With the Web Summit over for another year, the buzz in Ireland continues on with headlines and attendees calling it the best Summit yet. For Dell, it certainly was a great experience. Our support of the event meant we had the opportunity to meet with some of the world’s most exciting startups, all at different stages of their business journeys. One relationship we’ve been building via our Dell for Entrepreneurs programme in Ireland is with tech startup Gecko who has a fantastic offering designed to help businesses manage multiple projects at one time. In the second part of his blog series, founder Share Brett shares the highlights and memorable experiences he gathered during his first Web Summit.
Web Summit has been rightly termed the Glastonbury of technology, and I have to admit, the onslaught of hundreds of the world’s top startups was a little overwhelming.
The last few days have been productively spent meeting people, making contacts and having conversations with industry figures about my business Gecko.
I’ve also had the opportunity to reach out to the wider public and explain our offering. For those trying to deliver many projects at once, Gecko provides a central dashboard to manage multiple projects in real time.
A particular highlight of the Summit was being asked to appear on the Newstalk radio show hosted by legendary Irish presenter Pat Kenny. My father-in-law called me after the interview to say he now understands our software – that was great to hear.
The Web Summit also gave us the chance to meet entrepreneurs at all levels, from the seeds of VC, all the way through to profitable growth. As a high potential startup, it was great to hear from those successful companies that have trodden the same path we are facing.
The great thing about the Web Summit was how accessible and friendly everyone was. We easily got speaking to lots of investors and senior technology managers, as well as country heads from leading technology companies, including Liam Halpin, General Manager of Dell Ireland.
I met Liam at the Dell lounge which was designed in a style reminiscent of the university dorm room where the company was started by Michael Dell in 1984. I was also introduced to other founders who are taking part in the Dell for Entrepreneurs programme in the dorm. That’s one of the many benefits of the programme – the opportunities for networking and sharing your expertise and reports of your experience with other entrepreneurs.
In my previous blog post I noted the fast pace which has characterised the development of Gecko over the past few months. That trend continued at the Web Summit when we found out half way through the event that we had been shortlisted for an accelerator programme. The last day of the Summit was spent practicing our pitch on other delegates.
At the time of posting this blog entry, we are in San Francisco with Enterprise Ireland, as part of this year’s “Access Silicon Valley” programme. During the Web Summit we met many amazing Californian investors and companies. The Web Summit gave us the opportunity to arrange over a dozen meetings in Silicon Valley which we are following up on this week.
The opportunity offered by such high level contact is invaluable to a young company like Gecko and the Web Summit has certainly been a very positive experience for our company.
Follow Shane’s updates live from the Summit via @shanebrettGP, and keep up with activities from the Dell team #DellCFEUK #DellCFE.
He is the author of the excellent new book "The Future of Hedge Funds", published in December 2012. Available from Amazon in paperback and Kindle.
Shane is on the Editorial Board of "All About Alpha" and is a Contributor Writer to "HedgeTracker.com". He was recently invited to join the "Atheneum Partners Executive Network" in order to provide expert economic and financial analysis to their clients worldwide.