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Dublin: 6 °C Saturday 15 December, 2018
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Paddy Cosgrave has told Dublin's last Web Summit how excited he is about Lisbon

Web Summit CEO Paddy Cosgrave rolled out the red carpet for the event’s new hosts today.

Web Summit CEO Paddy Cosgrave
Web Summit CEO Paddy Cosgrave
Image: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

PADDY COSGRAVE IS excited.

As the last day of the Web Summit’s five-year Dublin run got under way, the event’s head led a 15-strong delegation from Portugal onto the stage to some slightly lukewarm applause.

“We are moving to the absolutely wonderful city of Lisbon in 2016 … we are incredibly excited about that,” Cosgrave told the audience.

It was revealed in late September that the Portuguese capital will pay €1.3 million per year to the Web Summit organisers to host the event for at least the next three years with promises the conference could double its capacity in the new city.

Since then, relations between organisers and the one-time photo-op ready government have notably soured.

There was the Web Summit’s release of emails showing its requests for state help, Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s knock-back of a last-minute invite and Cosgrave’s most-recent claims that the €700,000-odd the Web Summit had received from state agencies over four years was “nothing more than hush money”.

Web Summit 2014 - Dublin Taoiseach Enda Kenny rings the Nasdaq bell at last year's Web Summit Source: PA WIRE

Europe’s San Francisco

Today, the red carpet was instead rolled out for conference’s upcoming Portuguese hosts, who congratulated Cosgrave for growing the event from 400 to 40,000-plus attendees in its short lifespan.

The country’s deputy prime minister, Paulo Portas, highlighted a recent Bloomberg report that dubbed Lisbon ‘Europe’s San Francisco’.

Portugal1 The Portuguese contingent at the Web Summit

“In Lisbon you have good facilities, you have good prices, you have a city committed to innovation and (a) startup environment,” he said.

You will have, in Portugal, sun, light, heritage, good food, sea, surf … vibrant nightlife, hospitality, most people fluent in English … and you will also have sun in November and you can take a break and sunbathe in November 15 minutes from Lisbon.”

Lisbon, Portugal Lisbon, Portugal Source: Adren

While this year’s event has again been plagued with WiFi hiccups, as well as fresh complaints about the overpriced food, Cosgrave was having none of it on the grey Dublin morning.

“I am so fantastically excited,” he said, before exiting the stage again.

Paddy1

READ: The Dublin Port Tunnel was likened to this futuristic transport idea >

READ: What the 25-year-old founder of a $5 billion company told the Web Summit >

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About the author:

Peter Bodkin  / Editor, Fora

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