Forget your Atkins, 5/2, TNT or Paleo. If you really want to shift some weight then book yourself into Lisbon during Web Summit because, if the 7 hills of Lisbon don’t drop the kilos, then the 5 halls of Web Summit surely will.
Day one proper and the real work begins with a frenzy of activity for the thousands of badge-wearing attendees, startups, investors and speakers.
The numbers here are remarkable when you consider this started out as meet up in Dublin just 7 years ago.
59,000 people from 170 nationalities will visit the Altice Arena during 3/4 days of hyperactivity and, if you add the 22,000 working, reporting and volunteering from this mighty event then you have the equivalent of a full house at Old Trafford.
And what to see?
Well here is what generally happens, you set out with high hopes and sound intentions of the talks and walks you want to achieve, only to be utterly sidetracked by some fantastic startup and amazing entrepreneurs en route. This is the arena of unexpected discoveries.
How can you not stop and talk with Dr Bhavagaya Bakshi about C the Signs (www.cthesigns.co.uk), a HealthTech startup that aims to help doctors locate heart issues as early as possible and alert them to a potential diagnosis or Tim Brownstone, founder of KYMIRA (www.kymira.co.uk) developing wearable platform technologies including energy harvesting and e-textiles or the team from Nu Rise (www.nu-rise.tech) with a probe that monitors in real time, the level of radiation a patient is receiving. I barely made it past the MedTech alpha stands and my morning had evaporated, as I nursed both a coffee and my failed ambition of getting to the main stage to see Sophia the Robot or Francois Hollande.
So you rip up the well-planned itinerary, get to the meetings arranged at Pub Summit the night before but otherwise go with the flow, bouncing from one impressive speaker to another including @klitschko … “you don’t have problems, you have challenges. Problems paralyze you, challenges give you motivation”
And those relentless organizers never stop tempting you out, provide evening events that extend the fun, whilst rinsing out the final vestiges of energy from weary legs.
Tuesday night saw us pile down to the Mercado Da Ribeira Nova for a Funky Party by La French Tech before, an inevitable over-indulgence on Pink Street, with drinks and networking aplenty in the grounds of a former brothel.
Talk of no rest for the wicked, no sooner had we wound our weary way through the beautiful, deserted back streets of Lisbon and let our collective heads hit those Air BnB pillows than the alarm was alerting us to the start of Day 2 proper and our day in the metaphorical sun, with a Wednesday stand in the START exhibition area.
It won’t stop us wandering the halls in search of magic but, at least you’ll know where to find us.
Linkilaw provides a low-cost legal platform for startups and fast growth companies.
Based in London (and Lisbon) we are exhibiting at Web Summit on Weds 8th October. Come and visit at Stand Number 127, START Exhibition Area.
We’re here all week and love to chat so please get in touch via www.linkilaw.com or @linkilaw