Dublin Loses Web Summit To Lisbon In Blow For Tourism
The Web Summit, which describes itself as the biggest gathering of startups on the globe, is moving from Dublin to Lisbon next year, in a blow to the Irish capital’s economy and reputation as a technology hub.
The event, which started five years ago with 400 technology entrepreneurs, will draw around 30,000 attendees this November, the organisers said in an e-mailed statement on Wednesday. More than 2,000 start-ups and 1,000 investors and 650 speakers will take part in the three-day conference this year.
“We chose Lisbon because of the strong infrastructure in the city, the amazing venue and the thriving startup community,” said Paddy Cosgrave, chief executive officer of Web Summit. The company running the event, which employs 130 people, will remain in Dublin, he said.
Cosgrave floated the notion of moving the event away from Dublin last year, after participants complained about being unable to access wi-fi at the conference. Each year, the summit draws high-profile technology figures such as Twitter’s Jack Dorsey, leading it to be dubbed "Davos for Geeks." Speakers have included U2’s Bono and Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny, as well as figures from the sports world.
Already host to US companies like Google, partly attracted by a 12.5 per cent corporate-tax rate, the city is playing catch-up at the other end of the industry. Surveys have shown Dublin lags behind London, Berlin and Tel Aviv as a base to build tech companies.
News by Bloomberg, edited by Hospitality Ireland