Looking back at WebSummit 2017:

"The only thing we can expect for certain is more change"

At the annual WebSummit, business leaders are joined by leading academics, those at the forefront of the tech and business worlds, cultural icons and influencers, and key global leaders to tackle the world’s most pressing issues. This year’s edition took place from 5 thru 8 November in Lisbon, Portugal. ImpactCity and The Hague-based tech startup GetSocial were part of it. We checked in with both to hear their thoughts.

WebSummit is the world’s largest summit for tech startups. It gathers over 60,000 participants and 1,200 speakers from 170 countries. “WebSummit has become Europe’s largest and most important technology marketplace, a crossroads for the world’s largest buyers and sellers of technology, alongside many of the world’s most disruptive emerging technology companies,” the organizers describe the gathering.

ImpactCity The Hague at WebSummit

The City of The Hague is particularly keen on connecting to the tech summit. “WebSummit is interesting for the City of The Hague because it focuses on technology to be applied to all sorts of domains. That’s why it suits The Hague’s vision of information technology as enabler,” Loes Weijers, project leader at the City of The Hague’s department of urban development, explains.

“‘Tech for good’ can have a substantial, positive impact on solving the social and global issues of our day and age. Impact expertise that is available in The Hague can be particularly relevant in this regard,” she adds. “At WebSummit, we explored partnership with the event organizers. What’s more, we connected to a large pool of startups and businesses that work in PeaceTech, LegalTech, eHealth, and security,” she shares.

There is no longer such a thing as a ‘tech’ industry, just industries that have been affected by tech” – WebSummit

Startup GetSocial: most hyped startup at WebSummit

The Hague-based tech startup GetSocial participated in the tech summit as well. What’s more, it was announced as one out of twenty-five “most hyped” startups. “This was a complete surprise to us,” CEO Jeroen Bouwman says. “Our team has been working hard to pull things together, so this is a great reward and source of recognition. In a way, it feels like a seal of approval.”

GetSocial is a software service that powers the mobile growth stack from user interface to infrastructure, so companies don’t have to invest in development for extended periods of time. It enables content sharing and runs referral campaigns through messaging apps, it connects, and it fosters engagement and boosts loyalty by making apps more social.


GetSocial’s purpose at WebSummit was two-fold. “First of all, we were aiming to meet investors to secure a small round investment. Secondly, we were hoping to expand our customer base outside of the gaming industry,” Jeroen explains.

“The investment that we are looking for at this stage is relatively small, around $ 1.5 million only. Investors at WebSummit are generally looking to spend far more money,” Jeroen shares. Nonetheless, it was useful to meet potential investors in order to be able to line them up more easily once they’ve moved on to the next stage. In terms of attracting new non-gaming clients, he feels like they’ve done well. One new client has been secured already as a result of their presence at WebSummit, and more are underway.

“Tech is turning upside down everything we thought about work, social interaction, politics and life itself” – WebSummit

The Hague-based delegation at WebSummit

“All startups that we talked to are very positive about the results of WebSummit. They all acquired new leads and access to investors,” City of The Hague project lead, Loes Weijers, says. “That’s why we’re keen to start participating in WebSummit in a more organized manner, as of next year. We envision bringing together a The Hague-based delegation to the event in 2018.”

The WebSummit 2017 delegation – consisting of The Hague Tech, The Hague Business Agency, Enterprise Summit, and ImpactCity – is organizing After WebSummit Drinks at The Hague Tech on 7 December. They hope to continue the conversation with the The Hague-based tech community on how to represent the local tech ecosystem at WebSummit in the years to come.

Interested to join the conversation? You’re invited to attend the After WebSummit Drinks at The Hague Tech on 7 December. As part of the event, startups GetSocial and Opakeco will share their experiences of WebSummit. Please note: this is an invitation-only event, so we kindly request you register here.