In the next week, a great event will take over the country. From 7 to 10 November, Portugal hosts the Web Summit, with the event to occupy the two spaces, the largest of the Nations Park, in the capital: the Meo Arena and the FIL.
The world conference of the technology will happen in Lisbon, at least, in the next three years. To bring it from Dublin to here involved an investment of 1.3 million euros per year, for a total of 3.9 million euros. We discuss now the possibility of extending the term by two more years, and also guarantee that editions, in 2019 and 2020.
To the conversation with the Live Cash, João Vasconcelos, the secretary of State of the Industry, assumes that "we may be speaking of the creation of a generation of Web Summit, and this is a return that we will only have five or ten years. We are working on this in the long term. In the short term we are talking about the attraction of investment and start-ups".
Paddy Cosgrave, CEO of the conference technology, confirms the willingness of the organization to keep the connection to Portugal in the future. "We want to build relationships even stronger in Lisbon in the next few years." The irish said that there are returns which may not be as obvious but that happen. "The startups that came to the Web Summit in 2015 they raised a billion dollars (900 million euros)."
throughout these days, several related initiatives are happening all over the city. They all seem to want to take advantage of the ride to the summit. Of placards of welcome-strewn streets of the publications which were in English, they are still marked in the calendar, inaugurations, awards, demonstrations, concerts and parties.
The Web Summit mark calendar, media, political, and social. Are expected more than 50 thousand people, including leaders from companies such as Facebook, Renault-Nissan, Nasdaq and Forbes, the figures of media like Ronaldinho and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
The government is positioned as the main partner of the event. In all ads the official Web Summit, António Costa makes a point of being present alongside Paddy Cosgrave, CEO of the summit. As a courtship it was, Portugal lives to the stage of fascination, with a whole country surrendered.
However, this relationship began with different protagonists. Was the previous executive, under the leadership of Passos Coelho, who led the negotiations, through the deputy secretary of State and of Economy, Leonardo Mathias. Behind the scenes, many e-mails, meetings, visits and conversations. On one side, Paddy Cosgrave and his team, on the other, a Portuguese contingent: representatives of the government, AICEP, Turismo de Portugal and of Lisbon, the municipality and even of the Embassy of Portugal in Ireland.
In social networks, the more pressure came. The digital publication Ship launched the movement Let’s Bring the Web Summit 2016 to Lisbon, by creating a group on Facebook that has reached over five thousand participants. Paddy Cosgrave admits that weighed in the decision to have seen your account flooded with messages from Portuguese to ask you to bring the summit to Lisbon.
the capital of The country turned out to prevail over Amsterdam, which was also to be considered. The announcement came on the 23rd September 2015 at the Twitter of the creator of the Web Summit. It was the time of "application for dating". The fascination lasts since then.
Near the end of this year, Portugal has changed from the government, but the enthusiasm remained. António Costa assumes then the position of prime minister, and João Vasconcelos passes of the director of the incubator Startup Lisboa, the secretary of State of the Industry.
The irish account that the good working environment between the parties remained. "The Portuguese government and the local entities have been and will continue to be very cooperative in bringing the Web Summit to Lisbon. The technology community local government and the local entities have an important role in the success of the summit."
Still, Paddy Cosgrave has not cut ties with the former rulers. Leonardo Mathias has already admitted that usually have lunch with the irish whenever he and his team come to Lisbon and he told me that the CEO of the Web Summit offered him a ticket platinum for the conference. Already Paulo Portas, the former vice-prime minister, who took to the stage with Paddy Cosgrave on the last day of the event in Dublin, he was invited to be a speaker in Lisbon, having been one of the last confirmed.
The wound irish
A year of preparation for the event was enough to feed the buzz and grow the anticipation. Portugal became a sensation in the world of entrepreneurship and Lisbon came to be appointed as the successor to London, Berlin or even Silicon Valley.
"There is a huge impact on the image of the country. We’re showing a country’s innovative and sophisticated, even before the Web Summit. We went to Macau, São Paulo and Silicon Valley and they asked always for Portugal. I just gave an interview to a journalist of the Guardian. This for me is already won," says João Vasconcelos, excited.
in Addition to speak with the secretary of State, which the international newspapers also count on is that Paddy Cosgrave if he was away from Ireland for a broken heart. At RTÉ, radio irish, the CEO of the Web Summit admitted that he wanted the summit to leave Dublin, and he hoped that one day he could return. Told also that the negotiations with the irish government lasted up to the last moment on which the agreement was eventually signed with Lisbon.
The blog-official Web Summit was exposed in the rol of e-mails that Paddy Cosgrave exchanged with the office of the prime minister, Enda Kenny, the CEO of the summit called on the government to take a decision. In public support for the conference, the irish managed a total of more than 800 thousand euros (500 thousand of which the annual investment of the Portuguese State to the Web Summit).
In their model, Paddy Cosgrave stated that he was not asking for more money, just that you address four specific issues: the traffic on the roads, the prices of hotels, which grew too much in the time of the conference, the problems in public transport and the wi-fi coverage of the event.
The newspaper the Irish Times says that the Web Summit has never adapted itself to Dublin and that Dublin never adapted to the Web Summit. In recent years, critical voices were rising in tone. The european platform online of technology, Tech.I released several opinion articles accusing the un of not being truly concerned with the startups, but only in making money, bringing little value to the participants.
the Target of the criticism was still the constant spam done by the team. Also a post on a blog in Spanish, in which the author apelidava the Web Summit "circus", was widely shared on social networks. In an attempt to silence critics, the team of Paddy published an article entitled "The Web Summit is a fraud?", we tried to answer all the failures that they were to be pointed out.
In Portugal, there are also those who complain about the high prices of the tickets (this time the value of the tickets from the visitor varies between thousand and five thousand euros), but there are few who dare to openly criticize the conference technology. Most are expectant to realize that the Web Summit has to offer them and how they can profit from it.
However, it is not just the Web Summit that has something to prove to Portugal. As in any relationship, Portugal also has to show what it’s worth, the Web Summit and to the world. "In terms of logistics, is the part about which I am more rested, because we’re accustomed to large events, such as the Champions League final in Lisbon, in 2014, and the Rock in the River. Only that none of these events has the function of showing a country sophisticated, innovative, technologically evolved." We are talking about seven thousand of the CEO and of the two thousand journalists. It is an audience with levels of more: "we Have to have the pitch of Portugal tune, a modern country and that wants to be part of innovation," says John Vasconcelos.
Paddy agrees. "The Web Summit will bring more than a thousand investors to Lisbon, many of them for the first time. We have so many companies and entrepreneurs see that it is a great opportunity to fall in love for the country."