Inside The Dublin Web Summit 2013

Dan Heaf (BBC Worldwide)The Dublin Web Summit is a technology-industry conference held in Dublin, Ireland since 2010. The event is Europe's biggest tech conference and one of the world's largest. The topic of the conference is centered on internet technology and the audience is a mix of CEOs and founders of tech start ups together with a range of people from across the global technology industry, as well as related industries.

The event is held over three days. Attendance at the conference has grown from 500 attendees in 2010, to over 10,000 in 2013 from 78 countries. 

Alex Depledge and Jules Coleman tell The NextWomen what they took away from the 2013 event. 

In many ways the Dublin Web Summit is one of the top startup events in Europe. In three short years Paddy Cosgrove has grown the event from little more than a tech meet up on the periphery of Europe into a global gathering of who's who in the tech community.

From the opening bell of the Nasdaq to the closing time bell at the after party pub, the schedule was jam packed with a rich diversity of speakers. The web summit is a venue where thought leaders, country leaders, startup victors and startup dreamers all rub shoulders. The speaking schedule itself bore the same diversity; within a single four hour period on the main stage we heard from the head of Charity: Water; the founder of DropBox (Drew Heuston); the editor in chief of Vice magazine about bringing 'basketball diplomacy' to North Korea; the Irish prime minister and Elon Musk. And that list is not even exhaustive.

But like all good startups the Web Summit is a roaring success whilst simultaneously creaking at the seams. The Wi-Fi was non-existent on the first day, the schedule for proceedings was available on an un-downloadable mobile app and refreshments in the main conference area were limited at best. So here is our guide to what you could have expected at this years Dublin Web Summit

1. You'd be surprised at just how big it is.

It’s not just a two day Summit, there is the Founders conference afterwards and literally dozens of spin-off events such as the Startup Express; a train that runs from Cork to the Summit boasting a Hardware carriage, Startup Carriage and Speakers carriage!

2. You couldn't help but be inspired.

From looking out across the sea of startups (over 750 of them!); to pitching to everyone and anyone; to the amazing speakers on stage. Reporters sat for 8 hours straight at the main stage, proving DWS an anomaly where listening to what is being said is definitely higher on the agenda than networking.

3. You'd have learnt your place in the hierarchy.

It’s not surprising with an event this big that attendees are segregated. Media are in one area, speakers in another fancy-pants area and then the general masses in another. So don't go there thinking you are going to rub shoulders with tech celebs as it just doesn't happen.

4. You were able to benefit from economies of scale.

There are not many events in Europe this big so it is a quick and efficient way to get the measure of the European start up scene. We met one VC who spent 3 hours reading through the list of start ups featuring at DWS and then selected 30 to go meet within the 2 days he was there - 30 birds one stone; genius!

5. You'd have seen that the European start up scene is thriving.

While many big names did come over from the US, it was great to see many European companies present. Hailo, OneFineStay, House Trip, Mind Candy, Spotify, Soundcloud, Huddle, and Sage to name but a few.

6. You could expect surprises.

The highlight of the Summit was the closing panel that featured Elon Musk and Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny - it was clear that Enda Kenny was not used to playing second fiddle, but somehow these two unlikely bed fellows worked as panelists. It was both interesting and funny.

7. You would have spent more time queuing for coffee than anything else.

Oh and you couldn't expect to do any work while you were there as you had no chance of getting on the internet.

8. You'd need a new liver!

The night summit is the name given to all activities after 6pm. And they are plentiful. Getting to know others over a pint of Ireland's finest is certainly an easier proposition than a stilted networking event.

So with sometime to go before Dublin Web Summit 2014, now is the time to plan your pub crawl route for next year's shindig!

Claire Lee (Microsoft Ventures)

Jules Coleman and Alex Dupledge are the Founders of Hassle, the easiest way to book a cleaner online. 

Prior to founding Hassle, Jules worked as a Management Consultant with PricewaterhouseCoopers, working on performance improvement projects with global companies. Not from a technical background, Jules bought a book and taught herself how to code in order to build the first version of Hassle (which was then called Teddle). Since then Hassle won a place on the prestigious Springboard accelerator programme based out of Google Campus, London, secured £250k in seed funding and have expanded its product across the Greater London area.

Alex Depledge hails from the North of England, but started her career in US politics while living in Chicago. She returned to UK in 2006 where she joined management consulting firm Accenture working predominantly with Energy clients. She made the leap into entrepreneurship in 2012 after years of harassment from her best friend Jules. 

Sign Up to our Newsletter

So you enjoy The NextWomen. Why not sign up to our monthly newsletter?
You get a Letter from the CEO :-), the chance to catch up with the best of our recent articles - and some extra things we throw in once in a while.

We try hard for smart reading.