Web Summit, everything that struck us in the 2022 edition

A return to pre-pandemic numbers for the Web Summitwith over 71,000 participants from 160 countries around the world: almost 2,300 startups, over 1,000 investors and 2,000 accredited journalists for this technology fair born in Dublin over 10 years ago, but now big here in Lisbon.

Protagonists cryptocurrencies and metaverse

Among the hottest topics this year are cryptocurrencies and Blockchain technology, with the presence of the founder and CEO of Binance, Changpeng Zhao, known as CZ, who participated with a minority stake in the acquisition of Twitter by Elon Musk and announced a team to understand how the technologies of his platform, which is a provider of infrastructure for cryptocurrencies, will be useful in the new era of the social network under the leadership of Musk. “Crypto is probably the most stable thing in such a dynamic world – said CZ on the opening night of the Summit -. We are excited to be able to help Elon realize a new vision for Twitter. We aim to expand the use and the adoption of crypto and blockchain technology in social media”.

The other hot topic at the Web Summit was that of the Metaverse. Siemens presented the pioneering Italian project of the Giardino di Nemo, an underwater greenhouse off the coast of the Ligurian Riviera. Visitors were literally immersed, complete with underwater smells (which they breathed from the viewers) in sustainable underwater agriculture, to show how Siemens digital-twin technology makes it possible to obtain real-time data by digitizing cultivation processes. The goal of Nemo’s garden is to create a prototype biosphere where plants can be grown underwater. Siemens has enabled an industrial metaverse and the use of “digital twins” to improve productivity and processes.

The success of Italian startups

More than one hundred Italian startups or startups founded by Italians abroad were present, a record for the Web Summit, reported the creator of the event Paddy Cosgrave.

Genius Loci which is a Geo-Intelligence platform that uses satellite data combined with other databases, creates artificial intelligence models that generate indicators of the risk level of fires, floods, or other disasters on the European territory. The CEO Romeo Zitarosa showed us how the algorithms of machine learning and AI create a physical risk map, which can be used for the identification of buildings and land for the installation of photovoltaic systems or for the ESG assessment of investments.

4Gift previewed at the Web Summit “a new experience of giving a gift” that at the same time prevents the wrong purchase. Its founder Giorgio Finzi showed us how an e-gift virtually anticipates the gift with a personalized message. The recipient can then personalize the gift, even changing it completely, before seeing it delivered to their hands.

A startup from Abruzzo presented Astrakode, which allows you to create blockchain solutions without being a code expert.

On artificial intelligence we find Cyberneid generating a digital identity for the know-your-customer, the procedure that financial institutions require to sign contracts and documents; an NFC sensor on the phone reads the data contained in the identity document chip and, combined with facial recognition, identifies the citizen.

Among the other national delegations, the Emirate of Dubai focused on sport-tech and presented Ultrahuman, a wearables that collects data on human metabolism, analyzes training, sleep and what you eat through a sticker on the arm or a ring, and sends notifications in case of eating disorders or prolonged physical inactivity.

Remaining on sport tech, the former footballer Alessandro Del Piero participated in the Web Summit as ambassador of Socios.com, a platform created to facilitate a more active connection between fans and football clubs, through “fan tokens”. digital assets that allow fans to have a say on certain decisions in relation to the teams they support. Del Piero told the Summit that blockchain technology can improve the fan experience.

We close this review with Ukraine, which has been actively participating in the event for years, but this edition was surprisingly joined directly in Lisbon by first lady Olena Zelensky who, from the central stage of the Summit, spoke of how war technology is saving lives. Ukraine’s hi-tech sector has skyrocketed six times the global average: the country’s tech companies raised nearly $350 million in investment in the first half of 2022, and the department is showing great vitality despite the dramatic situation in the country.