Recite entered its third contest this year, this time in Dublin, Ireland. At the Dublin Web Summit. This is one of Europe’s largest web conferences, held on the 17th – 18th October, where startups from all across the EU come together to network, compete and compare. We also were entered into the Electric Ireland Spark of Genius Competition.
The summit has not been without controversy. Patrick Collison, CEO of Stripe, the online payments system got up on stage to make a point that countries like Ireland still don’t have the right kind of environment to build successful startups. Stripe is worth $500 million, and has employees 30. “I don’t think we could have done it [in Ireland],” Collison said. He cited education and the investment culture which would of held back the growth of his company. This goes against the message of the Irish government, which like the British is hoping to encourage innovation, but maybe those in the investment and entrepreneurial community will listen and take note.
The competition narrows it down from 1000 startups, to the leading 100, based on criteria to which an ‘innovative product or service idea’ is crucial. The panel includes Mike Butcher and Alexia Tsotsis (TechCrunch senior Editors), Robin Wauters (The Next Web) and leading VC’s from Silicon Valley, including Google Ventures, Index Ventures & Andreessen Horowitz. The panel are industry leading experts, who see hundreds of ideas across their respective desks every week. It is rare to have so many well respected figures and firms represented in one conference like this. Their combined knowledge, judgement and insight is formidable.
We were up against some very tough competition, with over 4 times as many competing against us as we did in the 2012 EU Tech All Stars Awards (where we placed third). Out of 1000 we made it into the Semi Final, which consisted of 16 teams. Getting this far is a real accomplishment. Congratulations to this years winner Smart Things and finalists Tic Tail, Wild Chords and Vibease. This has proven a fantastic experience to showcase our innovative text to speech solution, and we hope to be back again next year.