October 18, 2018   |   5min read

Web Summit 2018 Guide—What to See, Who to Follow?

I’ve always loved Lisbon—its awesome architecture, people, coffee…Which makes me even more excited to come back there next month, this time for a bit different reason than sunshine and (probably way too many) pasteis de nata. That’s right—I’m going to Web Summit 2018!

Now here’s the thing: it’s not for everybody. For some Web Summit can be too crowded, too mainstream, too broad when it comes to themes and tracks. And—if you’re one of those people—you’re probably not entirely wrong.

Which is why me and my Community Manager colleague & travel partner Kasia decided to approach Web Summit a bit differently, than ”let’s go and see what happens”. We thought that if we’re going all the way to Portugal (which is such a struggle;)), we’ll better make the best out of those 4 days in Altice Arena.

So if you still don’t know your way around Web Summit 2018, you can take some inspiration from us and our picks of what, who and when to see!


IoT at Web Summit

First theme we plan to cover during the event is IoT/wearables and all things ‘smart’. We’ve already touched on the subject of the Internet of Things on our blog in the Wearable Tech in Business—All You Need to know article. This time we’re going to go deeper with the Web Summit perspective. If you want to do the same, I recommend checking out the agenda especially for these talks:

  • Can tech take the nightmare out of bad sleep? — with Michael Acton Smith (Calm), Meeta Singh (Henry Ford Health System), Hugo Mercier (Dreem) and Parneet Pal (Wisdom Labs). We actually got to know Dreem a bit while working on our 10 US IoT Startups You Need to Know trendwatching article.
  • It’s getting hot in here — with Toon Bouten, CEO at tado°—producer of smart heating controls—talking on how we can save energy and money with a little bit of tech involved.
  • Getting smart cities ready for tomorrow’s transportation — with Paola Pisano (Deputy Mayor of Innovation and Smart City in Turin, Italy), Bernd Heinrichs (Robert Bosch GmbH) and Jared Lindzon (Jared Lindzon Freelance Journalism). Smart city means smart society and we are definitely not missing out on this talk!

FinTech at Web Summit

I got interested in the subject of financial technology while writing Trendwatching—FinTech Products to Watch in 2018. Definitely check it out;) Having done that research I’m excited to see what Web Summit in Lisbon has to say on the future of FinTech. Stay tuned and watch Polidea’s blog for the insights! Here are the FinTech talks we’d like to attend at Web Summit:

  • Today’s fintech unicorn: How to become a statistical rarity — with Nikolay Storonsky (Revolut), Kathryn Petralia (Kabbage Inc.), Alan Warren (Oscar Health), Robert Hackett (Fortune). 3 startups unicorns and one journalist get together to talk what does it take to stand out among the crowd of other fintech startups.
  • Platform or die: How banks can move forward?— with Claire Calmejane (Societe Generale), Ross Mason (MuleSoft), Anne Boden (Starling Bank) and Tracy Isacke (Silicon Valley Bank) discussing the new face of consumer banking.
  • Cashing in: How digitisation is transforming economies? — Michael Schlein (Accion), Wim Mijs (European Banking Federation), Ismail Ahmed (WorldRemit).

Startup scene at Web Summit

Speaking of amazing startups that stand out from the crowd—here are the ones we think are worth checking out during the event:

  • Taxify — Markus Villing, the company’s CEO & Co-Founder will take part in the discussion on “Why is the scooter market suddenly worth billions?”
  • 500 Startups — is the global community of founders, mentors and investors with their CEO and Founding Partner Christine Tsai, sharing her thoughts on what it means to be a good founder.
  • Calm — the app that helps you sleep. The founders: Alex Tew and Michael Acton Smith will talk about their product and why “A calm mind is a creative mind”.
  • Cuvva — a pay-as-you-go car insurance. Freddy Macnamara, the Founder and CEO will join other fantastic early stage startups on the Web Summit stage.

People to follow

If you’re more of a “pick-and-mix’ kinda person when it comes to conferences, definitely look up these names in the Web Summit 2018 agenda:

Do you like our picks? What are you most excited to see at Web Summit this year? By the way, if you want to meet up with me and Kasia during the event (05-09.11) get in touch let us know! See you in Lisbon;)

All the pictures come from the Web Summit 2018 press kit.

Ula Rydiger

Content Marketing Manager

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