Dublin Web Summit 2012 Report


    Welcome to the respected Habra community! Two weeks ago, we visited Dublin Web Summit 2012, and below is our short report on this. We hope you find it useful.
    About a year ago, we already talked about our Excursiopedia project ( here ). And with him, in the days of RIW-2012 in Moscow, we set off to conquer Ireland.

    What is Web Summit?

    Web Summit is Europe's largest startup event from all over the world, this time taking place October 17-18, 2012 in Dublin, Ireland. The official website of the event .
    The total number of DWS participants was about 3,000. In total, the summit was attended by three large categories of participants:
    • Startups are a really large number of startups at different stages of development from different countries. More than 100 companies participated in the startup competition alone, and many simply came to see others and show themselves at their own stand. Moreover, the level of projects was very different - from the state of the idea and prototype to companies with a multi-million user base. Everyone was looking for something different ...
    • Investors - investors were almost as many as the startups themselves and also very diverse - from business angels and seed investors to major funds such as Sequoia, Index, Accel, Piton, etc.
    • The press - a large number of journalists, bloggers, representatives of thematic Internet resources in search of news and materials for their publications.

    Many interesting people spoke at the summit; a full list of speakers can be found here .


    The cost of participation is quite high - for the stand and two participants it was necessary to pay about 4,500 euros. We applied for a startup competition and were selected by the jury as the finalists of the competition . We were offered a special package: stand + participation in the competition + hotel accommodation. And all this - for 1,450 euros for two people.
    Just say that if you want to get all 100% of the exhibition, then you must go at least four. But two people is a reasonable minimum.
    Separately, we note the quality of the organization, and this despite a fairly large and international audience. So, immediately upon arrival, a representative from DWS met at the Dublin airport, who answered all organizational questions, issued bus tickets, told how to get to the hotel.

    We are met by a Dublin Web Summit representative right at the airport.

    The view from the hotel window - rain in Dublin - normal weather in winter and summer.

    The hotel, by the way, was located directly across the street from the Royal Dublin Society (RDS) exhibition complex, where the summit took place.

    The Royal Dublin Society (RDS) is the venue for the DWS.

    Immediately at the entrance to the exhibition complex, there was a reception desk, where, on the morning of the first day of DWS, we registered, received our bracelets for the participants of the summit and the startup competition, and then went to our booth.

    Near the front desk, everyone was entertained by the Titan.

    And so the stands looked.

    The organizers immediately indicated in the requirements that they didn’t need to take anything extra, the maximum could be placed on the stand a little printed and souvenir products and a laptop. Logos of the participants' projects were immediately printed on the stands themselves. As a result, the stands were the same for everyone, and together they looked very neat.
    It turned out to be very successful that we have a slogan in the logo - so it was already clear from afar that we were engaged in tourism. It should be noted that many startups did not have inscriptions on the logo and immediately understood what the project was doing, sometimes it was quite difficult.

    Our booth at Dublin Web Summit.

    The event program was very eventful. It feels like a complete immersion requires 4 people from the project: one meets those who are interested in the stand, the second conducts networking with investors and partners, the third and fourth are in two halls with performances and absorb the best experience of the Internet industry. And so all two days!
    As participants in the START startup competition, we were invited to perform on the stage (pitch on stage) before the press and investors. Performances were held in four sections, each performance was given 4 minutes. We presented the project in the Social section. And here I want to pay special attention to this. The fact is that the Social section was not quite about us. Of course, we say that Excursiopedia is a social marketplace for tours & activities, but still we are not building a social network. We had to go to the Customer Market section. Next time, of course, we will be more attentive. And we advise the rest: always check when you participate in competitions, in which section you are recorded - misunderstandings are possible.
    All results of the competition can be viewed here.. By the way, the SmartThings project won - a project that tries to make simple things “smart”.
    Communication between startups and investors took place in the form of networking - three times a day, about half an hour or an hour, investors gathered, each time different. Each investor was given a small stand and a line of projects was built for him. The essence of networking is to tell the investor about the project in 2 minutes. The most convenient: to have a presentation on iPad with which to show the essence of the project, achievements, business model and why you need to invest in it (the most common elevator pitch).

    Networking with investors - in the right corner of the frame you can see the stand of Sequoia Capital and Michel Abramson listening to startups.

    Two minutes later, the investor asks a series of questions and either gives you a business card to send you more detailed information, or says “very interesting, thank you very much, we will be in touch”. The task of the project is to tell as many investors as possible about itself, the task of the investor is to listen to as many projects as possible and not go crazy with the riot of imagination of startups.
    Of the investors, there were almost everyone who, one way or another, relates to the Internet and startups - Sequoia, Accel, Index, Willington, Earlybird, Delta Partners, Mangrove Capital, Atomico, Silicon Valey Bank, etc. etc. The list (although not complete) can be found here .
    Also at the summit there was a lot of press, though the communication with the journalists was not so structured. They walked around the stands and watched who offers what and what is interesting.
    DWS organizers have tried to make all two days as useful as possible. For start-ups, several dinners were organized, we, as participants in the START contest, were invited to a dinner organized by Atomico. The benefits of such dinners are not so much in delicious dishes as in useful contacts and informal communication.

    Dinner Atomico.

    Both days, after dinner, everyone moved to the Irish pubs on Dame Lane to end their work day in an informal setting, making new acquaintances with colleagues from all over the world. A couple of pints of the famous Guinness only contributed to this. By the way, each participant relied on a gift voucher for 30 euros for drinks in the pub.



    The first thing I want to say in conclusion: we will definitely go next time.
    Advantages of DWS that we endured:
    • Getting new contacts of possible partners.
    • Acquaintance with potential investors (even if you are too small for an investor, it is better to start talking with them as soon as possible).
    • Updating information about your project with those investors who were already familiar with your project earlier.
    • An opportunity to tell an international audience about yourself.
    • The unique experience of successful projects from around the world that they shared in their public speeches at the summit and in person.

    The cost of participation, yes, varies from 1,500 to 4,500 euros + transport ... Of course, not cheap at all, but, in our opinion, it's worth it.
    To whom we recommend:
    • To projects that are going to develop their project not only in Russia or are still thinking about it and would like to get acquainted with foreign experience.
    • To investors. Here you can see in one place the highest quality and interesting projects from around the world.

    For ourselves, we got the following:
    • About 50 new contacts with potential partners - leaders of their markets.
    • About 20 new contacts with investors of different stages.
    • And also found a lot of new ideas for the further development of the project.

    London Web Summit will be held in the spring, we will be glad to meet there!

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