A Snapshot of Web Summit 2019
Web Summit, a gathering of leaders in the startup and tech community, was held this past week in Lisbon, Portugal. Its exhibition floor included over 200 partners and several thousand startups, with the conference providing the opportunity to meet over 1,200 investors. With so many amazing startups on display and insightful presentations from tech leaders over a jampacked four-day lineup, it is hard to give the event justice in a short article. But here is a 30-second snapshot of what went on in Lisbon last week:
Over 70,000 attendees
70,469 individuals attended this past week’s Web Summit, with close to 1/2 attendants being female, a record highest for the conference.
International Speakers, including World Leaders
Speaking at Web Summit this past week were Portugal President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, Microsoft President Brad Smith, Booking Chairwoman Gillian Tans, Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, and Techstars CEO David Brown. Last year Techstars partnered with Semapa Next and brought its accelerator program to Portugal’s capital.
“Techstars is very excited about this partnership and launching a successful international program that leverages and strengthens the Portuguese startup ecosystem,” said its CEO then in a statement.
At the conference, there were mixed reviews on GDPR. When Edward Snowden was asked for his opinion, he said the problem was in its name. It “isn’t data protection, it’s data collection”. GDPR a good first effort, however not a solution.
European Union Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier took the stage on Tuesday to discuss the potential outcomes of Brexit and urged Britain not to attempt to undercut EU standards. While another extension has been granted until January 31, Barnier stated that there were still many negotiations to come to clarify trade agreements between the UK and EU, warning that the likely outcome would still be that British businesses miss out, by being outside of the 28-nation bloc.
Political Ad debate
A hot topic in recent weeks, as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, found himself under fire once again. During this year’s event, Ex-Cambridge Analytica employee turned whistleblower Brittany Kaiser gave some worrying insights into how social media users are still being manipulated to this day and called for Facebook political ad ban.
AI in Music production
Cristopher Leacock AKA Jillionnaire from Major Lazer took part in a panel discussion alongside Sam Yam (co-founder of Patreon) about emerging tech in the music industry, with a focus on the effects of AI on music production. Leacock, who has invested in a number of startups with Techstars, argued “Real talent will not be replaced by machine learning. The drum machine will never replace the drummer!”
Nutrix: Winner of the 2019 Pitch Competition
Nutrix, a startup based in Switzerland, developed a sensor that when placed in one’s tooth can determine glucose levels. The device sends low and high-level warnings into an app and can be key for individuals with diabetes.
Over 2000+ startups and journalists
Web Summit brought together founders from 163 countries and included over 2,100 startups and 2,000 journalists.
This article includes a client of an ESPACIO portfolio company.