The team behind the Dublin Web Summit are nothing if not ambitious – every year this event in the Irish capital gets bigger, and for 2013 they’re aiming at making it more of a SXSW-style festival than simply a tech conference.

Among the changes this year, the Web Summit is boosting its offering for startups. As usual, the centerpiece for this is the startup competition, which this year will be called PITCH. The exact judging panel hasn’t been firmed up yet, but last year’s included YouTube co-founder Jawed Karim and Michael Birch of Bebo fame and the 2013 panel will be drawn from the Summit’s speaker lineup, so you can expect to pitch in front of some well-known names from the tech scene if you make the grade.

PITCH will have two tracks, meaning that two overall winners will be crowned on the main stage at the end of the Web Summit. Meanwhile free exhibition space will be offered to selected startups, which should be a good way to boost your visibility when you’re there, whether or not you make it into the competition.

Big-name speakers lined up for the 2013 Summit include Di-Ann Eisnor, VP Community Geographer at Google’s latest acquisition, Waze; Digg founder turned Google Ventures VC, Kevin Rose; angel investor Esther Dyson; Phil Libin, CEO of Evernote; Joe Lonsdale, co-founder of Palantir and a partner at Formation8, and Niklas Zennstrom the founder of Skype and Atomico.

The Summit will also welcome Tony Hawk – a name that gamers and skateboard enthusiasts alike will instantly recognize. He’s not just focused on his Ollie Airwalks and 360 Spins, though. The Tony Hawk Foundation has donated over $5m to help fund hundreds of skate parks across the US, and he’s authored a best-selling book – ‘How Did I Get Here: The Ascent of an Unlikely CEO’.

As a media partner for the event, The Next Web looks forward to doing a Nosehook Impossible and Railstand as we cover the Dublin Web Summit on 30-31 October 2013. Tickets are available now.

➤ Dublin Web Summit

Image credit: Thinkstock