Taoiseach Enda Kenny opened the NASDAQ stock market on Wednesday alongside NASDAQ’s executive vice-president Bruce Aust in a special ceremony to coincide with Europe’s biggest internet conference – the Dublin Web Summit.
The Silicon Republic reports that Kenny said on stage at the Summit, “It is my great honor to ring the opening bell for the NASDAQ during Europe’s biggest and best tech conference, the Dublin West Summit. Ringing the NASDAQ bell from Dublin is symbolic of Ireland’s prime position as a hub of digital enterprise and innovation.”
Kenny and Aust’s opening was one of the few times the Stock market has been opened outside of the United States and it was the first time it was opened in Ireland.
Aust said, “We are delighted to be partnering the Dublin Web Summit this year and are proud to be able to bring the NASDAQ opening bell to Ireland for the first time.” He added, “The country is a hotbed for the creative and multinational talent that these tech giants need.”
Paddy Cosgrove, founder of the Dublin Web Summit said, “It is important to us that we support Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland in promoting Irish companies and Ireland as an investment location.”
Several Irish start-ups are expected to announce major funding deals at the conference. One of the expected announcements is a deal between Irish bookseller Eason and Kindle rival Kobo. The deal would offer an increased range of titles on Eason’s website and make Kobo ebook tablets available in Eason stores.
Thus far the summit has been a success for fundraising for some Irish companies. Cork-based online security firm TrustEv, which is backed by US venture capital fund Greycroft Partners and Irish investors ACT Venture Capital, announced a $3 million seed funding round. Co-founder Pat Phelan told the Irish Independent, “We’re thrilled to have such a strong pedigree of investors who believe in our technology.”
Likewise, Dublin based firm CurrencyFair has announced $1,375,500 in funding from US investment firm Frontline Ventures and another $1,375,500 from private angel investors. CurrencyFair co-founder Brett Meyers commented on the firm’s growth, “We’re going from a start-up stage to a growth stage. We’ve gone from six staff nine months ago to 24 staff now.”
Over the two day event, the sold-out Web Summit expects around 10,000 people to attend, of which 8,000 will have come from overseas. Speakers include Evenote’s Phil Libin, Stripe co-founder Patrick Collison, WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg and Tesla Motors and Paypal founder Elon Musk.