Record number of startups, 43 percent women, and 70,236 attendees at Web Summit

Web Summit, the world’s largest tech conference, announced today that the 2023 edition of its flagship Lisbon event is hosting 70,236 attendees from 153 countries, with 2,608 startups taking part in the startup programme – the highest number ever,

  • 70,236 attendees from 153 countries
  • 43 percent of attendees are women, while 38 percent of speakers are women
  • 2,608 startups exhibiting, almost one in three of which are woman founded
  • 321 partners are taking to the exhibition floor
  • More than 85 percent hotel occupancy expected across the city of Lisbon

70,236 attendees from 153 countries

Web Summit has brought 70,236 attendees from all over the world to the Altice Arena in Lisbon to discuss and debate ideas for the future. The cohort of CEOs, startups, investors, media, policymakers and creatives will be taking part in 1,180 investor to startup meetings, 70 masterclasses, 17 PITCH competitions rounds, 25 evening events, and Night Summit parties around the most exciting neighbourhoods of the city.

Web Summit has creatively expanded the total floor space of the event by five percent to approximately 215,000 square metres – the equivalent of 1,099 tennis courts.

Katherine Maher, CEO of Web Summit, took to the stage in front of a crowd of 11,000 people in the Altice Arena at the event’s Opening Night: “Over the last decade, as Web Summit has grown, we’ve brought together tens of thousands of people who have used this week in Lisbon as a springboard to do remarkable things – to launch companies, find investors, unveil projects, advance a vision of the world worth debating. As the new leader of this organisation of incredibly committed staff, and as a long time advocate for technology as a driving force for good for humanity and society, Web Summit will continue to be the most important place to bring together and connect people and advance critical conversations about technology, society and innovation.”

2,608 startups from 93 countries

A record breaking 2,608 startups from 93 countries will showcase their innovations and the businesses of tomorrow over the coming three days. These promising startups were chosen from thousands of applicants, and represent more than 30 different industries.

More than 250 startups will attend Web Summit as part of the Impact programme – startups that work to have a positive impact on their communities, industries and ecosystems.

More than 800 startups will learn from leaders and experts through nearly 100 Mentor Hours sessions. The industries most represented among startups include SaaS, AI and machine learning, healthtech and wellness, fintech and financial services, and sustainability and cleantech.

Women in tech

43 percent of all attendees are women, and more than 38 percent of speakers are women – the highest percentage of women speakers ever. Women founders make up almost one third of all exhibiting startup founders.

Web Summit recently released its annual State of Gender Equity in Tech report, which found that almost half of respondents think that their workplace is not taking appropriate measures to combat gender inequality; 53.6 percent have experienced sexism in the workplace in the past

12 months; and 76.1 percent of respondents feel empowered to pursue or hold a leadership position.

You can read the full press release here and the report here.

321 partners, 32 trade delegations, 37 community partners

321 global partners will be exhibiting on the event floor in 2023 to explore business opportunities and discover the nascent technologies that will propel their business into the future.

32 countries have sent foreign investment delegations to Web Summit 2023 – representing countries from Europe, Asia, North and South America, and Africa – as have 17 regional and local investment agencies.

Web Summit is collaborating with 37 community partners this year –     including the Amos Bursary, Djassi Africa and Lean In Portugal – in its commitment to support and prioritise underrepresented people across the technology industry.

906 investors from 52 countries

906 investors from 52 countries will take part in this year’s event. There will be 1,180 investor to startup meetings taking place (that we know of).

Ahead of the event, Web Summit partnered with PitchBook for the eighth time on an investor sentiment survey, which revealed that 63.1 percent of investors would not invest in an opportunity if it would have a negative environmental impact, and 62.2 percent believe artificial intelligence and machine learning has the most disruption potential. Only 43.2 percent said they have increased the representation of women within their firm and portfolio companies, while the number of women in senior management positions has also decreased from 75 percent to 66.7 percent over the last year.

You can read the full press release here.

806 speakers and 2,129 media

806 speakers from 50 countries will speak at Web Summit over the course of the event, and 2,129 media from 69 countries will also be in attendance. These speakers will discuss and debate the future of their industries across 27 tracks. Top speakers include Signal president Meredith Whitaker, former professional boxer and Kyiv Digital ambassador Wladamir Klitschko, Nym Technologies security consultant Chelsea Manning, president Kuo Zhang, and Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.

This year, Web Summit has partnered with 20 media organisations, including      RTP, O Globo, CNBC, Washington Post, Politico and Al Jazeera.

Fun event stats

During this event, Web Summit will serve its one millionth cup of Delta coffee after first partnering with Delta Coffee in 2016. Food Summit’s food trucks will serve more than 100,000 meals over the course of the event. The total floor space of the event is approximately 215,000 square metres – five percent larger than last year, and the equivalent of 1,099 tennis courts.