Web Summit Day Zero - My 20,000 kilometer chance meeting with Dave McClure from 500 Startups
A week later we got the notification that we were in the top 200, and then just a few days later the Top 150 as part of Beta. Which brings me to Dublin and why I’m writing my first post. I’m planning on posting one a day.
Why I’ve travelled almost 20,000 kilometers and 30 hours to Dublin
Bugwolf has been in operation for just over two years. We are currently headquartered in Australia and have been bootstrapped for that time. Just a few weeks ago I started capital raising, which is the main reason for bringing us to Dublin. The reality of raising capital from this neck of the woods while being headquartered in Australia is slim. But we’re coming here with an open mind and if we come across the right investor we are open to moving headquarters. So we're here mostly raising capital but always hoping to connect with new clients.
The madness we created before we left Melbourne for summit
When I was accepted into Summit I called a good mate Brendan Yell a startup rockstar plus a great bloke to get advice about Summit. Brendan introduced me to Johanna based in Ireland who invited me to an exclusive dinner with 50 others Monday night with a rockstar investor and CEO invite list including Dave McClure. Before I left Melbourne I was contacted by Kathryn from IDA. We had a coffee a few weeks ago. Kathryn kindly made a few intros before I left Melbourne. Suzie and I worked hard all week reaching out to investors.
Day one started by waking up at 5am and going for a 3km run
I arrived yesterday which I’m calling day zero because traveling 30 plus hours felt like I missed a bunch of things including a few days. The intros Kathryn made when back in Melbourne turned out to be outstanding. Today I met one the top investors in Ireland, Brian Caulfield from Draper Esprit. After this meeting I caught up with the IDA team and got an invite to their opening party Wednesday night. Last year, Bono attended (but not sure he is coming this year). I’m also invited to an IDA innovation breakfast tomorrow.
Evening one included a pub crawl for 35 mins followed by a kick ass dinner
It was a quick pub crawl. Spent 30 mins over a beer having a chat with a bloke from Norway. The dinner was sensational. Met some interesting people from a range of countries. Spent some time chatting with David Booth from AngelList, a New Zealand fella who is running AngelList in the UK and ripper bloke. Dave McClure was there and David Booth did me a large one and made a quick introduction to Dave as he was leaving who kindly gave me his card. We are set to catch up for a quick chat next few days. Dave is a great investor. He understands tech like no other and also invests in Australian startups.
A couple of key takeaways from being in Dublin day one and evening
So much has happened in 24 hours. Being bootstrapped I’ve always had to make a small amount of money go a long way. Every work trip is carefully measured which is why I hardly go on them. We compare every dollar spent on marketing against alternative strategies which we've measured. This trip has already paid for itself. I received outstanding advice from Brian. He instantly understood my business and the problem we are solving. The IDA were fantastic and have gone the extra mile to help. I picked up a new client via the app. And we’ve arranged half a dozen investor meetings from our outreach.
Tomorrow the conference starts. Adios amigos (or at least until my next post).