What’s eating Paddy Cosgrave? Three days with the ‘anti-establishment’ entrepreneur

The Web Summit founder has developed a reputation as an online activist who has been successful in using Twitter to make his views known. But is it ego or ethics that drives him to continuously needle those in power? The Business Post followed him to Collision to find out

Paddy Cosgrave, founder of Web Summit: ‘The only way for a cohort of people in positions of power and influence in Ireland to combat what I say is not to deal with the substance of it, but instead to fixate on my character’. Picture: Daniel Lynch

Sitting in the green room of the Collision conference in Toronto last month, Paddy Cosgrave begins comparing himself to philosophers in the lead-up to the French Revolution as he sips on a Starbucks frappuccino.

The founder and chief executive of Web Summit is responding to a question about the tone of Twitter outbursts in which he takes aim at Irish politicians, business people, journalists and sometimes members of the public in insulting and mocking ways.