Observations from Web Summit

It was nice to be back in Dublin for Web Summit earlier this month.  It felt like the city and F.ounders had finally worked out the kinks.  Unfortunately we start all over again in Lisbon next year, should be exciting indeed.

web summit1

Over 1000 companies showed off their wares at demo stations at the Summit.  Most were just a level up from two guys in a garage, but many really had legs and I expect good things in the years to come.

3D printing once again was well represented.  The technology seems to be maturing and yet I can’t get by the feeling that it’s primary value at this point is still making chess pieces and dolls, with the occasional customer using them to crank out models and prototypes of real components.  There are rumors of applications for life-saving devices but that may be a few years away still.

There were companies selling new-fangled pet supplies, online video tools, daily fantasy options, all kinds of IoT devices, personal marketing tools, electric hoverboards and of course cannabis delivery services.

Some of my favorites were:

Jaunt, not typical of the pre-A round crowd that predominated the attendees, Jaunt is at the forefront of the VR revolution and I expect to be hearing more from them in the near future.

Did you know that you can hire Philip Phillips or Neymar (Brazilian soccer phenom) for your kid’s birthday party or to tweet on your behalf?  It will cost you up to seven figures for the honor, companies like Ad.ly can make it happen.

Collaboration software is all the rage these days with the success of Slack as lead unicorn in the space.  A couple of my favorites at Web summit were Wrike and Trello.

Selfiepay is taking retina scans to the masses, offering their authentication solution to online and offline retailers.

Americans take 911 service for granted, especially if you are in the enviable position of never having to use it.  But did you know that much of the world does not have an ubiquitous system for emergency calls?  MUrgency is successfully bringing 911-like services to India.

Gold has lost its luster as the currency of choice for most transactions, but with the advent of bitcoin and the block chain, gold is coming back into vogue-at least in some small but influential circles.  Bitgold strives to be the easy-to-use platform for global gold transactions.

Paddy and company put on another great show with interesting speakers, random celebrities (author Dan Brown?), and cool technology.  Let’s hope that Lisbon can match the energy and joy that Dublin has provided over the years.


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I lead business development for KPMG's Emerging Technology practice in the western region. I enjoy discussing the next great thing coming out of Silicon Valley and Silicon others.

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