Highlights Day 1 @ The (Web) Summit, 2013

This morning The Web Summit changed its name. It’ll be known as The Summit from now on, reflecting the broad appeal of what is the biggest technology event in Europe this year. What’s remarkable is that the The Summit is only a few years old – and like the archetypal success story we hear about at this event The Summit itself has grown exponentially from 500 attendees in 2010 to 10,000 today, with 900 start-ups and 300+ speakers.

Today was Day One of the 2013 event and I tried to cover as much ground as possible – there’s lots to see and hear so you need to be quick to leave a stage, dash around the exhibition halls and make it back for the next must-see session.

Highlights: keynotes

Aaron Levie  is a one-man Thunderbirds of interviews, anything can happen in the next half-hour, and today he was great – with a slant towards good advice rather than a Box.com message – he made a great point about start-ups and the danger and temptation of spreading yourself too thin to try and do too much – there’s always a focussed App out there to eat your space, message: focus.

Having spent a decade writing software at Apple I was keen to hear Tony Fadell, the man who originally designed the iPod. Former President of Apple Europe, Jean-Louis Gassé was the first person I heard use the phrase ‘if I’m cut I bleed six colours’; Tony Fadell, when he gets a paper cut, must gush ingenuity. A fascinating interview with a guy who instills in any one who hears him the desire to make beautiful products.

Highlights: growing companies

Inventure Cloud have a fascinating proposition. Described by founder Alicia as collaborative creation, this isn’t just a crowd-funding website, or a maker-movement sharing site it’s a whole ecosystem for inventors where projects are funded, resourced, critiqued, developed and delivered. Having relocated to Valencia having being selected as one of fifteen companies from over 4,000 applicants for the Juan Roig Alfonso funded Lanzadera Incubator, Inventure Cloud  is new – and could be something special.

Sonolux from Finland are a couple of guys, for now who make the most beautiful speaker systems for your home. Great design, modernist aesthetics and they’re not as expensive as mass-produced high end speakers. Some of most elegant speakers i’ve ever seen.

I have too many climbing photos that need to be kept somewhere. There’s too many to post to my favourite travel websiteTriptease  but I found the answer today withI Looove It. I met the founder Gaylord and I was about to suggest the sort of things I’d like his site to do when he showed me ILoooveIt in action – it did everything I wanted, and more. Similar to what Triptease does for travel, with flat design and context, it makes your images and advetures more memorable.

Highlights: pitches

ViddyAd CEO Grainne Barron gave a great pitch today, which I just learned was good enough to win her the ESB Spark of Genius Award, and €25,000. Interviewed on RTE Six One News this evening I couldn’t believe the news that she’s packing her bags for the West coast of the US – customers and partners are all there so it does make sense, but it’s a shame for Ireland’s technology industry to see a world-class entrepreneur having to leave to grow her business.

Made By Medics CEO Dr. Michelle Teo ran short on time at her pitch today – but she did a great job illustrating how attractive MadeByMedics is as an investment prospect. Although there wasn’t a huge number of medical device or software companies at the WebSummit I got a distinct feeling of an oncoming swell of interest as we get serious about mHealth rather than just as a hobby or leisure business.

External links & references

  1. Aaron Levie interview at Forbes.com
  2. Why a brilliant designer is re-thinking Smoke Detectors : Tony Fadell
  3. Made by Medics : Task Management App
  4. Web Summit Agenda Day Two
  5. Market Watch on NASDAQ opening in Dublin

 

Andy O'Donoghue

Andy O'Donoghue talks about technology, some say, too much.