Web Summit 2014 has officially kicked off in Dublin, with over 20,000 people gathering ready for a fantastic few days of bringing together Fortune 500 companies and the most exciting startups in the world for inspiring keynotes, workshops and networking. I recently posted about our partnership with Web Summit and how it supports our Dell for Entrepreneurs programme. We’ve had the pleasure of developing strong relationships with some great tech startups through this initiative and over the coming days we’ll be asking them to share their experiences as participants at the Summit. In the first of these guest posts, we hear from Shane Brett, the founder of Gecko. Here he provides the first in a two-part series of blog posts about his experiences as a first time attendee.
As someone who had only ever worked in hedge funds, if you had told me this time last year I would be attending Web Summit 2014 with my new technology start-up, I would have been surprised to say the least.
The development of our tech start-up called Gecko has been a rapid and exciting journey over the past number of months, and it’s with great pride that I will attend the Web Summit this year to represent the company, in what has become an important global forum for technology start-ups.
For us, it’s a fantastic opportunity to get in front of some of the 20,000 delegates at Europe’s largest technology event to pitch them our software and expand our network.
The background to Gecko is that, as a very reluctant entrepreneur, I spent six months trying to find a piece of software that would manage all my consulting engagements and projects in one central dashboard – and I simply couldn’t find it. I ended up building Gecko to solve my own problem – before realising other companies were having the same issues. Our reception in the market has been amazing.
I have been very pleasantly surprised by the amount of tech start-up support and resources available in Ireland.
We have been lucky enough to win a place on this year’s Enterprise Ireland “Access Silicon Valley” programme and will be flying to San Francisco for three weeks the very morning after the Web Summit finishes.
This means our Web Summit will be focused on meeting Silicon Valley based companies and investors who we will be able to follow up with on the ground over there in the next few weeks.
We have also already received funding and excellent mentoring from Enterprise Ireland’s New Frontiers programme at DKIT and DCU, as well as invaluable support from Dell for Entrepreneurs, which encompasses a suite of programmes that provide support, advice, networking opportunities and finance to start-ups globally.
This year’s Web Summit will likely be a baptism of (friendly!) fire for a tech newbie like myself, but I am really looking forward to the experience.
I will let you know how we get on.
Follow Shane’s updates live from the Summit via @shanebrettGP, and keep up with activities from the Dell team #DellCFEUK #DellCFE.
He is the author of the excellent new book "The Future of Hedge Funds", published in December 2012. Available from Amazon in paperback and Kindle.
Shane is on the Editorial Board of "All About Alpha" and is a Contributor Writer to "HedgeTracker.com". He was recently invited to join the "Atheneum Partners Executive Network" in order to provide expert economic and financial analysis to their clients worldwide.