Image: PRslides.com. One of the hundreds of tech startups pitching at the Dublin Web Summit 2013
Out of the 10,000 attendees at this year’s Web Summit over 2,000 are listed as the founder, CEO or employee of a technology startup. Most of these companies are manning stands in the main hall and hundreds are pitching at one of four dedicated stages running from morning until evening. With a sea of entrepreneurs vying for attention, how can a startup make it worth their while?
It’s exhausting but worth it, says GoPrezzo founder and CEO Aaron Taylor. GoPrezzo is a casual mobile gaming tournament platform with a base in both Belfast and New York. This is their first time at the Web Summit and it’s been a busy few days.
“The most important thing is that you’re meeting like-minded individuals,” says Taylor. In an environment like this, the key thing is to meet as many people as possible. “Meetings can lead to great opportunities. Get yourself out there and make people aware of who you are.”
One wonders if startups have come here hoping for instant success or if they’re envisioning the longer play. “A lot of people are probably here looking for the big sell or the big round of investment but the likelihood of that is obviously slim,” says Taylor.
He sees the Web Summit as a fact-finding mission in part; as long as startups are organised and have meetings set up in advance it’s useful. “Come here with an open mind, soak up the atmosphere and just wait and see what comes out of it.”
The tech startup game is a crowded market so differentiation is important, says Taylor. While GoPrezzo is in the mobile gaming space, the service it offers is just different enough to stand out; it’s a tournament platform that connects brands to gamers.
As a relatively young startup, GoPrezzo’s Web Summit highlight has been meeting other similar startups: “It’s been good to meet others who have passed the fund-raising stage and are now trying to scale their business and find distribution partners.”
Despite all the buzz and activity at the Web Summit, it all boils down to three basic questions for every startup here, says Taylor: how do we get funding, who’s actively funding and how do I make my startup look as attractive as possible to the funders.