Paycento Web Summit 2012 - Day one: Is gra liom Eire


When Geert from Paycento asked me to join him and Pieter to Ireland for THE start-up convention in Ireland named Web Summit, I immediately agreed to join them for the following reasons:

  • Paycento is still very active, even though we do not blog about it currently.
  • Web Summit is probably the biggest conference for start-ups in Europe, so there is an interesting buzz here, with some really interesting speakers.
  • I love interacting with people I do not know yet, especially when we do share similar interests.
  • You get to see a whole new world out there, with opportunities you could not even imagine thinking about.
  • And, last but not least: "Is grá liom Éire" - that is Gaelic for "I love Ireland" - even though it has been over 10 years ago I spent a few days here, I really like the way Irish people interact and socialize.

Here is an overview of our first day!!!

3...2...1... Lift-off!! We have lift-off!!

So after a false start (our train arrived a bit on the late side in Brussels, but luckily our plane was delayed as well), we managed to safely land in Dublin, and actually got to our car, which has been the decor for a lot of laughing and Mr. Bean-like "adventures" on the Irish roads. Driving left is a bit of a challenge, and I am actually glad I did not bring my driver's license - how convenient, isn't it, Geert ;) -, because I would probably wind up driving the roundabout in the wrong direction.

So after getting acquinted with our jolly transportation device we managed to arrive to the Web Summit in one piece, where we met Pieter (who had been in Dublin since yesterday evening).

He gave us a short briefing about things to expect and things we should do (i.e. some mere guidance, nothing in particular), we put on our Paycento T-shirts and were ready for take off.

Who did you meet ?

We met a lot of interesting people, and also found out there were 13 Belgian companies owning a booth at the convention.

As there are a lot of exibitors, we went by them one by one and talked to some of them.

We also saw a lot of new and interesting approaches to known and unknown things, some of the things were quite amazing. One thing I loved in particular was the booth next to ours, where a company named Ovelin showed us a really great app"guitarbots"  that listens to you playing the guitar and guides you using a game, so you can learn to play the guitar properly. While testing the app it immediately spotted my wrong grab on the G chord (muting the high E), so it is really kind of an amazing thing, it is like a guitar-teacher-in-a-box.

There were lots and lots more people we met, so this really is a great venue to attend.

There would be way to many here to mention, but I am confident we will hear from some of them in the future...

We also saw quite a few people there we plan on visiting tomorrow....

We also had a really interesting talk with the founder of MySQL who has now started MariaDB as a drop-in replacement for MySQL, since he does not like the way MySQL is currently evolving; thank you for the ideas, inspiration and also the glass of Black wodka!

The Web Summit conference

The venue is really well organized, for example the catering really quite extensive (hot/cold platters,sandwiches,soup,...) and coffee/other drinks are available throughout the building. Everything is included in the ticket price, so you know what you will spend once you have acquired a ticket.

In the evening there are special events, where the whole pub is full of start-up people willing to network, and once again we had quite a few interesting conversations.

We even had the possibilitiy to win a Gibson Les Paul, all we had to do was pose with it. I would love to win it, but I am afraid there were some really original poses in there, so I assume I will somehow not win this contest. -in my defense: I am not a poser ;) -.

We left rather early, since we had some driving to do to our AirBnB host.


While I had no idea what to expect, I am glad Paycento allowed me to join Web Summit; all in all it is a great experience, and I have both met a lot of interesting people, and we have heard a lot of interesting ideas/opinions.

Feel free to come over and visit us over at booth 197, especially if you are a content provider, press or an investor.

Signing off/see you tomorrow!