State Agencies give €250k+ to F.ounders, Dublin Web Summit

I recently asked Enterprise Ireland and the IDA about their financial and otherwise involvement with the F.ounders and Dublin Web Summit events in the past few years. F.ounders brings all the tech boys to the yard and they’re like: it’s better than (London, Berlin, elsewhere). Davos for geeks is right.

I really like the idea of F.ounders, bringing a buzz to Ireland and hopefully getting some of those tech boys setting up shop. It’s a juggernaut of tech meetings. It’s a private affair though. Dublin Web Summit then commercialises this very well by introducing the F.ounders types to the public. Is it value for money? F.ounders, I think is. Getting some of the most brilliant people in tech together in Dublin for any event is worth a lot. What happens though when these leads are generated and delivered? Who converts them?

So what did EI and IDA give to the F.ounders and Dublin Web Summit events over the past while?

F.ounders 2010
IDA gave €30,000
Enterprise Ireland gave €10,000

F.ounders 2011
In 2011 a consortium of Irish state agencies gave €170,000 to F.ounders/Dublin Web Summit
Enterprise Ireland gave €50,000
IDA gave €60,000
Other agencies contributed the rest.

EI’s Cloud sub-event
However they also gave money towards Enterprise Ireland’s “Beyond the Cloud” event as part of Dublin Web Summit 2011.

€54,450 was paid to Dublin Web Summit Ltd. by the state agencies
IDA gave €10,000
Science Foundation Ireland gave €10,000
Enterprise Ireland gave €34.450

London Web Summit 2012
Enterprise Ireland gave £10,000 to the event (Press Room Sponsorship)

Here are the original emails from EI and IDA on this (names removed)



Further to your recent query, in 2010 IDA sponsored the F.Ounders part of the event to the amount of €30,000 following an approach by Paddy Cosgrave.

IDA sponsored the F.Ounders event again in 2011 as part of the Ireland team overall sponsorship package. IDA invested €60,000 in the event in 2011. In addition, IDA contributed €10,000 towards the running of the Beyond the Cloud event at the Dublin Web Summit in 2011, in conjunction with EI and SFI.

IDA Ireland can confirm that at no time was it asked by the Department of An Taoiseach or any other Government Department to support these events.


Dear Damien,
In response to your recent FOI request, I have gathered the following information.

Enterprise Ireland provided €10,000 in sponsorship for the Founders event in 2010 following an approach by Paddy Cosgrave.

Enterprise Ireland decided to sponsor the event as it represented an unprecedented opportunity for positive global publicity for Ireland as a top business location.

On foot of the success of the 2010 event, and a sponsorship request by Paddy Cosgrave, Enterprise Ireland in partnership with other relevant stage agencies negotiated a joint inter-agency sponsorship package for Founders and Dublin Web Summit in 2011. The agencies jointly provided a package of €170,000 in sponsorship of which Enterprise Ireland provided €50,000.

In addition, Enterprise Ireland ran the “Beyond the Cloud” event as part of Dublin Web Summit. This event cost approximately €74,500 of which €54,450 was paid to Dublin Web Summit Ltd. IDA and SFI each contributed €10,000 towards the total cost of this event. The rest was covered by Enterprise Ireland.

In 2012, Enterprise Ireland, through its London office, provided £10,000 (Sterling) of sponsorship for the London Web Summit.

Enterprise Ireland can confirm that at no time was it asked by the Department of an Taoiseach or any other Government Department to support these events.

I trust this covers your information requirements,

8 Responses to “State Agencies give €250k+ to F.ounders, Dublin Web Summit”

  1. Georgie says:

    Fair play to them, get as much money as they can. €250k is better spent on this rather than one year’s salary of a tree grower:

  2. Daragh says:

    It’s a worthwhile investment. There are plenty of examples of much larger sums of public funds being wasted, so it’s good to see that money is being allocated to events like this too which are hugely beneficial.

  3. Noel Rock says:

    Really interesting. I’m curious about why EI would sponsor London Web Summit? Surely little to be gained from it.

    Are there any output metrics (Eg jobs directly created) etc? Would be great to see; and that’s not to have a go at anybody. Information in this field is a good thing, and the more we have, the more likely we are to understand what works, what doesn’t and – more importantly – why.

  4. Caelen says:

    Well it certainly doesn’t seem like a ‘crazy’ spend. Too be honest I wouldn’t have been surprised if it had been an awful lot higher.

  5. Michele says:

    I don’t understand how they can justify this kind of expenditure without any proper metrics.

    It’s taxpayer’s money.
    Meanwhile Irish owned technology companies cannot get any funding from either agency and cannot get staff because – wait for it – the IDA funded ones are outbidding them on salaries

  6. Caelen says:

    @Michele – Did they not have metrics?

  7. Michele says:

    I’d hope they did, though most sponsorship deals are more “leaps of faith” than anything else.
    I assume that Mr Mulley’s followup would contain more detail

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