Web Summit co-founder Daire Hickey named in Forbes’ 30 under 30

5 Jan 2016

Web Summit co-founder Daire Hickey

Web Summit co-founder Daire Hickey has been named in this year’s Forbes 30 under 30, a prestigious listing of young leaders doing remarkable things in a variety of industries. Also included in the list was Irish actress Saoirse Ronan.

In previous years, Irish people named in the annual Forbes 30 under 30 list have included the founders of Stripe, Patrick and John Collison, and CoderDojo co-founder James Whelton, as well as golfer Rory McIlroy, advertising supremo Jonathan Cloonan, games designer Terry Cavanagh and singer Niall Horan from One Direction.

The listing identifies leading young minds in the areas of media, marketing/advertising, education, social entrepreneurship, energy, e-commerce, art/style, venture capital, healthcare, music, Hollywood, sports, manufacturing/industry, sports, science, finance and, of course, tech.

Cork native Hickey (29) was listed in the Forbes 30 under 30 under the category of media. The accolade read: “Pulling in $2m-plus in media partnerships for 2015 alone, Web Summit has hosted conferences for more than 42,000 attendees last year. Hickey takes care of top-tier partners, like Google and Facebook, and holds the keys to F.ounders, an invite-only event for top tech founders.

Former journalist Hickey co-founded the Web Summit in 2010 alongside Paddy Cosgrave and David Kelly. The event started off as a ramshackle affair with just a few hundred attendees at a hotel in Ballsbridge, but in five years matured to become a global event.

The event quickly became the go-to place to discuss tech, attracting the founders and CEOs of Twitter, Dropbox, YouTube and many more tech giants, as well as influential investors, to speak candidly about trends and the future.

In just five years, the Web Summit became a viable competitor to other global events including TechCrunch Disrupt, Le Web and the Next Web conference, to name a few. The company has been expanding globally, with events like Collision taking place in Las Vegas as well as RISE in Hong Kong and SURGE in Bengaluru, India.

Last year, it emerged that, after attracting offers from other cities and being dissatisfied with infrastructural issues, the Web Summit was no longer to be held at its spiritual home in Dublin and will instead take place in 2016, 2017 and 2018 in Lisbon, Portugal.

The Web Summit’s final event in Dublin in 2015 was its biggest yet with more than 30,000 attendees, but was something of a heated affair following fiery exchanges between the Web Summit’s CEO Paddy Cosgrave and Irish Government officials. The high drama, however, distracted from the real issue at play: Dublin’s infrastructure.

Also named in the list for the top 30 under 30 in Hollywood was 21-year-old Irish actress Saoirse Ronan.  Her accolade read: “Saoirse Ronan, known for her roles in ‘Atonement’ and ‘The Lovely Bones’ has set critics fluttering with ‘Brooklyn’, which many will expect will earn her a second Oscar nomination. The Irish-born Ronan makes her Broadway debut as Aibgail Williams in ‘The Crucible’ in 2016.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years