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The world's largest technology conference, Web Summit 2021, was held in Lisbon

Nataly Borshosh

Nataly Borshosh



9 minutes read

The world's largest technology conference, Web Summit 2021, was held in Lisbon

Web Summit 2021 in Lisbon brought together more than 42,000 visitors from 128 countries during 4 days.

At the conference, everyone found something interesting at presentations of the leaders from Apple, Facebook, Microsoft and Reddit, political activists, experts in artificial intelligence technologies, and many others.

Innovative perspectives from Portugal at the opening of Web Summit 2021

The first day was marked by the opening night of the summit at the Altis Arena. One of the first speakers was Carlos Moedas, newly elected mayor of Lisbon. Mr. Moedas named himself the Mayor of Innovation and announced opening the accelerator for unicorns in Lisbon.

"We will teach the details and the process of innovation so that young people can change the world," said the mayor of Lisbon.

Elaborating the idea that details are the key to success, Carlos Moedas said that concrete plans are needed to create robust and convenient cities. And, as an example, make public transportation free so people don't have to use cars.

The next speaker was Pedro Siza Vieira, Minister of Economy and Digitization of Portugal. In front of the Altis Arena audience, the minister spoke under the slogan "Portugal is a place to live and invest". In recognition of his words Mr. Vieira announced the news that Portugal has recorded a 160% increase in investment in technology compared to last year and so far, they have been raised about 1 billion euros.

Investing in Portugal is profitable in terms of immigration under the Golden Visa program, investing in real estate, venture capital funds or businesses operating in the state.

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In his speech the politician has raised the subject of global pandemic and said that it is unbelievable how world have banded together against Covid-19 and developed new vaccine in such a short time. Pedro Vieira highlighted, that Portugal has become the third country in the world, in terms of health and personal safety, and its 100% vaccination rate was a proof of that.

The minister added, that this year Portugal has made a great contribution to combating climate change. They started by closing coal-fired power stations. Since January 2021 two-thirds of the country's electricity is produced by using renewable energy resources. He called this progress and said that they do not want to stand on the sidelines in the fight against climate change.

End of Web Summit Opening Night

After the politician’s speech, Nicholas Julia - founder of fantasy soccer startup NFT Sorare, which has raised an incredible $680 million in September - was invited to the WebSummit stage. Sorare is a fantasy soccer game that was found in 2018, where players can buy, sell, trade and manage a virtual team using digital player cards. The game uses Ethereum-based blockchain technology.

NFT is a non-interchangeable unique type of the crypto tokens. It can be called a digital object that you actually own. These are items that can give power back to people and own digital things. According to Nicolas Julien, NFTs will become the underlying technology for everything of value on the Internet.

The Web Summit opening night concluded with Frances Haugen, who is known as whistleblower of Facebook. According to Ms. Haugen, she has witnessed how Facebook incited hatred and disinformation on the vast expanse of the Internet. The speaker also stated that the only way to change the company was to send Mark Zuckerberg out of office, since there are many conscious and intelligent people left at Facebook, who can help the social network move in the right direction. At the end of the speech, event organizers entrusted Ms. Haugen with the essential mission of hitting the symbolic button to open the Web Summit.

The Web Summit 2021 conference was held in Lisbon

The projects, which attracted significant attention among the summit's attendees

Over the next three days at Web Summit 2021, one could see 1,519 unique technology startups from around the world. Thus, the summit became not only a space for renowned speakers and representatives of IT giants, but also a place to demonstrate developments and attract investors.

Startups that qualify for the conference are categorized according to company size and income. There are three groups:

  • Alfa – is a company that is in the pre-investment stage or has less than $1 million in funding.
  • Beta – if the company that has a successful start-up and often participants at the Web Summit.
  • Growth – a company that has seen significant growth and global expansion, also has more than $3 million in funding.

Particular attention has been drawn to environmentally oriented startups, which have gained momentum this year. What is not a surprise, since one of the main slogans of Web Summit 2021 is “sustainability and renewable energy resources”. According to one company's presentation, by tracking carbon emissions produced during global passenger and cargo flights, and converting the resulting CO2 into rock, it is possible to reduce approximately one gigaton of CO2 from the Earth's atmosphere by 2030 in the future.

Markus Villing, the founder of Bolt, shared his experience in fundraising in a startup that just had been launched. Despite the fact that at the time of launching, Markus already had a big competitor as an Uber, they continued to work on their product, believing in the loyalty of customers and drivers. In the first year, they managed to raise about 1 million euros from investors, while their competitors got 10 times more. Only 3 years ago, they reached that scale of development when investors could no longer ignore their growth. By now combining the company's identity and financial resources, they are among the top 5 international taxi apps.

The Facebook topic also has been followed by the speech of Chris Cox, CPO at Meta, previously Facebook. He welcomed the summit attendees with the words, “Welcome to the Metaverse”. Chris introduced the metaverse platform as an immersive audio-visual version of the Internet, to the Web Summit audience. The Meta representative talked about how, as a result of years of talking about improving our interaction with other people, the idea of a metaverse emerged. He also mentioned that the work on the platform is still in progress and said that it won’t replace replace real life.

Web Summit 2021 was headlined by Inrupt co-founders Sir Tim Berners-Lee and John Bruce.Thanks to Tim Berners-Lee, all of us are using the World Wide Web today, who contributed to its inventing in 1989.

The co-founders of Inrupt discussed the rise of big tech companies and their controversial approach collecting the huge amount of user data. They believe that the winner is the one who creates the data, and the losers are everyone else. Tim went on to say that Inrupt's new technology is already mobilizing governments and businesses to set the stage for the next era of social and economic prosperity on the Internet.

Web Summit 2021 was attended by representatives and co-founders of the first international migration marketplace iWorld. This is a unique project that brings together companies, those who provide quality service in the field of migration and related industries. Now migrating became simple: with you can quickly and easily order the right service anywhere in the world.

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The creators of iWorld attended the Web Summit 2021 conference in Lisbon
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