Posts Tagged ‘paris’

Ireland to Exhibit at Le Web 2010!

conor 23rd of October 2010 by conor

I’ve been finding it hard to keep this news under my hat since the idea was first floated a few months back. There will be an Ireland Pavilion at Le Web in Paris this year! This is just an absolutely brilliant idea and huge kudos goes to all of those in Enterprise Ireland who conceived the idea and then got full support for it both internally and from the IDA.

Le Web is the most important conference about the web in Europe every year. You will not see a more impressive collection of heavy hitters in one place anywhere else. It’s the kind of place where you can meet people like Marissa Meyer or Niklas Zennström or Fred Wilson. My trivial claim to fame is that I think I’m the only Irish person to attend every year since 2006 and I’ve watched it getting better and better.

This year some of the speakers on December 8th and 9th include Dennis Crowley, JP Rangaswami, Toni Schneider and Carlos Ghosn.

The importance of Ireland having its own stand at Le Web cannot be underestimated. The first country ever to have a pavilion like this at the show. One place where global businesses, VCs, other European/US start-ups and leading tech bloggers can see the best of Irish web start-ups. One place where you can point people to in the coming weeks and say “we’ll be there, pop on over for a coffee”.

A problem with giant events like Le Web is that co-ordinating meetings can be a nightmare. People are being pulled in every direction and we are all vying for our own little bit of attention. This stand solves that problem in one fell swoop.

I am convinced this genius move will get a ton of coverage from all the attending press. Who wouldn’t be intrigued by this? After all the relentless bad news about Ireland in the global press where we allowed a cabal of innumerate imbeciles to rape our country, this gives journos a totally new, positive growth story to tell. “Ireland may be screwed now but these start-ups are re-building it from the ground up”.

So, interested?

The EI package is as follows:

  • A full LE WEB pass, giving you access to all the seminars, networking events and competitions over the two days
  • Use of a dedicated 18m² meeting place/demo area which your company can use to meet with key contacts and demo your solution.
  • A drinks reception on the Irish pavilion on the evening of 8th December for EI clients and your guests.
  • In the run up to LE WEB, EI overseas offices will endeavour to link your company in with influential people from overseas markets that will be coming to LE WEB.
  • Your company’s profile and contact details in Enterprise Ireland’s Internet marketing materials designed specifically for the event

EI is providing this at a totally knock-down price.

There is really only one limitation which is that you must be an EI client to apply to be on the stand. There are only 14 slots so not everyone is going to get through. To apply, simply contact Karen Hallez in the EI Paris office at Karen.Hallez@enterprise-ireland.com and she will send you an application form and details on the cost etc. They really need to get this wrapped up in the next few days so apply now.

Also don’t forget that this is the last weekend where you can enter the Le Web Startup Competition.

I know I’ve been lauding Enterprise Ireland a lot recently, but with good reason. Of all the state and semi-state bodies I’ve dealt with since the country went to hell, EI and all its staff are the ones that more than rose to the challenge and they are impressing me with every single encounter. Right now, the way EI operates shows the best of what the public sector and private sector working together should be about.

Le Web 2009. I’m booking for 2010 now.

conor 20th of December 2009 by conor

I usually have these posts written within a day or two of Le Web but other commitments slowed me down this year. 2009 saw the 6th Le Web (my 4th) and it was easily the best ever. Loic & Geraldine can rest easy knowing 2010 will be totally over-subscribed.

People go to Le Web for a couple of reasons:

  • Networking
  • Meetings/Deals
  • Learning
  • Pitching

I went as an official blogger to the event but with intentions of doing all of the above. It was a real pleasure to be on the official blogger team and a big thanks to Stephanie Booth who organised all of that brilliantly.

The Irish contingent was tiny with Joe Drumgoole, John Peavoy, Colm Long of Facebook and myself flying the flag. Whilst I know the tickets are very expensive, it’s a pity there wasn’t a bigger showing. The IDA attended last year but I didn’t spot them this year. Le Web is the European web business/tech event and I happily skipped every other pay-for event this year to ensure I could go.

The opening session with Jack Dorsey set the perfect tone for the two days. The guy who created the global phenomenon of Twitter showed off his new startup Square. This is P2P payments with a credit card swipe that plugs into the headphone socket of your phone and an application which allows others to pay you. I didn’t quite get how revolutionary this was until I saw it in action (despite the terrible demo problems he had).

There are often complaints that they have too many Americans speaking at the event. I take the opposite view, since this is one of the few opportunities for those of us who don’t regularly travel to the US to see these guys speak and perhaps meet them. Standout highlights for me were Tony Hsieh from Zappos and Gary Vaynerchuk from Wine Library TV but there were plenty of others including David Hornik from August Capital and Chris Sacca of Lowercase Capital.

I have ordered the Zappos Culture book that Tony mentioned (just email ceo@zappos.com and they’ll post you a copy) and downloaded the Tribal Leadership audiobook from here (use California 90210 for your address in the registration screen). Wonderful stuff.

Gary (NSFW audio):

Those who worked best on stage were generally the contrary bastards. In that batch I’d include Mike Arrington, Lukasz Gadowski, Andrew Keen, Paul Carr, Dave McClure and Martin Varsavsky. Guys who are not afraid to call bullshit on things but who also see potential in the most interesting of places. The sessions that they were involved in were far more useful and fruitful than the usual cheerleader echo-chamber gang.

In fact, the echo-chamber gang were the only real let-down of the two days. We’ve all heard their schtick non-stop for the past few years and it’s grown old and boring. I’d love to see a bunch of new US faces coming over next year who have something new to say.

The real-time theme of the event did become a bit of an unbearable Twitter love-in at times to the detriment of many other exciting things happening in the real-time web. As someone pointed out on a TWiT podcast recently, more people play Farmville on Facebook than are users of Twitter.

For those who think Irish startups can’t compete at the highest levels on an international stage, just watch Joe Drumgoole’s pitch in the Startup Competition. I was shocked that Cloudsplit didn’t get the win but rumour has it that Thierry Henry was one of the judges ;-)

Over a couple of days I met entrepreneurs, bloggers, VCs, techies and business people. That’s why I go. The energy in that room recharges my batteries and reminds me that fantastic startups are being built all over Europe and we all have more in common than we think.

Even if I didn’t get to announce our first US customer.

Le Web 2009, Real-Time Web

conor 19th of October 2009 by conor

It’s been a quiet year for many people on the conference front but there is one event that many of us just can’t miss, and that’s Le Web. It’s not just the brilliant speakers that Loic and Geraldine manage to get, it’s the battery recharge we need to prepare us for the new year.

Despite the venue hiccups last year, I still find myself referring to Le Web 2008 regularly. Marissa on the importance of local to Google, Dave Morin on Facebook Connect and Christine Lagarde on startups in France.

Just check out this year’s speakers and tell me you’re not excited by that line-up. It’s the style of event where you can easily chat to many of these people and meet them year after year. Apart from the learning and general networking, Le Web is a place where deals are done.

We’ll be covering the full two days on Web2Ireland and let’s hope we don’t take down Twitter with the volume of updates!

If you are interested in going, make sure to use the discount code BLOG09 to get 10% off.