Sunday, June 26, 2022

All talked out after Dublin Tech Summit

Last week saw some of the 4i-mag team attending the Dublin Tech Summit in Ireland. The first time the event was held in person since the pandemic, and it proved very busy.

The few days were kicked off with a lovely pre-summit social event held by Beachhut PR – it was a super opportunity to meet some of their clients in person and gave us all a chance to see a vehicle decked out with Provizio’s accident prevention technology sensors.

I met some of their clients for the first time having only interviewed them over the phone or on video calls over the past two years. I also got to meet Neil Leyden who I’d delivered a full 18-month project with remotely, so that was a highlight for the evening.

You may remember Beachhut’s senior account manager Stacey Connolly gave us some great PR tips lately; you can read that feature here.

Day one of the summit was kicked off with me moderating one of the early morning sessions. I won’t lie, I wasn’t feeling very confident doing this live on stage, it’s much more reassuring pre recording these sessions for online conferences, at least you know they can edit out the bad bits!

The fireside chat was with Ken Cahill as he talked me through how he grew his mental health platform Silvercloud from a start-up to a $260m acquisition.

Our editor in chief Andriani was moderating two sessions on the first day, the first I managed to record part of before my phone storage ran out, something I need to brush up on if I want to get into mobile journalism! You can watch that panel discussion on Product Personalization here.

Andriani’s second panel was on How to solve SaaS complexity.

The evening took me to the ClearStory International’s get together and then home to finish up a report on employee experience for another publication.

Day two started for me with a fireside chat with Michelle You, CEO and co-founder of Supercritical – Scaling a start-up the sustainable way. I also met Michelle again when she took part in a panel discussion I moderated on Women Leaders in Investment with Rashmi Gopinath, general partner at B Capital Group.

My final moderating duty was a great panel discussion, with Chirs Kelly CEO and co-founder of Tracworx and Hugh Weldon CTO and co-founder of Evocco, where we explored the options start-ups have to build their business sustainably and discussed what was more important, building sustainably or building fast.

The live moderating gig turned out to be not as worrying as I had first thought, sometimes you need to just throw yourself into something to learn from it and after four sessions it has given me lots of points to work on going forward.

Between sessions I wandered around the floor meeting start-ups and scale-ups. I met Gary Evans from Feedalpha, a really interesting start-up whose social media management platform helps find content for your business social media feed. I’d only interviewed Gary over the phone for another publication two days previously so was lovely to put a face to the voice.

I also grabbed a chat with Shane Monahan, founder of social audio app Limor who I featured in 4i-mag previously. This time it was my turn to be interviewed, we recorded a short interview for the Limor app and it was the first time I was on that side of an interview, I won’t be rushing back to it, I think I much prefer asking the questions!

I also squeezed in a Q&A with Jonathan Heiliger, general partner at Vertex Ventures, which will be published on 4i-Mag in the coming days. And a lovely interview with one of my favourite women in tech, Rent the Runway’s Dorothy Creaven, for a women’s business club feature.

Before the Dublin Tech Summit wrapped up the audience was treated with an appearance from Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskyy where he addressed the global tech community. Appearing as a 3D hologram live at Founders Forum London his address was streamed to seven tech events across Europe, including the Prism stage at Dublin Tech Summit.

I rounded off my great summit experience listening to some future talk, the final session was Rafael Pagés CEO & co-founder of Volograms and his keynote Real Humans in the Metaverse.

All in all, a great way to spend a few days, making contacts, having great chats and, in places, letting the hair down. How blessed are we to be involved in such a great industry?

Thanks to all the organisers and staff at #DTS22. For now, I’m all talked out.

Fiona Alston
Fiona Alstonhttp://fionaalston.com
Fiona Alston is a freelance journalist based in Ireland covering tech, innovation, start-ups and interesting SMEs. Alston is also passionate about athletics, health and horses having competed in triathlons, equestrian events and horse racing, and her lived experience comes through when covering sports personalities or fitness features. Growing up on the family farm in Scotland, Alston graduated from the University of Sunderland with a BA (Hon.) in Broadcast Journalism, and is frequently published in The Irish Times, The Business Post, RTÉ and 4i Mag. 

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