After a night crawling the streets of Dublin with 5000 startup founders, I showed up bright eyed and eager to see what was on offer at the 2014 Dublin Web Summit. And I wasn’t left disappointed. Walking around first thing this morning, watching the many companies and startups putting the final touches to their stands, there was a palpable buzz of excitement and anticipation as 22,000 attendees descended on Dublin’s RDS. And enough free coffee to send the most seasoned caffeine addicts to the moon.
I started off with a ramble around the Enterprise Summit checking out some of the startups exhibiting their wears. While I was just strolling through taking it all in, there was a real friendly vibe and I got chatting to a few groups including Sellsy where I got some cool blue shades you might see on my twitter feed (I know, serious overkill for November in Dublin). If you’re attending in the next few days, the best advice I could give you is, know what you’re looking for. There are literally so many startups and such a maze of stands you can easily get lost or overwhelmed by the masses of people. Plan out your where you want to be, what talks you want to catch and what startups you’re interested in checking out.
So after my early morning browsing I moved to the main stage to check out Paddy Cosgrave’s opening speech. Apparently he had Drew Houston, Phil Libin and a few other big shots at his house last night when his chimney went on fire and an evacuation ensued. I’m not sure how serious it actually was but it was a hell of a story to set the tone for the week. I stayed on after to hear from Brendan Iribe talking about Oculus Rift, John Collison speaking about Stripe and then Phil Libin discussing the next 93 years of Evernote. And hey, the stage was pretty cool too.
I got my free pass to the summit on the back of applying as a volunteer and saved myself a sweet €1,500. But that’s not where the benefits finished. I had an afternoon shift at the Builders Stage and found myself looking after the speakers in the backstage prep area. I’m not sure if I imagined it to be honest but in the space of 2 hours I got to meet John Scully (ex Apple CEO), Des Traynor (intercom.io), Aditya Agarwal (Dropbox) and John Collison (Stripe). Oh and a quick hello with our own Pat Kenny.
By the end of it all, I was all celeb’d out but I’m excited about Day 2. If you’re attending, come visit me at the Builders Stage in the morning. If you have questions you can tweet me at any stage during the day and I’ll be happy to help. Happy Web Summiting.