Now that the team is home safe and sound, basking in the Barcelona sun, we've had some time to reflect on our experience. A few buzz-words come to mind: epic, disrupt, hashtag... but more than just getting a chance to brush-up on industry slang, we left Dublin with new friends, interesting opportunities and some takeaways - five to be exact:
1. Even Jocks Love Tech
At the opening pub crawl on Tuesday night, we were treated to a fun surprise: our native pub crawl guide was none other than Jaime Heaslip, captain of the Irish national rugby union team and currently in season playing Number 8 for Leinster.
Contrary to the popular perception that jocks and geeks don’t get along, Jaime shared a great interest in technology and gave us an exclusive tour of his home turf, the Aviva Stadium. We saw the press boxes, the locker room, the warm-up area, and of course, got to go on the field - which I learned is 95 per cent natural grass, 5 per cent fluffy turf.
Jaime loved the idea of home exchange and suggested fans try an exchange when following their favorite rugby or football team on the road.
2. No, STARTglobal is not a new seed fund
Wanna feel old at a start-up event? Wear a tie. Of course, the Knok team stuck to start-up casual (and our awesome Knok t-shirts), but we noticed the guys and girls in business attire getting extra attention in the Alpha village. At our stand, we may have been stalking the press a little bit. Thanks to everyone who stopped and chatted with us!
3. The Irish Prime Minister Has Some Serious Chutzpah
The Web Summit wrapped up on Thursday evening with a surprise fireside chat on the main stage with Mark Little, Shirvin Pishewar, Elon Musk, and Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny. Elon and Enda arrived in style in a Tesla, of course.
Mr. Kenny reminded Elon Musk and the 10,000 other people in the room that Henry Ford brought his production lines to Cork, Ireland and Model T’s were rolling off Irish assembly lines in the early 1900’s.
On the spot, Enda took the opportunity to ask the Telsa and SpaceX founder to bring electric car manufacturing jobs to Ireland. So great. So ballsy.
4. Behind The Velvet Rope…
Ah exclusive access to VIP-only events makes you think of models, bottles, and... chicken wings? The Spotify-hosted party was a hit, reminding us all that no idea, no matter how great, could get done without a little music and fun to fueld the creative fires. I even got to wear Google Glass! Not to mention the band was exceptional. Definitely check out Hudson Taylor’s music. We loved it.
5. Standing And Talking For 12 Straight Hours Is Exhausting…
...but Irish whiskey and a comfy bed helps. See you in 2014, Web Summit!