Fri, 29 July 2022
Interviews from the expo area of the Dublin Tech Summit 2022 held in June 2022 at the RDS expo area in Dublin.
Although the event had continued in a virtual format, the opportunity to network face-to-face was one that the 8,000 delegates relished. There was a palpable buzz in the exhibitor halls and hospitality spaces as the attendees digested some of the content of the keynote speakers, and looked to foster linkages with potential partners and investors. The weather obliged also which helped showcase the enduring appeal of Dublin as a location for technology events. There was also a strong social dimension to the event with the city centre meet-ups giving delegates the opportunity to network long into the night.
There were several interesting Irish start-ups that caught our attention. Averil Power, co-founder of Gist, described the company’s technology which helps companies repurpose long-format video. It helps revisit corporate content to increase engagement more fully. At the core of the technology is an AI algorithm which identifies the key points and creates a bespoke video. The company was among those who made it to the last five on the start-up main-stage competition. Power’s sense of the DTS was that it did allow a good mix of meeting potential customers and investors. Another Irish start-up was recruitment specialists, Search Talent People. Established in 2019, they focus on tech companies‘ full hiring needs. Business Development manager Skai Morkeliunaite was of the view that AI, Cybersecurity and Automation were the sectors that were showing most promise at present. There was a very strong presence of international exhibitors at the event this year, testimony to its growing reputation on the European tech conference circuit. Among the exhibitors start-ups were to the fore. One such company is TravelPerk, headquartered in Barcelona. Chief Revenue Officer Jean-Christophe Taunay-Bucalo outlined that their technology allows individuals to bypass traditional corporate travel agencies. He was able to confirm that their systems were strongly orientated around corporate compliance; they had done Series D funding and achieved unicorn status – they had been extremely aggressive in acquisitions over Covid and had grown five times. They were also of the view of business travel was changing – people are traveling less than pre-covid but more people are traveling. While the overall travel costs remained the same what was evident was that companies are exchanging office costs for travel costs – bringing them together for team-building purposes rather than the traditional road warrior purposes. He also felt that events such as Dublin Tech Summit are changing considerably with a lot of focus now on networking with more tightly defined teams in attendance than heretofore.
Mary-Rose Lyons, from Irish consulting company BrightSpark Consulting was the MC on the Horizon Stage over both days, and as such was well placed to give a reflection on the conference –she was of the view that Dublin was established in its tech-cred and an emerging eco-system. For her own business she has seen a switch from social media specific consulting to a more rounded strategic input to digital strategy. Among the first-time exhibitors this year was Guy Sear, Commercial Director of PayHawk – the first Bulgarian unicorn. This company helps management efficiency visibility and compliance in employee spend. One of the biggest problems remains visibility of spend and whether it’s in compliance with policy. Their 3% paypack system was one that offered the potential for paying for itself for some clients. He said Ireland was a market they wanted to get into, and as an exhibitor the event facilitated this.
Listen here to interviews with all the above mentioned companies.