Cosgrave eyeing Dublin for new tech events
Web Summit co-founder Paddy Cosgrave is considering more conferences in Ireland, he told the MoneyConf financial technology event at the RDS.
"MoneyConf is here for the foreseeable future," he said. "Maybe this will be the first of a number of conferences that we do here. Dublin is fantastic for an event of up to about 20,000 people."
The event has attracted more than 5,000 registered attendees, mainly from financial firms and technology companies focused on payments, fraud and cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Mr Cosgrave said Dublin could become a more active conference venue within Europe in the coming years.
"Ireland has an opportunity to become a venue for much larger events," he said. "To do that we need a convention centre that's much bigger. It wouldn't take much to build a venue that would cater to 40,000 or 50,000 people in this city. There's lots of available land around the port and elsewhere."
Mr Cosgrave was speaking as some of the companies presenting at the event announced new jobs.
Wachsman, a public relations and blockchain services firm, announced 50 new jobs for its Dublin office. The company currently has 90 employees divided between Dublin and New York.
The US-based Blockchain and cryptocurrency consultancy Consensys used the event to announce the opening of an Irish office with 60 jobs planned.
Elsewhere, a Chicago-based sports data company, Stats, announced a new Limerick office with the intention of creating 150 jobs.
Mr Cosgrave said his biggest conference, the Web Summit, may move from Lisbon in future. He said his company has been offered €17.6m per year to relocate to the Spanish city of Valencia in a deal that could be worth upwards of €170m to the firm.
"Our home is Lisbon and that may remain far into the future," he said. "But we're taking our time to consider what Germany and France and Italy and Spain and the British have to offer. It's true that in Valencia, the local government there have offered a package of €17.6m a year. But there are three cities [we're looking at] in Spain. So until we shortlist one of those three cities, the government of Spain will not become involved."
Mr Cosgrave said that the highest bid was not the deciding factor for the Web Summit's future. Nevertheless, he said, "the total figure will probably be twice what Ireland was willing to pay to host the Rugby World Cup".