Maths and Conferences, Lanyards and Legibility

A short conversation with a wonderful British physicist on a boat in Hong Kong prompted this post. It outlines the mathematical foundations of Web Summit, as well as our broader methodology for optimising human gatherings explained in part through lanyard design and graph theory.


“What the f*ck is the point of LinkedIn?”: A day in the life of Cohort Founder Eamon Leonard

Logging into LinkedIn is like walking into a crowded room and having 100 or so ‘professionals’, the majority of whom you don’t need to know, hand you their card and then walk away. That’s according to Eamon Leonard, a patriarch-of-sorts to the continuously emerging Irish tech community, and now founder of a professional networking startup that does away with the noise of its more established counterpart.


“Nobody really walks on water, even when you’re feeling great” – A day in the life of Linda Boff, the CMO of GE

GE CMO Linda Boff’s day starts early. It’s 5.20am on a Monday morning and she’s already awake, and ready to tackle the day head on. She’s always been an early riser. “I’m a total morning person. To me it’s one of the best times of the day to gather your thoughts – sort of think through what you want to accomplish throughout the day.”


Lisbon tech is a “seed-stage investment”: 20/20 with Caixa Capital’s Stephan Morais

The people of Portuguese capital Lisbon, haven’t had it easy. The global financial crisis that began at the tail end of the last decade and continued into the early years of the current one hit Portugal harder than most. Have they recovered? In this instalment we talk to Caixa Capital’s Executive Board Member Stephan Morais about how tech in our home, Lisbon, will grow.


The second dawn of literacy: Stephen Wolfram on leaving academia to pursue the crazy and the impossible

Stephen Wolfram’s life has been spent on the border of what’s considered possible.
That can mean either trying to convince people that the ideas he has can actually be executed, or looking on amused as areas in which he worked 20 years previous suddenly enter the public consciousness.
It’s how he likes it.
We sat down to chat with Stephen about his crazy and seemingly impossible pursuits.


“The whole system seems broken”: David Cameron’s former chief strategist fights the power with tech

As the man who in 2010 helped orchestrate the return to power of the British Conservative Party, Oxford-educated Steve Hilton was the ultimate insider. He’s the former director of strategy for David Cameron and is credited with rebranding the British Prime Minister as a progressive everyman. He’s godfather to Cameron’s son Ivan.
Now from his new home in Silicon Valley he rails against the political system of which he once sat at the top table.


Toronto: The startup city guide

One of Toronto’s favourite sons reckons “it’s hot up in the Six”, the city’s nickname being a reference to the 6s in its two area codes, 416 and 647. Drake isn’t shy about telling the world about what’s going on in Toronto. Its startup founders aren’t as confident though.


Tel Aviv: The startup city guide

You know the way every waiter in LA has a screenplay or showreel? They all have startups in Tel Aviv. At approximately one startup per 1,000 inhabitants, Tel Aviv is the most startup-dense city in Europe. You’re never far away from an entrepreneur.


“There was no way in hell… ”: Kabbage’s Kathryn Petralia’s tech turning point

In another life Kathryn Petralia would be an English professor. But today she’s a techie. The COO and co-founder of Kabbage, to be exact. They’re the alternative lending platform with a rumoured valuation of $1 billion and a recent funding round of $135 million.
We caught up with Kathryn to discuss her tech turning point that led her to Kabbage, and away from academia.


Lisbon: The Startup City Guide

Lisbon has seen many redirections in its history. It’s latest voyage sees the city repositioning itself as a flagship in the global startup ecosystem. We sought help from Lisbon’s new generation of navigators – Beta-i CEO Pedro Rocha Vieira, Portugal Ventures’ Marco Fernandes and Aptoide’s Paulo Trezentos to bring you this guide on the city’s startup scene.


The death of sharing: 20/20 with Wickr’s Nico Sell

Whether anyone cares about what you share is debatable. Perhaps worse, it’s going out of fashion. That’s according to Nico Sell, the evangelist for keeping yourself to yourself online and co-founder of secure messaging service Wickr.


I wish I could have saved him: Mikko Hyppönen’s mistakes

Mikko Hyppönen carries his failures with him. Having worked in computer security for a quarter of a century, he says he’s racked up a long list of mistakes. And not the good kind of mistakes either.
“Many have been mistakes where there’s been no lessons learned, or ones I haven’t been able to recover from,” he says. In particular the 13-year-old he couldn’t save from a life of hacker crime.


“Good idea kids, but…” – the moment that changed everything for Lisa Falzone

When Lisa Falzone stepped into a meeting with her first client, she knew her company Revel Systems had a bright future as an ordering app. Except it didn’t. That one meeting would change the course of Revel Systems entirely.

How did Revel Systems begin life as an ordering app and end up as a point of sale system? We caught up with Lisa Falzone, co-founder and CEO of Revel Systems, to discuss its pivot into a new product.


Copenhagen: The startup city guide

Despite being branded ‘The Coolest Kid on the Nordic Block’, Copenhagen has often remained a bit of a mystery to those outside Scandinavia. Inside the city lives a startup movement which over the past ten years has gathered significant pace, and has begun to force the rest of the world to take notice.


New Orleans: The Startup City Guide

We all have an idea of what New Orleans is like. A party city, home to some of the most famous get-togethers in the world. How do you get a little deeper? Ask the insiders.


Get back to basics – 20/20 with Andy McLoughlin

Four years’ time. What’s the world going to look like in 2020? We’re asking people in our network just that, for our new interview series 20/20.
This instalment features SoftTech VC’s Andy McLoughlin talk the future of mobile, SaaS, and early-stage startup investment.


Berlin: The Startup City Guide

It’s an exciting time to be in Berlin as a startup. As a startup capital, it’s an underdog with bite. We enlisted the help of BlueYard’s Ciarán O’Leary, startup consultant Nicole Simon, ElektroCouture’s Lisa Lang and JOIN Capital’s Chris Murphy. With their help, I’ve created this guide to the city’s startup scene.


Startup Hacks with Foursquare’s Dennis Crowley

Dennis Crowley founded Foursquare seven years ago. Today, he’s one of the most well known, iconic startup founders in New York. Just last month, Dennis announced that he is handing off his role as CEO, and taking on a new role as executive chairman. As Dennis steps away from the day to day running of the company he co-founded, he shares his advice to other startup founders.


“It should be shocking” – 20/20 with The Onion’s CEO

Four years’ time. What’s the world going to look like in 2020? We’re asking people in our network just that, for our new interview series 20/20.
In this instalment, we talk to Onion CEO Mike McAvoy about native advertising, the future of satire and why he’s not a fan of cable news.