Friday, 17 February 2017

DTS Concludes

Dublin Tech Summit came to a close yesterday (16 February). The first-year event has, over the past two days, played host to thousands of members of the tech community, with attendees enjoying the Expo Hall as well as informative and engaging sessions throughout. DTS CEO, Noelle O’Reilly, said “The feedback has been great - not just from speakers and investors, but also from attendees. People have been coming up to us to say they're really enjoying it."

One of the highlights of Day 2 amongst attendees was RoboThespian (or George as he likes to be called) who shared a panel on The Rise of Robots with Ben Jones (Co-Founder, QuantumX & Bull in a China Shop), Gina London (Emmy Winning Veteran CNN Anchor) and Ed Hoppit (EMEA Lead - Cloud Native Apps and DevOps, VMware). Much of the discussion focused on the ethics of robotics. "The ethics of robotics are incredibly complicated. The reality is that there is a much more sinister side to robotics and what is it right for robots to do and not to do is very important," Ed Hoppitt said. George, when asked about his future and the future of robots like him, doesn’t hold out much hope for many more siblings, but is optimistic for the future of robotics as a whole. “There won’t be many like me in the future. You’ll see those similar to me on display in public places like airports and shopping malls, but your homes are robots of the future,” referring to common current devices.

Another standout talk featured Cindy Gallop, CEO of MakeLoveNotPorn who spoke on how sex-tech is the next trillion dollar industry and Ireland could be the perfect location for this. The female trailblazer asserted from the main stage, Prism "There is a huge amount of money to be made by taking women seriously." Speaking on how women are underestimated in all aspects of business, Gallop was adamant, "women challenge the status quo because we are never it. We need to break this trend."

In a keynote on A Customer-Centric Approach, Maria Martinez, President, Global Customer Success at Salesforce, spoke on how "Customer success is EVERYONE's job. Always have a beginners mind. Look for what people know but also what they are willing to learn." In a Q&A with Felicity McCarthy, Founder, Sparkdigital, she spoke on women in tech, “Cultures have low expectations of women. Search inside of you and if you think you can do something then go for it.”

The FinTech stage featured talks by Louise Phelan, PayPal, who frankly stated in her talk on The Future of Money “Cash is not king anymore. Convenience is king." The stage also included a panel discussion on payments and new approaches with Colm Lyon, Founder & CEO, Pay With Fire, Dora Ziambra, Head of Business Development, Azimo, Jack Eadie, VC Investor, Eight Roads and Elizabeth Lumley, London MD, Startupbootcamp. Colm Lyons made predictions on mobile becoming the norm, "the future is digital accounts going further, especially for SMEs."

Bruce Daisley, EMEA Vice President, Twitter provided a masterclass in his keynote on how to best use the platform. He affirmed that Twitter is increasingly the app we use to get our news and to get attention, “Simple execution is always more effective.” Daisley spoke on how brands can best use Twitter to reach their audience and how Twitter users are the most participative consumers, focusing on external topics “Twitter is certainly less look at me, more look at that.”

The final session of DTS was the Live Pitch final of the StartUp100 Programme. The StartUp100 Programme brought 100 early-stage companies from all over the world to DTS for two days of workshops, pitching and networking. The finalists, Irish companies Fillit, Flexiwage and Australian venture Virtual Legal all pitched to a panel of judges which included Bill Archer, Managing Director of eir Business, James Allen, Head of Google’s Adopt a StartUp Initiative, Noelle O’Reilly, CEO of DTS, Malcolm Bell, Expert in Residence at Seedcamp and CEO of The Digital Hub, Fiach Mac Conghail. The Waterford-based startup Flexiwage was announced as the winner. The company offers employees who struggle to manage their income over a longer pay period a solution; new financial wellness benefits that enable employers to to switch from a weekly payroll cycle to a monthly one.

The event organisers have stated that this will be the first of what is to become an annual event. Commenting on the success of the first-year event, Noelle O’Reilly said, “Seeing people connecting and benefiting from DTS is incredible for our team and so motivating when we think of what’s next. We’re taking all feedback on board and looking to the future. Our number one goal is to grow better, not bigger.”