Headlines are made by speakers, but the money is made away from the stage
THERE has been a lot of hype about the Dublin Web Summit (DWS) in the past few weeks. The star speakers, such as Skype founder Nikklas Zenstromm and the man behind Stripe, Patrick Collison, have made the headlines, but the real value of the event is what happens away from the stages.
Dozens of small companies have stands in the RDS and potential investors move through the room constantly, asking about products, getting pitches, and exchanging contact details.
Sean Featherstone and Elaine Cohalan are a case in point. They opened "Mobi-Learn", a company that focuses on helping people learn languages, last year. While the company is backed by businessman Paschal Taggart, -- he is the chief executive -- they are now looking for investors. And potential backers are lining up to talk with them.
"The Dublin Web Summit puts us in front of people we would never meet otherwise. Getting investment is always a struggle and the days of cold-calling people for backing are long gone now," says Mr Featherstone. "Here, we can sell ourselves to serious venture capitalists face to face, and that is what is so important to us," he adds.
The same can be said for the hundreds of other companies displaying their wares here.
That's not to downplay the role of the speakers on stage. Many of those addressing the summit started companies from scratch themselves and sharing their experiences with the 3,000 people here is going to be invaluable.
While the business may be done away from the stages, that is where the headlines will be made.