Surf’s up for startups at Web Summit 2017
Surf’s up for startups at Web Summit 2017
Web Summit, which likes to promote itself as “the Davos for geeks” and provides a platform for startups to hook up with venture capitalists and hear about new trends from industry leaders such as Facebook, will see around 60,000 tech experts convene in Lisbon, where participants will look to catch a break either in or out of the water.
“Lisbon is kind of the surf capital of Europe, so not going surfing would be a very significant missed opportunity,” said Web Summit CEO Paddy Cosgrave.
Around 250 participants arrived in the Portuguese capital ahead of Tuesday’s official start to enjoy some of Europe’s best waves.
Mircea Baldean, founder and CEO of Canada-based startup MeetVibe, said he was looking forward to the networking opportunities at the event.
“It’s my first time in Lisbon, my first time surfing and my first time at Web Summit... as an entrepreneur you have to be ready to do new things every day.”
But the event isn’t all beach shorts and wipeouts: there’s serious money up for grabs with some of the world’s largest tech firms scouting for the next big app or technology in which to invest.
Organizers claim that around a third of startups who display their products at the Web Summit find a donor within 12 months.
“We’ve got 1,500 of the most active investors from around the world and a sample of 2,000 really high potential startups,” said Cosgrave.
Speakers at this year’s event include former US President Al Gore, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and former olympian and campaigner Caitlyn Jenner — as well as representatives from Internet giants such as Amazon and app-based behemoths Uber and Tinder.
The stakes are high: organizers say one fifth of all venture capital invested in the last three years went to firms that participated in Web Summit — accounting for tens of billions of euros.
But they are also open about its out-of-hours approach to networking, and hope relationships forged in the bars and restaurants of Lisbon can go on to power the next waves of online innovation.
“The truth is a lot of the best relationships are built over dinner, over long walks in the city and other social activities. So we put a huge emphasis on what happens after 5 pm,” said Cosgrave.
For Michael Memeteau, a founder of an energy startup who will be acting as an unofficial guide for one of the after-hours “pub crawls,” it’s the social aspect that makes Web Summit so popular.
“The thing is to keep some energy for the night, as the quality of exchanges is better,” he said. “In fact I’m only going to go to three of the actual talks.”
Tommy Otzen, CEO of Danish start up Kubo Robot and winner of last year’s Web Summit “Pitch” competition to find the best new firm, said his company received a one-million-euro investment off the back of the conference.
“Our success at last year’s Web Summit was what triggered that relationship, because we got a lot of media attention,” he said.
Facebook cracks down on bogus posts inciting violence
- Facebook may remove inaccurate or misleading context, such as doctored photos
- Hate speech and threats deemed credible are violations of Facebook rules, and are removed
MENLO PARK, United States: Facebook on Wednesday built on its campaign to prevent the platform from being used to spread dangerous misinformation, saying it will remove bogus posts likely to spark violence.
The new tactic being spread through the global social network was tested in Sri Lanka, which was recently rocked by inter-religious over false information posted on the world’s leading online social network.
“There are certain forms of misinformation that have contributed to physical harm, and we are making a policy change which will enable us to take that type of content down,” a Facebook spokesman said after a briefing on the policy at the company’s campus in Silicon Valley.
“We will be begin implementing the policy during the coming months.”
For example, Facebook may remove inaccurate or misleading context, such as doctored photos, created or shared to stir up to ignite volatile situations in the real world.
The social network said it is partnering with local organizations and authorities adept at identifying when posts are false and likely to prompt violence.
Misinformation removed in Sri Lanka under the new policy included content falsely contending that Muslims were poisoning food given or sold to Buddhists, according to Facebook.
Hate speech and threats deemed credible are violations of Facebook rules, and are removed.
The new policy takes another step back, eliminating content that may not be explicitly violent but which seems likely to encourage such behavior.
Facebook has been lambasted for allowing rumors or blatantly false information to circulate that may have contributed to violence.
Many see Facebook as being used as a vehicle for spreading false information in recent years.
Facebook has implemented a series of changes aimed at fighting use of the social network to spread misinformation, from fabrications that incite violence to untruths that sway elections.