Following the cancellation of last year’s edition due to the pandemic, Web Summit 2021 opened its doors to companies and delegations as a sign of a return to normalcy. The Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce and its Enterprise Europe Network , in collaboration with Startup Luxembourg, was therefore delighted to organise an accompanied visit from 2nd to 4th of November 2021. 26 Luxembourg companies consisting of 40 participants seized this opportunity to gain international visibility and foster global business links. Throughout the accompanied visit, companies repeatedly expressed their enthusiasm over the ability to participate in a physical edition.
The aspiration to overcome the crisis and promote growth was illustrated by the staggering number of visitors, exceeding 40,000. They continuously flocked the various pavilions and experimented with new products showcased at the stands. For instance, at the H&M pavilion, visitors were able to design through virtual reality glasses a new T-shirt that would then go into production. Yet, Web Summit 2021 demonstrated that innovation is not only limited to the world of big corporations, but also spans a wide array of mid- and small-sized companies. As such, the Luxembourgish startup VoiceMed presented a new app that enables the diagnosis of a given illness solely through a voice recording. A total of 9 Luxembourg companies exhibited their innovations at the Web Summit 2021.
One of the strengths of this year’s edition was the ability of Luxembourg to leverage its privileged relations with other delegations. These connections acted as a cornerstone for the ambition of Luxembourg companies to engage with foreign counterparts,. The networking reception at The One Hotel on 2nd November welcomed over 150 participants form 11 different countries displayed this success, as several international companies and delegations enthusiastically engaged conversations with Luxembourg companies. This reception included speeches by Amrita Singh, Senior International Affairs Advisor, Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce) and Jean-Michel Ludwig, Director Business Development at Luxinnovation who shed light on the Luxembourgish ambition of supporting companies in reaching an international stage as well as attracting innovation to Luxembourg. His Excellency Conrad Bruch, Ambassador of the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg to Portugal, also expressed his joy over the ability to gather companies from different countries for an event onsite and welcomed the willingness of foreign delegations to strengthen their commercial ties with Luxembourg.
Furthermore, in addition to actively using the Web Summit app to make connections, the Luxembourg delegation also participated in the virtual Lisbon Beyond Summit International matchmaking event organised virtually by the Enterprise Europe Network counterparts from IAPMEI – The Portuguese Agency for Competitiveness and Innovation, Coordinator of the Enterprise Europe Network in Portugal to explore international partnerships.
On November 3rd, H.E. Conrad Bruch cordially invited the Luxembourgish delegation to a cocktail reception at the Embassy and warmly greeted all attending companies. He also seized the opportunity to present a succinct summary of Luxembourg’s bilateral relations with Portugal. Explaining the traditionally strong links between both countries, due to the successful migration experience of Portuguese workers to Luxembourg, he stressed the need for business to follow suit. In light of his ambition to develop commercial relations between both countries, he expressed his enthusiasm over the readiness of Luxembourgish companies to foster ties with Portuguese ones.
The 2021 edition of Web Summit was certainly a very promising start into the new post-pandemic era. Given the success of this year’s edition and the optimistic mindset that infused the event, Luxembourgish companies were very vocal about their impatience to attend the next edition.