Record number of women-founded startups at Web Summit Rio 2024

Matthew Taylor's avatar
Matthew Taylor
A group of people including Web Summit founder and CEO Paddy Cosgrave stand on a stage. A large Web Summit Rio sign is suspended above them. These are some of the women founders attending Web Summit Rio 2024.
  • 45 percent women founders, the highest proportion at any Web Summit event
  • 47.5 percent attendees and 39 percent of speakers are women
  • 34,397 attendees are joining us from 102 countries 
  • 1,066 startups from 42 countries are exhibiting, representing 31 industries
  • 844 members of the media are attending Web Summit Rio, covering talks from 518 speakers
  • 499 investors at event, with 175 partners – including IBM, Huawei, Salesforce and more

Record number of women-founded startups

Web Summit Rio is welcoming a record 45 percent women-founded startups within its startup program at the second annual event in Rio de Janeiro. This is the highest proportion of women-founded startups at any Web Summit event in its global roster, and is more than double the proportion there was at Web Summit Rio 2023. 

“The fact we have the largest gathering of women founded startups in South America is a testament to the diversity in the region, and I hope throughout the event they get to meet with the investors and partners needed to grow these businesses,” said Web Summit founder and CEO Paddy Cosgrave.

“This is our fastest-growing Web Summit event ever, and few destinations are as vibrant and exciting as Rio de Janeiro for hosting an event. An almost 60 percent increase is record breaking, and once again shows the desire to build companies that will disrupt how we work and live,” he continued. 

Sold-out event, with 34,397 attendees from 102 countries

Web Summit Rio officially sold out the week prior to the event, and the number of people attending has risen almost 60 percent, with 34,397 people from 102 countries coming to Riocentro for the three-day event.

Weeks before Web Summit Rio kicked off, our women in tech initiative, developer program, startup program and exhibition space also sold out. The floor space at the event has increased approximately 25 percent from last year, catering for the almost 13,000 additional attendees. 

1,066 startups and 175 partners

1,066 startups from 42 countries around the world will be exhibiting at Web Summit Rio, representing 31 industries. Almost 16 percent of startups are attending through Web Summit’s Impact program, which showcases startups that align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, including climate change, human rights, education and more. 

175 partners – including Salesforce, Huawei, Grindr, IBM, SAP, Itaú and Udemy – will be exhibiting on the event floor to explore opportunities in the rapidly growing tech economies across Brazil and Latin America. Trade delegations have come from all corners of the world – including Angola, Austria, Estonia, Finland, Hong Kong and The Netherlands – to connect and explore global business opportunities.

6 Impact and 22 community partnerships 

Web Summit Rio also partners with organizations, companies and agencies that support and prioritize underrepresented people across the technology industry. Community partners at Web Summit Rio include Casablack, a hub of black culture and innovation created to inspire and empower people through black achievements, culture, entertainment, technology and creativity; Rede Mulher Empreendedora, which will be hosting a roundtable on creating inclusive and equitable environments for women in STEM; and Transfero Academy.

Web Summit recently announced its new all-women steering committee to oversee Impact initiatives across startups, partnerships and investor programs. Along with the 16 percent Impact startups on the event floor, the Impact initiative includes partnerships with Re:wild, which is backed by Leonardo DiCaprio and working to protect and restore biodiversity; World Climate Foundation, the biggest and most influential global climate action platform in the world; and Djassi Africa, which is bringing 24 Black-founded startups from Brazil to Web Summit Rio. 

518 speakers, 844 members of the media, and 499 investors

518 speakers – including TBD CEO Mike Brock; Ripple president Monica Long; Canal KondZilla founder and director KondZilla; Grammy-winning artist Gilberto Gil, influencer and entrepreneur Bianca Andrade; Mayor of Rio de Janeiro Eduardo da Costa Paes; Grindr CEO George Arison; IBM VP and chief impact officer Justina Nixon-Saintil; and Nubank chief technology officer Vitor Olivier – will be speaking on Web Summit Rio’s 15-plus tracks across nine different stages over the course of the three-day event. 

844 members of the media will also attend the event, including those from Globo, The New York Times, CNN, Reuters, Valor Económico, CGTN, Axios and Bloomberg.

Key figures from Poli Angels, BR Angels, Vox Capital, Vinci Partners, Kaszek and Seedstars make up the near-500 investors at the event.

Women in tech

47.5 percent of attendees and 39 percent of speakers at Web Summit Rio are women, and 480 of the 1066 startups attending Web Summit Rio have a woman founder.

Since 2015, Web Summit’s women in tech program has been committed to achieving gender parity at all of our events across the globe. The women in tech ticket initiatives offers pairs of Web Summit Rio tickets at a discounted rate to women connected to tech industries, giving them access to an incredible experience full of inspiring talks, mentorship opportunities, industry networking, learning and development, as well as exclusive access to women in tech areas, including the Women in Tech Lounge, powered by Banco do Brasil.

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