Wednesday, 30 April 2014

The Summit Announces First Speakers for 2014

Paypal co-founder Max Levchin and Occulus VR CEO Brendan Iribe confirmed.

First six speakers announced for Europe’s largest festival of ideas and events, The Summit, which takes place on the 4t-6th November in the RDS, Dublin.

The Summit in Dublin (formerly known as the Web Summit) has today announced its first speakers, which includes the CEO of Facebook’s most recent high-profile acquisition Brendan Iribe of Oculus VR.

Oculus VR created headlines last month when the 18-month-old startup became the latest company to be acquired by Facebook. The Palo Alto based social network acquired the virtual reality hardware startup for a reputed $2billion. The company’s CEO Brendan Iribe has been heading up the firm’s vision for virtual reality through the their product, the Oculus Rift headset.  Oculus VR and Iribe are leading the virtual reality movement, which promises to change not only the future of gaming, but technology as a whole.

Max Levchin the co-founder of Paypal, a board member of Yahoo Evernote as well as Chairman of Yelp will also be at The Summit. Levchin is also the founder of Affirm, the next generation financial services company offering consumer credit at the point of sale, and Chairman of "Glow", a women’s reproductive health app.

As well as Iribe and Levchin, homegrown talent and Limerick-native Patrick Collision will return to The Summit. Collision is founder and CEO of the San Francisco-based online payments company Stripe and a perennial feature on Forbes’ 30 under 30 list. Stripe just raised $80million earlier this year bringing total funding to $130m and a reported valuation of $1.75bn. Stripe enjoys backing from Silicon Valley tech royalty such as Peter Thiel as well as Max Levchin who is speaking this year and Elon Musk, who spoke at The Summit last year.

Rounding off the first six headliners is Chief Technology & Strategy Officer of Cisco, Padmasree Warrior who returns to The Summit, as does influential technology evangelist, Robert Scoble. They will be joined by social entrepreneur Josh Tetrick, CEO of Hampton Creek, the firm that focuses on finding new ways of utilizing plants to replace eggs. Hampton Creek is backed by Asian billionaire Li Ka-Shing as well as Yahoo founder Jerry Yang and Peter Thiel, one of the first investors in Facebook.

The Summit founder Paddy Cosgrave said on the announcement, “We’re are starting where we left off last year with Elon Musk, Shervin Pishevar and the Taoiseach Enda Kenny on the main stage. We pride ourselves on having speakers that are at the forefront of innovating and changing the way we do things on a global level. Our first six speakers are certainly in that category and we’re looking forward to announcing some more big name speakers shortly.”

Cosgrave went on to expand on his vision for the event, “Technology is ubiquitous in everyday life and The Summit will now reflect that. Music will become a lot more engrained in the event this year and we will be putting a huge focus on the Internet of Things. Other aspects which will be focused on such as Sport will show why we’re now simply The Summit”

The Summit is estimated to have contributed €40million to the local economy last year with over 75% of attendees travelling to Ireland from overseas. This year The Summit is expecting over 20,000 people to attend the event, which is already Europe’s largest technology festival. Many companies who attended the Summit in years gone by have set up bases in Ireland including Twitter, Airbnb, Dropbox, Qualtrics and Zynga.

The Summit has also provided a platform to local startups like Trustev, Logentries and Storyful who have gone on to achieve great success.

Earlier this week is confirmed that first three recommended hotels for the event have already sold out between the 4th and 6th of November.

Tickets and Further information on this year’s event can be found here.