ONE OF THE WORLD’S largest technology conferences kicks off in Dublin today, providing an expected boost to the economy of about €12 million.
Over 3,000 people are expected to attend the two-day Dublin Web Summit at the RDS, which will include keynote speeches from the founders of Skype, Flipboard and Pinterest as well as senior figures at Google, Facebook and Microsoft.
The event will coincide with a startup competition where 100 new firms will pitch to judges including the co-founders of YouTube and Bebo.
The event regularly forms a major networking point for venture capitalists and others, with organisers saying investors are likely to hold about 500 meetings to discuss possible investments.
Such is the level of interest for the event – which was first held in 2010 and has mushroomed since then, spawning spin-off events in London and the US – that attendees have booked out all nine of Dublin’s five-star hotels and over two dozen four-star hotels.
“The Web Summit will contribute over €12 million to the Irish economy this week through a mix of investments, jobs creation, the event itself, accommodation and entertainment,” event founder Paddy Cosgrove said.
“Over the next two days we will bring up to 4,000 people who are passionate about tech and innovation together to learn, networking, share ideas and pitch.”
Jobs minister Richard Bruton, attending the formal launch of this year’s summit yesterday, said the technology sector was “a hugely important part of the transformation that is occurring in the Irish economy”.
“The Web Summit is a great initiative that offers an amazing opportunity for Ireland to show the global technology community what we are doing in this area.”
Enterprise Ireland chief executive Frank Ryan said is agency was excited to engage with some of the start-ups which would be showcasing at the event.
A live stream of events on five stages at the Dublin Web Summit can be accessed at Livestream.com.