Web Summit founder Paddy Cosgrave delivered the bombshell that November’s event will be the last hosted in Dublin for at least three years, after months of speculation that the event could look for pastures new.
The move comes in the wake of wifi issues that dogged last year’s event and severe water shortages in the capital in 2013 which caused considerable embarrassment.
Whatever about poking fun at the event and its struggles last year, or its ticket prices which have been subject to criticism, there’s no doubt the event has been a remarkable success.
Delivering an estimated €100m to the economy last year was the immediate benefit but the intangible value of attracting tens of thousands of the world’s best and brightest tech minds to these shores can’t be underestimated.
Ask US technology companies, especially early stage enterprises, what they know about the Irish scene and the Web Summit is what most reach for.
As many excellent tech companies we have and notwithstanding the progress we’ve made in fostering an environment for them to grow, we’re a small fish in a big pond.
Having put the country on the map internationally, the Web Summit’s international expansion ironically now sees it depart our shores in what is a blow to the country’s reputation.