Whoa, what a week it's been.
Incredible Web spent the last week in Dublin, in preparation for the Dublin Web Summit 2013, Europe's largest and most influential technology conference. It all started earlier this year, when Incredible Web submitted their latest project, Bum a Lift (http://www.bum-a-lift.com) to the ALPHA program, a scheme to give the opportunity for early-stage startups to get some exposure on the big scene, pitch to potential investors and meet some of the greatest minds in technology. A couple of months ago, we were informed by the Summit staff that Bum a Lift was one of the 700 startups that have been accepted to participate, from a total of over 7000 submissions. Apart from this, we were told that we were the only ALPHA startup from Malta.
From then onwards, there were frantic weeks and sleepless nights to get ourselves ready for this great opportunity, including the ALPHA release of Bum a Lift a few weeks ago. Now, two days after the summit is over, we are still reeling with all the information and experience that has been pouring into our minds and there is still a lot of work to be done, both on Bum a Lift and even on Incredible Web, to continue in our goal of becoming the front-runner in startup development in Malta.
First of all, Dublin is a fantastic city (the weather was also surprisingly decent), with a great atmoshpere and the people are really friendly, so a big thank you to them for hosting us and showing us a great time.
Then on Tuesday 29th, Geeklist (http://geekli.st) hosted #hack4good v0.3, a hackathon with the aim of making the world a better place through the use of technology. Thankfully, I was part of a superb team from literally all corners of the world; which meant that the 12 hours coding passed by really quickly. Our end product was Tracko, "A cloud-based web application that attempts to find different sponsors for events organized by charity organizations". The greatest challenge was working in a team where everyone came from a different technological background, Java, PHP and .NET; however the end product was satisfactory given the short time available. Unfortunately we didn't win though, a big congrats to the winners, who really did a great job on a Drive by Donations.
The next day, Wednesday 30th, was our exhibition day, so we arrived nice and early to prepare our stand. Unfortunately there were wi-fi issues which hindered our exihibition (and that of almost everyone else) however the excitement made up for it. Our stand was a tiny 1m wide, side-by-side other stands promoting their own ALPHA projects. As the day got going, numerous people came and spoke to us about Bum a Lift, ranging from technical quesions, business quesions, or even seeing how they could integrate Bum a Lift onto their own project. The end result is a stack of circa 40 business cards and email address, which we will be following up in the coming weeks. However, even listening to the advice and feedback of investors, developers or simply interested attendees is invaluable.
The last day of the Summit was our opportunity to attend as many talks as possible, and so we did, including talks by Elon Musk (SpaceX & Tesla), Shervin Pishevar (Sherpa Ventures), Drew Houston (DropBox), Shane Smith (Vice), Niklas Zennström (Skype), Jay Bregman (Hailo), Niklas Adalberth (Klarna), Dwight Merriman (MongoDB), Adam Cheyer (Siri) and others who we didn't even know by name. The end result is a huge bundle of information, which we should start applying to ourselves and our projects. If I had to pick out just one item from all these talks, it would be to believe in yourself and your projects; the web allows for anyone with a good idea and self-belief, to achieve their goals.
"Reach for the stars, and hit the moon".
We will now enjoy a very short break, and get back to work on finalizing Bum a Lift and our other projects with our newfound knowledge. As always, thanks for reading.