. It will be the largest international business and technology press corps ever assembled in the State.

There will be 2,150 start-ups from 85 countries. The UK, the US, Germany and Ireland have the highest number of start-ups attending.

Web Summit organisers expect to attract 800 investors from 51 countries, five times the number of investors involved last year. The investors are not only venture capitalists. They range from local angel investors to the heads of mergers and acquisitions at Microsoft and Twitter.

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Notable Irish investors abroad who are coming back for the summit include John O’Farrell of California venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, Tom Stafford of Digital Sky Technologies in Hong Kong, Rory O’Driscoll of Scale Venture Partners in California and Ciarán O’Leary of Earlybird Venture Capital in Berlin.

More than 2,000 companies from across the globe will exhibit at the summit.

Food Summit

Good Food Ireland will run the Food Summit, the largest ever showcase of Irish food in one place.

The Food Summit marquee in Herbert Park will feature speakers such as Michelin-starred chef Ross Lewis and Man V Food host Adam Richman.

The Food Summit will also feed people. More than 400 food producers and chefs from across the country will create “Ireland on a plate” for the 20,000 conferencegoers.

Vegan meals

Good Food Ireland estimates it will serve 3,500 Ulster soda farls, 6,000 Irish oatcakes, 7,000 Waterford blaas, 9,000 jars of yogurt, 18,000 slices of cooked meats, 2,000kg of Irish farmhouse cheeses, 7,000 bags of Keogh’s crisps, 10,000 handmade chocolates and 38,000 individual pots of chutney and relish.

“Chefs, producers, growers, foragers, cheesemakers, bakers, chocolatiers, preserve makers and artisan speciality food creators in Good Food Ireland all have a story to tell, and the Food Summit is a very real and exciting way to tell those stories to an engaged and interested audience,” said a spokeswoman from Good Food Ireland. “Food producers have gone into overdrive” preparing for the event, she said.