The 25 Most Underrated Speakers at Web Summit

By Jordan French Jordan French has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team
Published on October 11, 2023

Amidst the dazzle and buzz of Web Summit Lisbon, the global tech community converges, expecting groundbreaking revelations, fresh startups, and renowned influencers. However, every year, a roster of underrated geniuses bring with them game-changing perspectives and innovations that leave an indelible mark on attendees.

This year, Grit Daily is turning the spotlight onto these underrated luminaries of the tech world, showcasing their accomplishments and shedding light on the waves they’re making in their respective domains. From visionary entrepreneurs to astute investors, the list is brimming with individuals whose stories warrant undivided attention.

Amy Peck, EndeavorXR

The digital world is ever-evolving, and Amy Peck is one of its leading navigators. At the helm of EndeavorXR, she champions the cause of immersive technology. While many are only beginning to grasp the concepts of the metaverse, Web3, and blockchain, Amy has already established herself as a global authority on these subjects.

Amy’s dual role as a celebrated futurist and a seasoned thought leader offers Web Summit attendees a unique opportunity — a chance to traverse the uncharted territories of immersive technology under her expert guidance.

Anis Uzzaman, Pegasus Tech Ventures

Navigating the intricate labyrinths of global investments requires foresight, acumen, and an unerring instinct, traits Anis Uzzaman possesses in abundance. As the founder and CEO of Pegasus Tech Ventures, Anis’s portfolio is nothing short of impressive, with investments in global stalwarts like SpaceX, Airbnb, and Doordash.

Anis’s experience is not just a story of successful investments but is a masterclass in strategic foresight. Attendees at Web Summit can glean invaluable insights into the nuances of global investments, tapping into his vast reservoir of knowledge and experience.

Bas Wouterse, Telm

In an era where technology holds the promise to redefine business paradigms, Bas Wouterse emerges as a beacon of innovation. Telm, under Bas’s astute leadership as co-founder and CTO, has taken leaps in deploying technologies like VR and AR to improve existing processes. These aren’t mere technological advancements but signify hope, precision, and an improved quality of life for many.

At Web Summit, Bas’s segment offers attendees a rare glimpse into the transformative power of technology when melded with compassion and vision.

Ben Lamm, Colossal

The planet’s complex challenges often require ingenious solutions, and Ben Lamm has been at the forefront of devising them and still is with Colossal. His journey as a technology entrepreneur showcases a relentless drive to address pressing issues, having founded companies like Hypergiant and Conversable.

Ben’s endeavors capture the essence of innovation directed towards sustainable solutions. His presence at Web Summit signifies more than just a speaker’s slot but represents a call to action, urging attendees to harness technology as a tool for positive global change.

Cesar Gon, CI&T

In the competitive world of tech, few manage to steer their companies to significant stock market listings, and Cesar Gon’s journey to getting CI&T (NYSE: CINT) listed is one for the books. But beyond his leadership at CI&T, Cesar wears many hats with distinction.

As a columnist for the prestigious MIT Sloan Management Review, Cesar shares insights that have garnered widespread respect. Having been awarded the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year in Brazil in 2019, his understanding of business dynamics is profound. Web Summit attendees would do well to attend his segment, for it promises a masterclass in entrepreneurship, strategy, and insightful leadership.

Christian Nagel, Earlybird Venture Capital

Investment landscapes, especially in areas like fintech, blockchain, and AI, are intricate, with rapid evolutions defining their trajectory. At the heart of such evolving terrains, Christian Nagel stands tall as a seasoned navigator. With over 24 years of entrepreneurial and investment experience, he co-founded Earlybird Venture Capital, a firm that has left indelible marks in the tech investment space.

Christian’s discerning eye for transformative technologies and startups offers Web Summit attendees a rich tapestry of knowledge, encapsulating best practices, strategies, and the future of tech investments.

Hasmeet Kaur, Roland Berger

When it comes to steering global management strategies, Hasmeet Kaur’s leadership at Roland Berger stands as a testament to her prowess. As a member of the Global Management Board, she helms the Innovation and Products segment, ensuring that innovation isn’t just a buzzword but a tangible reality at Roland Berger.

Hasmeet’s dedication to driving systematic innovation means that attendees at Web Summit are in for an enlightening experience replete with strategies, insights, and a fresh perspective on product innovation in a global context.

Julie Koch Fahler, Agreena

In an era where sustainable practices are imperative, Julie Koch Fahler is paving the way with Agreena, introducing one of the world’s first internationally accredited soil carbon certification platforms. Her venture doesn’t merely touch upon sustainability but delves deep into harnessing top-tier remote sensing technology for regenerative agriculture.

Julie’s endeavors underscore the importance of aligning technological innovation with ecological imperatives. At Web Summit, attendees will get a chance to explore how groundbreaking technology can be harmoniously intertwined with sustainable agriculture, fostering a future where tech aids in nurturing the planet.

Kathleen Breitman, Tezos

In the enigmatic realm of cryptocurrencies, Kathleen Breitman emerges as a pivotal figure. As one of the early architects of Tezos, she has played an instrumental role in the cryptocurrency’s evolution. Tezos, under her guidance, harnesses a proof-of-stake mechanism, prioritizing high security and low energy consumption, especially when juxtaposed against more popular cryptocurrencies.

At Web Summit, Kathleen’s insights will provide attendees with a deep dive into the intricacies of cryptocurrency mechanics, shedding light on the balance between security, sustainability, and scalability in the blockchain ecosystem.

Lauren Wright, The Natural Nipple

The early stages of childhood play a crucial role in shaping an individual’s future, and Lauren Wright is on a mission to ensure optimal health from the get-go. Harnessing the power of AI, she is pioneering efforts to optimize the gut microbiome in early childhood, providing invaluable data-driven feeding insights.

With support from major health insurance companies and Fortune 500 industry leaders, Lauren’s endeavors represent a confluence of technology and healthcare, aiming at a healthier future for the next generation. Attendees at Web Summit can expect a compelling narrative on the intersection of AI, healthcare, and entrepreneurship from Lauren.

Lubomila Jordanova, Plan A

At the confluence of environmental action and technological innovation stands Lubomila Jordanova, a dynamic force in the green tech landscape. Leading Plan A as its founder and CEO, Lubomila’s efforts extend beyond her primary venture. As a co-founder of the Greentech Alliance, she has helped cultivate a community of over 2,000 startups, connecting them to over 500 advisors.

Furthermore, Lubomila’s advisory role at Chloé’s sustainability board speaks volumes about her commitment to eco-conscious initiatives. Web Summit attendees will witness firsthand how Lubomila marries technology and sustainability, providing actionable insights for enterprises aiming to tread the green path.

Mary D’Onofrio, Bessemer Ventures

In the bustling world of venture capital, few shine as brightly as Mary D’Onofrio. As the co-founder and partner of the growth investment practice at Bessemer Venture Partners, Mary’s focus sharpens on cloud software investments. Her keen eye has identified and backed groundbreaking ventures such as Teleport, Netlify, LaunchDarkly, and Imply Data.

Mary brings vision, strategy, and an understanding of the pulse of the ever-evolving tech industry. Attendees can anticipate a wealth of knowledge, encompassing best investment practices, trends, and the nuances of nurturing startups into unicorns.

Neil Patel, NPD (Neil Patel Digital)

In the realm of digital marketing and brand growth, Neil Patel’s name resonates with authority and expertise. The genius behind ventures like Crazy Egg and Kissmetrics, Neil has carved a niche for himself, transforming how brands perceive and harness digital platforms. Now, with Ubersuggest and NP Digital, he continues his relentless pursuit of aiding businesses in achieving unparalleled growth.

Neil’s clientele, boasting names like Amazon, NBC, and GM, speaks volumes of his prowess. Web Summit attendees embarking on Neil’s session will be privy to a treasure trove of digital marketing insights, strategies, and success stories that encapsulate his journey and expertise.

Olugbenga Agboola, Flutterwave

The African continent is rapidly emerging as a hub of innovation, and at its vanguard stands Olugbenga Agboola with Flutterwave, a pioneering pan-African payments solutions enterprise. As its co-founder and CEO, Olugbenga’s vision transcends traditional boundaries, aiming to seamlessly integrate and simplify payment systems across the continent.

His presence at Web Summit will bring more than just a story of a successful startup, representing the spirit of innovation, the potential of the African tech ecosystem, and the transformative power of visionary leadership.

Paul Ford, Redis

Paul Ford’s journey in the tech industry is a compelling narrative of innovation, foresight, and strategic leadership. Currently serving as the VP DevRel at Redis, his expertise spans various sectors from blockchain with Chia_Project to web data solutions with Storj.

Paul’s earlier roles include leadership stints at powerhouses like SendGrid, Twilio, and SoftLayer, each marked by significant achievements and growth. Anything he is a part of is a must-attend for those eager to grasp the evolving tech landscape and its myriad opportunities.

Philipp Rösler, Acronis

From the political corridors of Germany to the boardrooms of global tech enterprises, Philipp Rösler’s multifaceted career is nothing short of remarkable. As the former Vice Chancellor of Germany and the first cabinet minister of Asian background in the nation, his leadership journey took another turn when he joined the Acronis Board of Directors in 2021.

Blending political acumen with technological foresight, Philipp brings a unique perspective to the tech discourse. His Web Summit presence is anticipated to be a confluence of policy, technology, and leadership, offering attendees a holistic view of the global tech industry’s interface with geopolitics.

Sandeep Nailwal, Polygon

Blockchain technology has been revolutionizing industries, and Sandeep Nailwal stands at the epicenter of this transformation with Polygon. As one of the original founders and currently serving on the board of directors of the Polygon Foundation, Sandeep’s influence in shaping the Polygon network has been monumental.

Sandeep’s deep understanding of blockchain’s nuances and potential means that those seeking insights into decentralized frameworks, scalability solutions, and the future trajectory of blockchain technologies need to pay attention.

Sean Kim, Kajabi

In the age of digital content, platforms that empower creators and entrepreneurs hold paramount importance, and Sean Kim’s leadership at Kajabi exemplifies this ethos. As the president and chief product officer, he has been instrumental in shaping Kajabi into a unicorn enterprise, revolutionizing how digital content is created, marketed, and sold.

With prior experience as the head of product at TikTok, his insights into the digital content landscape are invaluable. Web Summit attendees diving into Sean’s session can expect a masterclass on digital product strategies, content marketing, and the intricacies of scaling a tech-driven platform in today’s dynamic digital era.

Sean Ringsted, Chubb

In an era where digitalization is reshaping industries, Sean Ringsted stands out as a visionary at Chubb, steering its 100% digital business unit. Responsible for driving revenue, products, and collaborations with digital-native platforms and financial institutions, Sean’s role is pivotal in transforming traditional insurance paradigms into agile, tech-driven solutions.

Web Summit attendees can anticipate a vast understanding of the digital transformation journey in the insurance sector, potentially including innovation, challenges, and the roadmap for the future in this space.

Stephan Morais, Indico Capital Partners

Venture capital plays a critical role in shaping the tech industry’s future, and Stephan Morais, co-founder and Managing General Partner of Indico Capital Partners, is a stalwart in this domain. Operating out of Lisbon, under Stephan’s leadership, Indico Capital Partners has been instrumental in the rise of unicorns across Portugal, Spain, the UK, the US, and Germany.

Stephan’s two-decade-long experience in the venture capital landscape positions him as a beacon of knowledge and strategy. Attendees at Web Summit can expect things like enriching dialogue that encompasses investment strategies, spots potential unicorns, and more.

Victor Riparbelli, Synthesia

In today’s digital age, video content reigns supreme, and Victor Riparbelli’s brainchild, Synthesia, is revolutionizing the way enterprises approach video creation. As the CEO and co-founder, Victor has spearheaded Synthesia to become the world’s premier AI video creation platform for enterprises.

By simplifying video production and eliminating the need for extensive setups, cameras, or studios, Synthesia is shaping the future of digital content. Look forward to insights on AI-driven content creation, the future of video marketing, and the transformative power of technology in media.

Wendy Gonzalez, Sama

The intersection of technology and social impact finds a passionate advocate in Wendy Gonzalez. As the CEO of Sama, Wendy’s endeavors focus on harnessing technology to create a meaningful impact. Her passion for building high-performing teams that scale innovative, impactful tech solutions positions her as a leader with a difference.

Wendy’s narrative is likely to offer a unique blend of leadership insights, technological innovation, and the role of businesses in driving positive societal change.

William “whurley” Hurley, Strangeworks

Popularly known as “whurley,” William Hurley’s contributions to the quantum computing realm are groundbreaking. As the CEO of Strangeworks, he has been instrumental in pushing the boundaries of quantum research and application. His diverse roles, from being an Eisenhower fellow to founding the Quantum Computing Standards Workgroup at the IEEE, showcase his unwavering commitment to this frontier of technology.

Additionally, his literary contributions, including “Quantum Computing for Dummies” and “Quantum Computing for Babies,” make the complex world of quantum computing accessible to diverse audiences.

Yana Abramova, Pretiosum Ventures

Venture capital is often seen as a male-dominated arena, but Yana Abramova is challenging this narrative. As the founder and managing partner of Pretiosum Ventures, Yana stands out as one of Europe’s few solo female General Partners. Her expertise in identifying, nurturing, and investing in promising startups has established her as a formidable figure in the European venture capital landscape.

Yana’s insights have the potential to provide a fresh perspective on investment strategies, the importance of diversity in venture capital, and the evolving European startup ecosystem. You do not want to miss a thing.

Zivile Einikyte, TechBBQ

In the realm of tech events and discussions, Zivile Einikyte stands out not just as a host, but as a creator. With her initiative, the Perception Paradox, Zivile delves deep into innovative dialogues, championing diversity and fostering meaningful conversations. Her passion extends beyond the tech space, as evident from her love for (kite)surfing and motorbiking.

However, at the core, it’s Zivile’s commitment to delivering impactful events and podcast discussions that makes her a standout figure. Anticipate a blend of tech insights, the art of hosting impactful events, and the nuances of crafting engaging tech narratives in today’s digital age.

A Final Note

As the curtain prepares to rise on Web Summit Lisbon, the lineup promises a fusion of innovation, expertise, and vision. Each speaker, with their unique journey and insights, contributes to the rich tapestry of discussions, debates, and dialogues that define this global tech gathering.

Grit Daily encourages its readers to immerse themselves in these narratives, harness the insights, and be a part of the global tech transformation journey. Remember, the future is not just about predicting it but actively shaping it.

Also, do not miss Grit Daily’s Sixth Annual Speaker’s and Media Dinner, where some of the biggest names will get together and rub elbows over a fantastic meal.

By Jordan French Jordan French has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team

Journalist verified by Muck Rack verified

Jordan French is the Founder and Executive Editor of Grit Daily Group, encompassing Financial Tech Times, Smartech Daily, Transit Tomorrow, BlockTelegraph, Meditech Today, High Net Worth magazine, Luxury Miami magazine, CEO Official magazine, Luxury LA magazine, and flagship outlet, Grit Daily. The champion of live journalism, Grit Daily's team hails from ABC, CBS, CNN, Entrepreneur, Fast Company, Forbes, Fox, PopSugar, SF Chronicle, VentureBeat, Verge, Vice, and Vox. An award-winning journalist, he was on the editorial staff at TheStreet.com and a Fast 50 and Inc. 500-ranked entrepreneur with one sale. Formerly an engineer and intellectual-property attorney, his third company, BeeHex, rose to fame for its "3D printed pizza for astronauts" and is now a military contractor. A prolific investor, he's invested in 50+ early stage startups with 10+ exits through 2023.

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