Pitstop for the Brain: The World’s greatest Tech Fest welcomes CIONET

Dublin-Websummit-2015Todays Tech CEOs and Unicorns of tomorrow

In just 5 years Websummit made it to the top as the one of best tech events in the world. CNN calls it ‘the hottest tech event of the year’. What started in Dublin as a gathering of startups and VCs attracted over 40.000 attendees from around the globe in 2015. This year’s edition attracted 2000 startups, 1500 VCs, close to 1.000 speakers and 28 CIONET members.

The Davos for Geeks

Bloomberg calling it the ‘Davos for Geeks’ is no longer covering it’s full book as the 2015 edition in audience, keynote speakers and overall vibe makes Websummit a true technology entrepreneurship extravaganza. The 3 days of Websummit are spread over 21 different summits and stages covering technological innovations on Content, Design, Music, Health, Money, Sport, Data, Marketing and Enterprise.

Enterprise Summit: attracting Business Leaders

The Enterprise Summit brings companies large and small from around the world to meet and learn how enterprise is evolving to meet the needs of a digital generation and modern business. In 2014 CIONET attended with a group of 15 and it demonstrated to be a perfect place for CIOs to tap into the latest innovations, insights from thought leaders and meeting exciting start­ups.

CIONET Mission to Dublin

For the 2015 edition Websummit organisation invited CIONET to cooperate in the exclusive sessions of the Enterprise Summit program that included participation in facilitated executive roundtables, 1 on 1 coaching sessions with startups and nighttime networking with an exclusive group Enterprise Summit attendees in downtown Dublin.

In close cooperation with Paul Barreveld (Enterprise Ireland) and Mick Walvisch (CoolExperience), CIONET formed an official mission with a group of 28 CIOs, Digital Officers, Marketing and Technology Business Leaders. Partners SAS Institute, KPN, RES Software and Google contributed to a program full of interesting and insightful meetings  and facilitated networking in addition to the packed Websummit program. In just over 2 business days it offered an unique tour through the latest innovations from Silicon Valley and it allowed the group to breath and live technology based entrepreneurship.

Key take aways

For this blog CIONET collected the feedback and key take aways from some of the participants:
After 2 days I have missed more key notes than I was able to participate in. The nighttime networking dinners therefore showed to be great gatherings to learn from experiences from others in the group. Some examples and surprisingly refreshing presentations:

CIONET Websummit (Mary Aiken CSI Cyber)
The CyberPsychology of CyberCrime by Mary Aiken

The CyberPsychology of CyberCrime by Mary Aiken.
The TV­series ‘CSI:Cyber’ is based on Mary Aiken’s work.
In her keynote she talked about ‘the motive of CyberCrime being that CyberCriminals have the Freudian drive to penetrate’.

CIONET trip to the Dublin Websummit 2015 (Presentation Instagrams co-founder Mike Krieger)
Many people wanted to go and see Instagrams co­founder Mike Krieger

The Trifecta of Data, Smart agents and AR by Alistair Croll. His keynote is available via this blog. His presentation was a machinegun slideshow but with great fun and stories onall type of data that is being stored.
My key take away is that the world around us is so much bigger than what we tend to keep ourselves business with. Another action item is to go out to baldly go where I have not gone before… Also met a very interesting Dutch startup called Pacmed.
The Websummit is a great event!

SAS Institute, Edwin Peters (Marketing Director)

“In a glance: engaged roundtable meetings at breakfast, a overwhelming amount of startup that radiate energy and innovation. There are so many keynotes to choose from with boardmembers from Google, Dell and Ford. All pitches are given at a high pace and during brief brain teasings sessions. Pitches from startups that all want to raise capital. I really enjoyed the CIO coaching sessions we participated in. The breakfast meeting at Google Europe HQ was a inspiring behing­the­scenes. In short: a summit worth visiting!

De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, Peter van den Heuvel (Head of ICT & Facilities)

“When we landed Johan de Wit advised me to take at least 2 or 3 inspiring ideas or companies with me. And I easily succeeded when I look back on the Websummit!. Two great and very inspiring days while visiting the Websummit and with the other delegates of the CIONET group. Greatly supported by Johan and Jeroen. I’ll be back!”

Ministery of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, Jan Gudde (CIO)

“In my second year of Websummit I had a similar great experience! The enormous amount of startups who are battle to be noted and the trip attendees made Dublin another unique experience. The CIO and Irish IT companies  matchmaking sessions Enterprise Ireland facilitated where one of my personal highs those days. Thanks to all that participated and shared ideas and opened up networks!”

Enterprise Ireland, Paul Barreveld (Market Advisor Benelux)

“Let me start with a big thank you to CIONET who introduced me to Websummit; a conference I had never heard of before. It was a great experience, because:

  • Websummit offers a unique mix of top notch speakers, a very broad program of topics in 21 summits (!) to choose from and a lot of innovation from startups.
  • The travel party was not just fun to spend time with but also let to some interesting new business relationships.
  • Next year I am planning to be back at Websummit, all be it in Lisbon for what I challenge if they can keep the vibrant vibe from Dublin!

Kudos to the CIONET team Marita, Johan and Jeroen for well organised trip!

Keesing Group, Mirko Mensink (Chief Marketing & Digital Officer)

“What a great event! And being the only Belgian CIO amongst an all Dutch audience; I got some interesting new insights as well.

Mediahuis, Koen Vandaele (CIO)

“Websummit is a great event where you can meet interesting people and see a lot of new technologies in various verticals. There is a lot of energy with all the startups and young people! At the same time industry leaders have sessions where they share their vision and experience. I can recommend this event to every IT professional!”

RES Software, Jan-Willem Kuijpers (IT Director)

“Some of my highlights were Adyen (Pieter van den Does): great success story on how to build a successful digital company with some good old Dutch sobriety and no­-nonsense. Cynthia Breazeal (MIT/ Jibo) explained in a very logical way the next wave of social robots, and that it won’t’ take much longer before they are here (I did preorder mine already…) and finally the keynote by Mike Schroepfer (Facebook). I was impressed to hear about the 5 to 10 year technology strategy of Facebook!”

Wegener Media, Frank Vogt (COO)

“The combination of Web Summit, Enterprise X en CIONET made the trip a memorable experience for me, which was strongly driven by the very interesting group of attendees CIONET had put together! Some highlights on keynotes and personal meetings for me was Alistair Croll (The trifecta of big data, smart agents and augmented reality), Pieter van der Does (Adyen on the rise), and the unbridled energy and inspiration from the humongous amount of startups.
I personally valued the selected Enterprise X program session as they gave reflection and richness to the discussions, like my round table with Josh Holmes (Can enterprise think like a startup), the exchange of knowledge with others the special Enterprise X lounge and the facilitated Enterprise Ireland startup/coaching sessions.
An unexpected high was… the CIONET bus: a safe haven of logistical efficiency and networking opportunity. Did I mention visiting Google HQ and the various lunch and dinner meetings to build up business relationships and generate new actionable ideas?”

Ministry of Security and Justice, Udo Kroon (CIO)

From the many interesting keynotes I had two specific take aways.

  • In every presentation Uber was mentioned as the example of disruptive innovation (Uber raised its first round of money on Websummit, 4 years back)
  • The: Think big and What do you for mankind” principle. An interesting session with an ‘old economy’ leader was with Bill Clary Ford Jr. President from Ford Company on how Ford solved mobility problems with the car as a sensor generation over 25gb of data per hour.”

RES Software, Paul Jansen (Strategic Alliances Director)

“Being able to participate in the CIONET trip to Websummit to meet up with today’s IT leaders and to learn about their key initiatives and meeting disruptive startups was a great way to spend 2 days in Dublin. During the Websummit I had the opportunity to see how the traditional Enterprise world can interact and be connected to the new tech world. Very inspirational. The Enterprise X program with interesting sessions like running Enterprise as a Startup made our trip even more special!”

Google, Jennifer Vink (Territory Manager Google for Work)

“I was not able to see a lot of the speakers during the Websummit, due to the fact that I focussed on the direct and intense contact with the startups. The mentoring sessions provided a very good setting. There was room to engage with the startups and discuss the problems, opportunities and new insights. I have attended around 16 sessions with start-ups which varied in maturity, goals and performance. The diversity and element of surprise (we got appointed to start-ups without information forehand so we just had to ‘jump in’) made it an energizing experience. I wanted to fill my day with these start-up mentoring sessions but our bus was waiting for our group to go to the next program item! It was really great that I was able to add to the success of the Summit in this role of mentor for start-ups.”

Digitas LBi, Andres van Vugt (Head of Technology)

Lisbon 2016: Here we come!

Want to know more about sponsorship opportunities and attending the Websummit 2016 in Portugal or ? Let us know by sending an email to Jeroen Kleinhoven.


You can find all Web Summit official pictures here.

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