Web Summit strikes tech deal with UN, reveals 50 new jobs

Paddy Cosgrave’s Web Summit’s proprietary technology is to be used by the United Nations to power global events.

Dublin-headquartered Web Summit has struck a key deal with the UN for its conferencing software and has revealed plans to hire 50 people ahead of its major event in Lisbon later this year.

Web Summit’s software has been built and tested in-house for almost a decade by the company’s engineering team.

“Our aim is to build software that makes our events as valuable as possible for attendees”

The software was originally designed to complement networking at physical events but has been further developed to enhance meaningful connections for attendees online, especially as travel has been restricted for businesses because of Covid-19.

Web Summit events attracted 104,000 virtual attendees worldwide last year.

Build it and they will come

“Our aim is to build software that makes our events as valuable as possible for attendees,” Web Summit co-founder Paddy Cosgrave wrote in his company’s blog.

“Until now, we’ve kept our event software to ourselves. Today, that changes with the United Nations. And, in the coming years, we hope to help power many of the world’s leading events, as well as the events of many of the world’s leading organisations.”

The Web Summit’s technology will be debuted at the United Nations’ Development Programme Innovation Days 23 to 25 March.

The 50 new jobs will be in areas ranging from engineering to business intelligence and data to media, content, advertising and community support. Many of the roles will be remote.

By John Kennedy (john.kennedy3@boi.com)

Published: 10 March 2021