Web Summit 2023 hailed a “great success”
Portugal’s minister of economy said on Thursday that “more women are needed in the tech world” and in decision-making positions after the 2023 edition of the Web Summit, held for the first time since the resignation of CEO Paddy Cosgrave, was hailed “a great success”
António Costa e Silva was speaking at the close of the Web Summit, which this year had a record number of 2,600 startups and took place between November 13-16.
In his speech, which lasted just over 10 minutes, the minister said more than once: “Don’t give up on your dreams”.
“Lisbon and the Web Summit are a great platform for hope, for friendship, for bringing together people from all over the world to develop new ideas and challenge the problems of our time,” he said.
Web Summit 2023 “is a great success”, he said, congratulating the new CEO, Katherine Maher, who replaced co-founder Paddy Cosgrave after several companies cancelled their participation in the event following statements he made about the conflict involving Israel and Hamas.
Among the companies that announced their cancellation were Amazon, Meta, Google, Intel, Siemens and Israeli investors who had previously announced that they would not be taking part in the event.
In his speech, António Costa Silva emphasised the percentage of women who founded the startups taking part in the event.
“We need more women in the tech world, on boards of directors, and we need more and more women” in decision-making roles, he said, drawing a round of applause from the audience.
“Women have an extraordinary capacity” and “a multitasking mind”, qualities that he said were necessary in an increasingly complex world.
He stressed that Portugal was “a safe country” and asserted that the two major parties that have governed “share a pro-European vision and are in favour of the market economy”.
António Costa Silva also said that Portugal has “very competitive laws for startups” and that the government is refining the legal framework, including through changes to the transitional regime for non-habitual residents.
“We are altering our budget to incorporate start-up workers, to be even more competitive,” he said.
This year’s Web Summit was attended by 70,236 participants from 153 countries.