Paddy Cosgrave, the co-founder of the Web Summit (and husband of model Faye Dinsmore from Ballintra) visited Coláiste Cholmcille last week to speak to Business students about his life as an entrepreneur.
Despite the current success of the Web Summit, Paddy’s early days were far from outstanding he told the students, pointing out that he began school studying foundation level Maths.
At the age of 12 he started to read biographies by sports stars like Tiger Woods and Ronaldo to find the motivation to improve in school. He found that they all shared a commitment to hard-work and perseverance. This gave Paddy the motivation to work harder in school, moving on to honours Maths for Junior Cert and performing well in the Leaving Cert.
From there, he went on to study Business, Economics and Social Studies (BESS) in Trinity College, Dublin, where he also became the president of the University Philosophical Society. He encourage the students to take part in clubs and societies in college, as he found his experience outside of lectures very important for his own personal development.
Paddy co-founded the Web Summit in 2009 as he felt there wasn’t a good platform for entrepreneurs to come together, and he wanted to create a way for them to do so. The Web Summit is now recognised as one of the main technology conferences in the world with many offices worldwide. The Web Summit moved to Lisbon in 2016, having outgrown Dublin, but Paddy will return to the RDS soon with Moneyconf, a financial technology spin-off from the Web Summit.
Paddy explained that the most successful people he has met are not profit-driven. Their motivation comes from within, from a passion to be the best at whatever they choose to do. This is the same for Paddy, who wants to create something that people will have a use for and which they will like.
The students found Paddy’s talk to be very interesting. Thanks to Business teachers Yolanda Gallagher and Nicola Conlon for arranging the visit.