Web Summit set for Lisbon opening

Paddy Cosgrave’s summit opens on Monday, with 50,000 attendees expected

Workers mount a board announcing Europe’s biggest tech conference, Web Summit, in Lisbon, Portugal, Photograph: REUTERS/Rafael Marchante

Workers mount a board announcing Europe’s biggest tech conference, Web Summit, in Lisbon, Portugal, Photograph: REUTERS/Rafael Marchante

 

The tech world is focusing on Portugal this week as the Web Summit kicks off on Monday for the first time since leaving Dublin.

Cofounder Paddy Cosgrave announced last year, ahead of the 2015 event, that the Web Summit was moving to Lisbon, amid controversy over facilities in Dublin and the support the event received from the State. After hitting more than 40,000 attendees in its final year in Dublin, the event is expected to attract more than 50,000 at its new location.

Attention will also be paid to the facilities that generated so much criticism in Ireland, including the event wifi access. The Web Summit officially begins on Monday evening and continues until Thursday.

Among this year’s speakers are actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt, former Portuguese footballer Luís Figo and Tinder chief executive Sean Rad.

Meanwhile, Portuguese authorities have unveiled a major campaign to lure tech investment ahead of the event, pitching the country as the ideal location for startups, tech companies and investors.

The “This is Portugal” campaign is highlighting tax benefits for early stage investors, €400 million in coinvestments with business angels and venture capital firms, incubators and the country’s broadband infrastructure.

The campaign was launched at the Surf Summit in Ericeira ahead of the opening of Web Summit this week.

“Earlier this year, the government launched a strategy to help startups being created in Portugal to succeed. We have amazing wifi and technological infrastructures, we are launching several new funds to coinvest with the best angel and venture capital funds from around the world and above all, we have this incredible new generation of highly qualified entrepreneurs,” Portugal’s secretary of state of industry João Vasconcelos said.

“This campaign was created to communicate all this because we believe that the Web Summit is the best opportunity we could hope for to let the world find out more about what we have to offer.”