The pace of talks at the Web Summit is frantic. Lectures, pitches, debates and talks all together in one event, held from 4th to 9th November, where we found students, faculty, entrepreneurs, alumni and staff from Técnico. The motivations that brought them there never diverged much and the expectations were high.
“You will meet incredible people. You have brilliant entrepreneurs from all over the world around you”, said Paddy Cosgrave, founder of the Web Summit in the opening session. Maria Dias was one of the many students who won a ticket to the Web Summit 2017 in the competition organised by the Technology Transfer Unit at Técnico. “As a student I find this event very interesting. I want to be like these people when I leave Técnico” points out the student of computer science and engineering. She doesn’t see herself as an entrepreneur but “I am aware of many job opportunities that await me and whether or not I can fit them”, she adds
Several renowned Técnico alumni took the stage: The United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, The EU Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation Carlos Moedas, the co-founder of Unbabel Vasco Pedro and the Vice-president of the World Bank Manuela Ferro.
Dozens of startups that attended the Web Summit had a link to Técnico. Innovative projects in the area of cancer diagnosis, platforms that help to detect cyber attacks in their early phase and social networks are some of the several areas of these startups. Manuel Figueiredo and André Dias, two Técnico alumni, founded Snapcity and have already recruited three current students of Computer Engineering at Técnico – Miguel Amaral, Jorge Veiga and J. André Dias. SnapCity is an app that connects you instantly to a local resident of the city you’re just visiting and won this year’s World Summit Award in culture & tourism category. “Here we can do business anytime and anywhere. Yesterday we were having lunch and people approached us to talk about business.”, says J. André Dias.
We don’t have to spend too much time in the same place to make contacts and exchange business cards, which are the first steps for big businesses. The truth is that, even if we want we can’t spend much time in the same place, the web summit has a magnet for innovation dragging us into knowledge and wisdom. “There is always something else to see”, said Maria Dias on the first day, but most participants still had this feeling in the last day .