“Despite nearly missing the 7am bus, (my legs are still sore from the 20+ minute sprint to the station) the journey got off to a good start. My lungs made several attempts on my life on the bus, but we made it there with only a few casualties.
Upon arriving in Dublin, we made a beeline straight for the RDS, thanks to one of the nicest taxi drivers we’d ever met. Once there, we still managed to get lost...twice! Considering the IMMENSE size of the Web Summit itself, it seemed though that we weren’t the only parties asking for directions from the ever helpful Summit staff!
Once we got registered, and with media bands, tags and lanyards all in order we set off on a wonderful business adventure; filled with Startups, Betas and potential investors and suitors. Our first point of call being, well the coffee stands. Placed strategically around each of the exhibition halls, we Startacus journalists made haste, to obtain the sweet caffeinated elixir of good business. In short, we hadn’t had any in like 5 hours, we wanted, no, we NEEDED our fix.
Energised and excited, we resumed our journey. We decided it best to take in some of the larger talks and maybe some lectures from guests before insisting upon viewing the companies on display. The main stage was unbelievable, with gigantic screens, lighting and a sound system that any cinema would kill for. It didn’t matter where you sat or how far you were from the stage, you KNEW what these speakers were saying!
After having seen Lily Cole (a model with her own social network), Yoni Assia (The CEO of eToro) and Dave Goldberg (the CEO of Survey Monkey); we were ready, despite Eoin’s insistence on trying to meet Eva Longoria. I couldn’t blame him, but we concluded that we’d unfortunately missed her. It did however mean one thing. Exhibitors!
This is where the summit got completely overwhelming. There were so many exhibits and stories and products, we actually came to the point that the only way Startacus could cover everything was to split up. We covered as much as we could solo, taking in as many startups as we could, spreading the word of Startacus far and wide, like the tale of a legendary hero, here for every startup and small business in the land! Admittedly the green wristbands and media badges were a dead giveaway, so a lot of the exhibitors just wanted their story heard. (If any are reading, don’t worry, we heard you! We’re looking forward to working with as many of you as possible!)
A couple of hours had passed and we’d finally reunited the Startacus media team. The Audi A3 was calling, and we both were insistent on trying the Oculus Rift. Needless to say, they did not disappoint! We decided that for another sweep of each of the exhibition halls, particularly the machine halls, a team approach would be best. We made the right call, from cookies baked fresh on site, to Beer brewed by a robot, we’d taken in some of the most impressive tech stories we’d seen. Eoin and I both being avid tech fans, we lost any semblance of adulthood when we saw the open source robots of Wevolver, and the 3d printers that use recycled paper to print things, in multi-colour. For anyone not clued in, that’s kind of a big scary deal. (Just as an aside, I’m currently saving for a BrewBot.)
After our relapse into childhood, our inner foodies got channelled. Food Summit. Unashamedly one of the things I was looking forward to the most, Tasty Food, and because we were media, we got free passes! This however led to my only disappointment of the trip. I’m in Dublin, sampling some of the finest culinary treats from the Emerald Isle, only to learn, they ran out of Irish Stew. My poor little heart was broken. The greatest of Irish Delicacies! Gone!
I was quickly consoled however, with amazing cooked hams, fish, cheeses and breads from Irish locales. It made up for it, but let it be known, Niall from Startacus likes him some Irish Stew!
After we chowed down, it was time for a few more exhibits, followed by some fantastic workshops by General Assembly, and some demos from companies. Qualtrics gave demo visitors a skateboard. I’m just saying.
Then it was home time. Overall, the event was amazing, the staff, the guests, exhibitors couldn’t have been more courteous and helpful. We learned and took in so much in only a short time and still managed to enjoy the trip."
All of the Press at Startacus are looking forward to next year’s summit, and hope that Web Summit are kind enough to have us back once again!
You can check out Eoins take on the Web Summit HERE!!
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AIB Start-up Academy Summit returns to Belfast!
13th Jan 2017
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11th Jan 2017
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