PRESS RELEASE ISSUED BY THE MINISTRY FOR COMPETITIVENESS AND DIGITAL, MARITIME AND SERVICES ECONOMY: Malta’s growing tech community in Lisbon for Web Summit. Minister for the Digital Economy meets Maltese start-ups

More than 150 delegates from Malta participated in this year’s Web Summit, an annual event that brings together tech-related interests from across the globe. It is Europe’s largest technology marketplace where current and future trends are explored and some of the most promising tech start-up concepts are showcased.

Tech start-ups are businesses that leverage ICTs to execute a repeatable and scalable business model. Start-ups typically come from humble origins, with small entrepreneurial teams passionate about turning a novel idea into a market innovation. By attracting venture investment, start-ups deploy scaling strategies to quickly transition from a new venture, to established market leaders. Companies like Spotify, Airbnb and Uber were all once a tech start-up pursuing such a strategy.

Malta’s presence in this year’s Web Summit was strengthened through the setting up of a dedicated Malta booth the event exhibition area and the participation of a significant number of Maltese companies. The Malta booth managed and manned by representatives from the Malta Communications Authority, MIMCOL and TradeMalta was aimed at promoting Malta as an ideal location for starting a digital business and showcasing Malta-based start-ups. Seven Maltese companies were given the opportunity to pitch their concept through the Alpha programme, with six benefitting from the internationalisation incentives administered by TradeMalta.

Minister for Competitiveness and Digital, Maritime and Services Economy Emmanuel Mallia was also invited by the organisers to take part in roundtable policy dialogue with other European policy stakeholders. His presence was particularly valued in view of the imminent European Presidency that has the Digital Single Market and the evermore competitive digital global economy high on the agenda.

In a meeting with the tech entrepreneurs, Minister Mallia lauded the ambition and creativity of these individuals. He welcomed Malta’s strong presence in such an important European event, arguing that this augurs well for Malta’s future ability to compete in the international digital scene. He added that Malta is more than ready to welcome any start-up. He also encouraged Maltese nationals not to shy away from the world of entrepreneurship, to be ambitious and to think global.

Future technologies, such as advanced robotics and self-driving cars, as well as business opportunities related to finance, internet of things and content were the main themes addressed at Web Summit 2016. Attendees also engaged in discussions on the changing worlds of sports, music and health. The “start-up university” provided delegates with insights on successfully starting up and growing a new tech venture.

Web Summit was held in Lisbon between the 8 and 10 November and was attended by 53,000 delegates from 166 countries. Events like Web Summit are important as they aid tech start-ups grow their network, validate their business models and attract investment.

Source: Government of Malta