WebSummit 2023: Expectations vs Reality + First-Timers Guides
Startup World

WebSummit 2023: Expectations vs Reality + First-Timers Guides

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Teodora Istrati

Teodora Istrati



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Key Takeaways

When it comes to WebSummit just picture this. 

70.236 attendees | 153 countries | 906 investors | 2.608 startups from 93 countries

It’s not easy to wrap your head around these numbers when you cannot see with your eyes what that means in real life.

But believe us when we say: WebSummit is gigantic. 

5 enormous pavilions hosting 15 stages with infinite intentions (and solutions) to get tech understanding to the next level.

Linnify at WebSummit Lisbon 2023

What you should know before going to WebSummit

You need to prepare yourself. In a lot of ways. 

Because of its grandeur, you need to know what is relevant and when (and where) that is happening.

First time an attendee at WebSummit

Get Linnify’s essential guide for first-time attendees at WebSummit

1. List your key industry/industries and Use WebSummit’s App to filter the talks and create your own schedule

This way you will be able to make the most out of your conference days.

Be aware: Your competitors / potential customers / potential collaborators are right there. Make the most out of this by preparing your social skills too.  

For Linnify, as we are interested in Sustainability, the Future of Work, Education, Health, and Wellbeing, WebSummit marked some relevant perspectives in these fields.

2.Check the latest innovations growing at the Startup Areas, Startup ShowCases & Pitches

Know that they are segmented by industry, but that there is also country-based segmentation on the Summit’s map. 

What to expect: Lots of small stands packed with dedicated people who want to showcase their work, find collaborators, find investment opportunities, or leads. 

Patricia Zavacky, Catalin Briciu, and Teodora Istrati reprezenting Linnify at WebSummit Startup Booth
Patricia Zavacky, Catalin Briciu, and Teodora Istrati reprezenting Linnify at WebSummit Startup Booth

3.Conduct your own social research(-ish)

There will be thousands of people, so the WebSummit app truly comes in handy. Via the app, you will be able to find your relevant people attending. Thus, you can connect beforehand, schedule meetings and get yourself an opportunity to e-meet via LinkedIn before you actually meet in person. This way, your networking can reach new heights, and your mutual goals can get closer to reality.

Bonus tip: Bring your most comfortable shoes

Linnify steps confidently at WebSummit

You will walk like crazy. And to make it a pleasing experience, make sure you are comfortable. If you’re not working remotely during the summit days, know that you can also leave your laptop at home. (They also recommend this due to security check efficiency when it comes to smaller bags.) Make sure you’re hydrated and focused on expanding your knowledge, your network, and your experience by tuning in with yourself and previously set goals for the event. 

Note to self: It’s great to set goals, but don’t forget to be human. Really listen and get to know people and things will come your way. It’s hard to give an exact estimation before you’re there in the hustle and bustle of 75k people. 

First time with a Booth at WebSummit

Linnify’s essential guide for first-time Startup/Grow Booth representatives at WebSummit

1. Prepare for a lot of talking and get excited about the idea of initiating the conversation

People are genuinely interested in finding professional matches there, so there will be a lot of ping pong about what your startup does, what they do, and of course, how you can potentially collaborate. But remember the overwhelm people might be facing and don’t take it personally if they don’t come right up to your stand to talk about what you do. Trigger curiosity with empathy and initiate the conversation in a friendly manner.

Note: Charge your phone, scan badge QRs, take pictures of the badges, create notes in their app on your phone, and connect. It’s a special feeling to follow up genuinely after the event. And drink water.

2. Prepare your pitch well, but also your freebies

Alexandru Bogdan, Co-CEO, pitching Linnify's newest product at Startup Showcase at WebSummit Lisbon 2023

The stands at WebSummit for mature companies are huge. You will get a lot of traffic and visibility, that’s true, but compared to the immense stands… You will get a little less popularity. Don’t get me wrong, that’s not something bad. It’s just… Business! So, to make sure your audience doesn’t forget about your innovative startup. Give out something of value.

Note: WebSummit is a paperless event, so you need to get a bit creative. 

Our twist: Create a gated downloadable resource with genuine value to your targeted audience. This way you can validate with real people if your Value Proposition gets through. (Yes, with numbers. Yes, with email addresses.) 

Recommendation to that recommendation: keep it short. People will be overwhelmed, and gating it with too many details will potentially work against the purpose. You got this.

Our freebies are still available for a limited time here. Get them while they're still up.

Expectations vs Reality

Linnify participated this year at WebSummit as part of the RomanianIT delegation, powered by ARIES, the Romanian Association for Electronics and Software, supported by the Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Tourism. 

Linnify's full delegation at WebSummit Lisbon 2023

Stay tuned for more information in the press about why and what we pitched this year in Portugal, also known as the home of +4.000 startups, with +100 startup incubators.

What we expected vs What we got out of WebSummit 2023

We expected plenty of AI talks. We received a lot of AI talks.

What did we like about these AI talks? 

They were pivoted towards our focus industries:

  • Sustainability: The future of sustainable living, accelerating net zero with the help of AI, getting more practical with Smart Cities, and overall navigating through the apparent generative AI chaos. 
  • Future of Work: or better said, The Future of Automation at Work. 
  • Education: EdTech is growing and with it, it expands the boundaries of education. Lots of startups showcased their innovative twist on tailored learning experiences for the new generation so accustomed to short information interactive bits.
  • Health: eHealth, MedTech, and definitely interesting - the future of longevity. 

We expected plenty of really cool tech people. We engaged in great conversations with even cooler tech people than expected.

We wished to talk to more startups about their main issues. We received the answer we expected - investments done right. 

What do we mean by done right? We mean building startups from a foundation of validated and already challenged assumptions before investing it all in development and advertising. 

This is why, preparing the launch of a new Linnify product on this specific matter got even more exciting than ever.

Being there with so many investors made us truly ask all the startups we got to meet:

1. Do you want to find out your startup’s lackings and reasons for not funding it from the investors?

2. Or do you want to know before so you can fill in the gaps and be objective and to the point with your pitching the next time a funding opportunity comes?

The choice is yours

Get your first free validation assessment.

Respond to the question to generate your tailored PDF that you can use for your next investment opportunity.

This will only be available for a limited time.

Know now. 


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WebSummit; Conference; Lisbon; TechWorld


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Teodora Istrati

Teodora Istrati is a talented and profound marketer with a remarkable passion for storytelling. She has established herself as an invaluable asset in Linnify's content creation and editorial support.

Over the past two years alone, she has contributed significantly to more than 40 articles, covering a diverse range of topics including product development, the future of work, idea validation, design, and captivating interviews that explored and showcased the experiences of individuals within organizations. Her approach to content creation is nothing short of soulful, as she strives to connect with the core of an author's ideas and deliver them to the audience in a profound and engaging manner.

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