#WebSummit 2023: A Global Tech Extravaganza Unveils Record-Breaking Numbers and Inspiring Initiatives

Web Summit, the world’s largest tech conference, has made a resounding entry into its 2023 edition in Lisbon, unveiling a spectacular gathering of 70,236 attendees from 153 countries. With a focus on innovation, diversity, and impact, this year’s event is set to break records and pave the way for meaningful discussions on the future of technology, society, and innovation.

Unprecedented Attendance and Expanded Horizons

Web Summit has drawn a diverse and global audience of 70,236 individuals to the Altice Arena in Lisbon. This eclectic mix comprises CEOs, startups, investors, media professionals, policymakers, and creatives. The attendees will immerse themselves in a plethora of activities, including 1,180 investor-to-startup meetings, 70 masterclasses, 17 PITCH competition rounds, 25 evening events, and Night Summit parties across Lisbon’s vibrant neighborhoods.

Katherine Maher, the CEO of Web Summit, set the stage for the event during the Opening Night, addressing a crowd of 11,000 people. Maher expressed the organization’s commitment to being a hub for remarkable endeavors, launching companies, finding investors, and advancing visions worth debating. Under her leadership, Web Summit aims to continue fostering connections and advancing critical conversations.

Record-Breaking Startup Showcase

A remarkable 2,608 startups from 93 countries are taking center stage at Web Summit 2023, showcasing innovations and businesses that hold the promise of tomorrow. These startups, carefully selected from a pool of applicants, represent over 30 diverse industries. Notably, more than 250 startups are part of the Impact program, focusing on positive contributions to communities, industries, and ecosystems.

In addition, over 800 startups will engage in nearly 100 Mentor Hours sessions, providing an invaluable opportunity for learning and collaboration. Industries prominently represented among startups include Software as a Service (SaaS), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning, healthtech and wellness, fintech and financial services, as well as sustainability and cleantech.

Empowering Women in Tech

Web Summit is making strides in gender equality with 43 percent of all attendees being women, a record-breaking percentage. Furthermore, more than 38 percent of speakers are women, and almost one-third of all exhibiting startup founders are women. The recently released State of Gender Equity in Tech report sheds light on persistent challenges, indicating that efforts to combat gender inequality in the workplace are crucial.

Global Collaborations and Investment Focus

Web Summit 2023 is not just a gathering; it’s a platform for global partnerships and business opportunities. A total of 321 global partners, 32 trade delegations, and 37 community partners are actively participating in the event. This includes partnerships with organizations like the Amos Bursary, Djassi Africa, and Lean In Portugal, emphasizing a commitment to supporting and prioritizing underrepresented individuals in the tech industry.

A substantial 906 investors from 52 countries will contribute to the event’s dynamic atmosphere, engaging in 1,180 investor-to-startup meetings. The investor sentiment survey, conducted in collaboration with PitchBook, offers insights into investment trends, revealing a growing awareness of environmental impact and the disruptive potential of artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Insightful Discourse and Global Media Presence

Over 800 speakers from 50 countries will share their insights across 27 tracks, making Web Summit a hub for diverse perspectives on the future of various industries. Notable speakers include Signal president Meredith Whitaker, former professional boxer and Kyiv Digital ambassador Wladamir Klitschko, Nym Technologies security consultant Chelsea Manning, Alibaba.com president Kuo Zhang, and Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.

Web Summit has also partnered with 20 media organizations, including RTP, O Globo, CNBC, Washington Post, Politico, and Al Jazeera, amplifying the event’s global reach and impact.

A Decade of Connection and Innovation

Since its inception in 2009 as a 150-person conference in Dublin, Web Summit has grown exponentially, connecting half a million people across the globe through events like Web Summit in Europe, Web Summit Rio in South America, Collision in North America, Web Summit Qatar in the Middle East, and RISE in Asia.

Web Summit’s mission remains steadfast: to create software that facilitates meaningful connections between CEOs, founders, investors, media, politicians, and cultural figureheads. As the summit unfolds, it promises to be a catalyst for change, sparking conversations that will shape the future of technology and society.