Global tech leaders gather for three days of surf, fun and networking after local bid secures event
SLIGO, the home of Irish surfing, is to host the influential Surf Summit, which takes place after this year’s Web Summit in Dublin’s RDS. Today’s announcement confirmed that the global event will take place in Sligo between November 6-8, 2015.
Surf Summit will take place straight after the Web Summit with hundreds of tech investors, startups, entrepreneurs and industry enthusiasts travelling to Sligo to do business in a dynamic, fun and unique environment.
Senior executives from some of the world’s biggest tech brands along with future industry leaders will spend three days engaging in a range of outdoor activities which will include surfing, kayaking, kite surfing and more – while also discussing new business ventures and making deals.
More than 200 people attended the event in Westport, Co Mayo last year but the Web Summit hopes to “dramatically increase” that figure this year. Sligo’s surf culture is long established and Strandhill has been a mecca for surfing since the 1970s. Every year, the huge swells at Mullaghmore attract pro-surfers and international headlines.
“We are delighted that Sligo is going to host Surf Summit. In big business, deals are done over golf courses; but in the startup, technology industry and the Valley, it’s all done over adventure sports,” said Fintan Gillespie, Co-Host of the Surf Summit and Google Industry Lead.
“We wanted to give Web Summit attendees the chance to deepen the network they have been working on all week, experience the Wild Atlantic Way and enjoy what the west coast has to offer,” he added.
A major collaborative effort was involved in securing the event and included Sligo’s thriving adventure and surf community. The bid was led by marketing consultants Allan Mulrooney and Denise Rushe and strongly supported by Sligo Chamber of Commerce.
“Sligo is the natural home and the perfect fit for the Surf Summit with a huge surfing culture, the right infrastructure and all the amenities right on the doorstep to host a world-class event,” said Allan Mulrooney.
Sligo Chamber of Commerce estimates that the event could be worth millions to the local economy.
“To have Sligo profiled internationally as a place to live, work and do business in such a setting that is attractive to the tech community worldwide offers enormous potential,” said Chamber CEO Paul Keyes.
In four years, the Web Summit has grown from 400 to 22,000 attendees coming from over 100 countries. The event has previously been described by Forbes as ‘the best technology conference on the planet’. Some of the speakers at this year’s event include Ed Catmull, President of Pixar Animation Studios; John Collison, President and Co-founder of Stripe and Mary Aiken, Producer of CSI: Cyber.
The Web Summit Team will make further announcements regarding the Surf Summit at www.websummit.net