Patrick Cosgrave is an Irish entrepreneur. He is a co-founder of Web Summit, an annual technology conference. With a background in business, economics, and social studies from Trinity College Dublin, he emerged as a visionary leader shaping the landscape of innovation. Co-founding the Web Summit and F.ounders conferences, Cosgrave established globally acclaimed platforms that unite luminaries from diverse fields, fostering innovation, networking, and knowledge exchange. These events have redefined the concept of tech conferences, revolutionising how innovators, entrepreneurs, and thought leaders connect and collaborate on a global scale.
Cosgrave's dedication to innovation and his impact on the technology and entrepreneurial ecosystem earned him accolades and recognition. He was honored with the 2015 Irish Exporters Association annual gold medal and was prominently featured on Wired UK's list of the "100 most influential individuals in the wider Wired world" in 2015.
Furthermore, Cosgrave's commitment to fostering innovation extends to his role as an Ambassador for the European Innovation Council from 2021 to 2027.
Born and raised on a farm in County Wicklow, he developed a strong foundation that would guide his future endeavors. His educational journey led him to Glenstal Abbey School and Trinity College Dublin, where he pursued studies in business, economics, and social studies (BESS). During his time at Trinity, Cosgrave's leadership flourished as he served as the president of the University Philosophical Society (The Phil) and acted as the editor of Piranha, a satirical college magazine. His academic pursuits culminated in the achievement of a II-1 BA from Trinity College's BESS program in 2006.
Cosgrave's early career was marked by his engagement with initiatives that aimed to empower and engage young people. He served as the executive director of Rock the Vote Ireland, a campaign launched in 2007 to encourage youth participation in the Irish general election. Simultaneously, he co-founded MiCandidate, a platform that provided comprehensive information on candidates during the 2007 general election. The success of MiCandidate led to its acquisition in October 2009.
However, it is the co-founding of the Web Summit and F.ounders conferences that stands as one of Paddy Cosgrave's most significant contributions. These events have become global platforms for innovation, technology, and networking, attracting influential figures from various industries. These conferences have reshaped the landscape of tech gatherings and have played an instrumental role in connecting entrepreneurs, innovators, and thought leaders.
Paddy Cosgrave's vision is to inspire and facilitate meaningful connections, innovation, and collaboration within the global technology and entrepreneurial ecosystem. He envisions a world where industry leaders, innovators, and thought pioneers converge through his groundbreaking events like the Web Summit and F.ounders conferences. These platforms serve as catalysts for cross-disciplinary exchange, fostering an environment where ideas are shared, partnerships are formed, and groundbreaking solutions to complex challenges are developed.
Cosgrave's vision also encompasses promoting transparency, engagement, and active citizenship. Through initiatives like Rock the Vote Ireland and MiCandidate, he strives to empower the younger generation to engage in the democratic process and make informed decisions. His commitment to fostering a culture of innovation, learning, and positive impact has earned him recognition and influence on both national and international stages. As an Ambassador for the European Innovation Council, Cosgrave continues to champion the power of collaboration, paving the way for a more interconnected and innovative future.
Recognition and Awards
- Profile: Web Summit founder Paddy Cosgrave | The Daily Business Post
- Top school enrols boys who won't start classes until 2027 | Sunday Independent
- Scaling Dublin's Summit | Wired UK
- Spinning a web summit | Trinity Today
- Universities, Societies & Clubs. Culture, Extracurricular Activities & Career Progression: Trinity College Dublin, Four Case Studies | Trinity Long Room Hub
- Paddy Cosgrave | World Economic Forum
- Is a Trinity degree worth more? Tech entrepreneur hits a nerve | Irish Times
- Celebrities call on young people to rock the vote | Irish Examiner
- Political media start-up MiCandidate acquired in MBO | Silicon Republic
- Trinity graduates spearhead new awards for academic excellence | Trinity News
- Web Summit 2016 will ditch Dublin for Lisbon | Wired UK
- Exporters Association presents Gold Medal to Paddy Cosgrave, Web Summit at IEA President's Lunch at The Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin | Irish Exporters Association
- The 2015 WIRED 100 | Wired UK
- EIC Ambassadors (2021 – 2027) | European Innovation Council
- Head of Development appointed to HEA Board | www.itsligo.ie
- Higher Education Authority Report of the 372nd Meeting | Higher Education Authority
- Paddy Cosgrave issues app-ology | The Irish Times
- Claims Cosgrave 'slow-clapped' IDA staff member during speech | Irish Independent
- Claims Cosgrave 'slow-clapped' IDA staff member during speech | Business Post
- Web Summit is getting comfy in Portugal as it opens a Lisbon office | For a
- Web Summit organiser apologises over 'offensive' dinner at Portugal's National Pantheon | TheJournal.ie
- Web Summit founder withdraws invite for far-right leader Marine Le Pen to 2018 event | TheJournal.ie
- Marine Le Pen's presence deemed 'disrespectful' at Web Summit | BBC News
- Web Summit chief in U-turn as invitation to far-right leader Le Pen is withdrawn | Irish Independent
- Latest: Web Summit withdraw Le Pen invitation saying it is 'disrespectful' to Portugal and attendees | Irish Examiner