Select Page

Matthew Morgan, Co-founder, MakeMC

In early November our start-up bownd™ was lucky enough to be selected as a Beta Exhibitor at this year’s WebSummit in Dublin, Ireland. We’ve finally had a minute to reflect on what we achieved from it. And this is a good sign, as we went to the event in the hope of building interest in our idea… which the event certainly did.

We believe we gained good interest because, while we are a tech platform, our output is a physical product. Everyone we spoke to and particularly investors found our immediate and margin based revenue stream much easier to understand and so to evaluate. That is not to say other models aren’t popular, they are, just we seem to have gained traction with a more traditional model.

Across our various networks the founders of bownd™ have each been asked multiple times what the themes/trends at the event were and what we would do if we were to attend another. We thought we’d share our top three for each here.

3 themes from this year’s WebSummit:

  • Across the near two thousand start-ups attending, there were too many claiming to be the “Uber for X” or the “Airbnb for Y”. So much so one of the certified investors we pitched to started by saying he wouldn’t accept any pitch with such an opening line… fortunately we make no such claim in ours.
  • FinTech seemed to be where the investor interest was… if not the media interest. There were lots of really unique start-ups we found while wondering the isles, such as SelfiePay – literally a payment platform where a selfie is your ID verification – check out
  • HR tech seemed to also be well represented. Particularly start-ups providing technology to automate much of the processes medium to large enterprises require. We were impressed by the offering from ThisWayGlobal who use online-dating behavioral models to help companies better find the right employees – check out Of course, we’re not quite the scale that requires such a service… yet!

3 learnings for the next event like this we do:

  • Talk to everyone – number one, talk to everyone you possibly can. You never know, who they are and how they might be connected to help you move your business forward. Our most promising investor lead came from a guy who looked like he was from some 70’s circus act.
  • Press interviews in advance – we didn’t do this and should have. While we got some good coverage from the assembled press, we all feel that targeting 10-15 jurnos in advance would have been time well invested.
  • Printed materials – we took 2k printed flyers each with a brief run-down of our offering and our contact details. This was critical as reminder to the people we spoke with, most of whom are simply overwhelmed by the size of the event and the number of start-ups. This was the best couple of hundred quid we spent for the event.

Finally, our Hype-reel got a good workout and continues to be a great way to tell our