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Web Summit 2017 as seen by Sonae

21 November 2017

 With over60,000 people present (hailing from over 170 countries) and approximately 1,200speakers, Web Summit happened in Lisbon for the second time, between the 4thand the 9th November. Some Sonae collaborators were at thetechnology summit and we've challenged three of them – Alexandre Santos, MiguelBagulho and Tânia Calçada – to tell us about the impact they felt after an eventthat happens once a year since 2009, which seeks to connect the technologicalcommunity to all sorts of industries.

Alexandre TeixeiraSantos, Portfolio Development @ Sonae IM
"Web Summitis an overwhelming experience. It's the third time I've attended the event andI feel that it needs more and more prepreparation, moreover because it's beengrowing year after year. I try and avoid as much as possible the sensation ofwasting many opportunities to interact with startups and investors. So, as a team,we've previously selected the startups we should try and know, considering ourinvestment priorities, as well as the investors we really want to meet toexplore co-investment opportunities.

This year,more than in previous editions, we have made an effort to split work properlyand prepare an action plan to make the most of the event. We are now finishingthe report we usually make on the event and moving forward with the numerouscontacts we have established during Web Summit. For us, being one of the biggestand most active private investors in Portugal, it is excellent that thisinitiative is happening in Lisbon. It allows us to more easily tell otherinvestors and startups what we've been doing in Portugal for the world.

I hope WebSummit stays in our country for a few more years.”


Miguel Bagulho, Investment Team @ Sonae IM
"This hasbeen my third Web Summit, after an experience in Dublin and the first editionin Portugal, which happened last year. Besides the main event, Web Summitorganises a day for investors only, called Venture Summit, which constitutes agreat starter for the mad days that follow.

I considerWeb Summit an excellent moment for networking with other investors, namelyinternational investors, who probably wouldn't come to our country otherwise.The startups' part can be a bit confusing, but if you prepare contacts inadvance, you can manage the contact with companies that are more in line withour investment criteria.

In the 2017edition we've already identified several investment leads, some of which wewere already in touch with, namely in retail and telecom technological areas,as well as cybersecurity.”


Tânia Calçada, Future Tech Area manager @Innovation and Future Tech, Sonae
"I've beenat Web Summit for three consecutive years and I'm waiting for the next one. In2015, I went to Dublin to attend the conferences and talk to companies thatchoose this fair to promote their products or find investors. Despite the poororganisation of the summit in Dublin, I managed to get the insight on newinformation technologies and social challenges associated with them. In 2016,with the arrival in Lisbon, convenience and quality of the organisationimproved, while content quality and quantity remained. In 2017, there were nosurprises, the format was kept.

Thecatalogue of themes discussed and implemented by startups has evolved in asubtle way. There are themes which seem to be here to stay, like artificialintelligence or robotics; in spite of being more and more dealt with in a practicalway, they are still far from the application in final products with realutility. Themes like virtual reality, drones and even autonomous vehicles arebeginning to be understood as consumer technology, therefore they come up inconversations and the exhibition applied to real cases. In the new entries, wesaw the blockchain, which hit the headlines over the past few months. I reallyliked it!”

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