Having come back from visiting Web Summit in Lisbon on November 7-10, Perfectial’s managers are pleased to share how the marvelous city of Lisbon has coped with a great selection of speakers, the electric vibe of innovative startups and … fancy afterparties every night.
For those who are unfamiliar with the Web Summit, it is a premier startup and entrepreneur conference held around advanced technologies, first organized by Paddy Cosgrave in 2010 in Dublin, Ireland. The main concept is to gather as many of the world’s startup companies around the spirit of innovation and networking with investors, celebrities, and media as possible.
Yaroslav Berezhanskyy, Business Development Director, Irene Dobychina, Engagement Manager, and Max Pavlyuk, Startup Program Executive at Perfectial visited charming Lisbon and impressive Web Summit that had gathered this year more than 50,000 attendees from nearly 165 countries.
Networking – it’s in the air
Yaroslav Berezhansky, Business Development Director
About the spirit. The first impression you get from the Web Summit 2016 is that networking is everywhere, so it’s almost contagious. From the very moment you get off the plane, you meet participants at every corner. So we kept on meeting and talking to people everywhere: on the streets, in the cafes, and even on our way back home, in Geneva airport, we couldn’t stop networking. Thanks to the conference organizers for that unbelievable networking spirit as it’s not always so easy to create and make such city as Lisbon play by Web Summit’s rules.
About the participants. Organizers were honest when stating Web Summit is a startup conference. This event is entirely about startups and a bit for the investors. When they are looking for each other, Web Summit is a perfect place to meet. For software product engineering companies like Perfectial, there also have been great opportunities to explore. With immense experience in technological partnership with startups, we believe our services were of keen interest for startups from such domains: advertising and marketing, big data and machine learning, fintech, business intelligence, healthtech, and education.
About the event. It was huge! 50+K participants, four big streams – exhibition, startup pitches, facilities for investors, and networking arrangements. Thanks again, keep up the good work and wait for Perfectial next year.
Virtual reality during the daytime and real afterparties at night
Irene Dobychina, Engagement Manager
Virtual reality is no longer so virtual: at Web Summit, there were dedicated studios where everyone willing could try on the experience. Think of Microsoft Hololens and here we go, a new trend – mixed reality was also widely discussed in Lisbon. Artificial Intelligence was also in the top – robots were like one more category of visitors at the event. Also within this category, digital assistance as a phenomenon was forecasted a new wave of development. Among others, I would mention such trends and topics that were widely discussed at the Web Summit 2016: data protection and security, the simplicity of all tech products usage, women in tech, and future of the planet and space.
My ordinary day at Web Summit involved networking and chatting to various businesses and then heading over to amazing afterparties. Every night we enjoyed so-called Night Summit in Lisbon city center – a great place and time to relax and enjoy the informal atmosphere but go on with those friendly chats.
Due to a huge amount of visitors long queues were pretty common, which was a bit disturbing if you were in a hurry to get to someone’s speech on time. So, if organizers say “you should come in advance,” you really should.
Startup density was through the roof
Max Pavlyuk, Startup Program Executive at Perfectial
Being in charge at Perfectial of innovative and technologically advanced software specially tailored for startup business needs, I was fully concentrated on outstanding startups and their pitches. There was no shortage of them – Web Summit is a precious place for everything and everyone related to startup as a business unit.
I was totally impressed by a Kubo Robot, a Danish educational startup producing coding robot for kids, that teaches them to code in the course of the games. By the way, they were announced as winners of PITCH 2016 and awarded a top prize – €100,000 in VC funding from Portugal Ventures.
Despite minor organizational issues, the overall performance of the event went without a hitch as for me. Especially I loved the closing ceremony. It started with the speech of Hollywood actor and a tech startup owner Joseph Gordon-Levitt. His Hit Record is an online skill-sharing production company where creatives such as illustrators, producers, photographers, and musicians can work together to create different artistic projects.
Then there was Rob Lloyd, CEO of Hyperloop with his speech as unbelievable as the entire idea of his startup. Even though Hyperloop being an incredibly futuristic transportation system, I suggest we continue waiting for it transporting people into space one day.
Lisbon – a welcoming city with one of the greatest European startup scenes
According to Lonely Planet, Lisbon is “a rare European city armed with Gothic grit and glamour.” Definitely, it is. Not only grit and glamour but also historical coziness and bold modernity as well as high quality of life and comparatively low cost of living. Perfectial representatives were fascinated by the Portuguese capital in all respects. There are no doubts that the city is worth visiting for many reasons, but was it worth hosting the event of such scale? The answer will be “Yes, it was,” and here is why.
According to the Financial Times, “The Portuguese capital has much in common with San Francisco and is hungry for growth,” suggesting that Lisbon has become a real global center for tech startups with a capacity for growth. Not only startups have fertile soil to grow in Portugal. Other important factors in startup ecosystem as accelerators and incubators are also in plenty in Lisbon.
Moreover, many international companies, mainly from the US, Europe, and Japan have located their branches and R&D centers in Lisbon. The Portuguese Government and the EU policies provide strong support and encourage investment into the city which only reinforces its modern image of warm and tech-friendly European capital.
Web Summit has plenty of sides to explore whereas Perfectial has more and more software product development capacities to offer the tech startups. So aren’t we a perfect match? Looking forward to the next date at Web Summit 2017.