Only 12 weeks into the year, 2018 is turning out to be far busier than last year. There are even more conferences; more summits and more meetups scheduled almost every week across Europe from Portugal to Ukraine, with some organizers now running multiple simultaneous events.
As we posted last year, the question we hear increasingly as events multiply like rabbits and startup fever plateaus with investors is, “Are these things worth the time and money?” The answer is, “Sometimes.”
We were part of HighTechXL’s Impact Summit last year and it was amazing because we saw a level of sophistication missing in a lot of innovation centers, even in the U.S.
We started this list almost as a way to keep track ourselves of what’s going and to smarten up about the European scene. But it quickly attracted a significant audience across Europe. So we’ll try to do better at keeping it as up-to-date as possible.
And feel free to send us your events at: terry@dispatcheseurope.
The future of work isn’t all that bright unless you’re a robot.
But Landing Festival has another take …. that the old days of jobs-for-life and security were an illusion. (They were.)
From the Landing Festival website:
We will give you the rights tools, a mental boot camp meant to clash you with the future of tech and careers.
Landing Festival is really two events in one – a speakers-and-seminars tech careers events, and a job fair.
On the career seminar side, topics including navigating the hiring/recruitment process and taking control of your career in rapidly changing tech sectors.
On the jobs fair side, Landing Festival organizers promise 50 “selected companies,” heavy on the fintechs. They included virtual bank N26, Raisin, an investment marketplace connecting retail customers with banks and mobile payment company Sumup, But Soundcloud will also be there.
If nothing else, Landing Festival Berlin has the most compelling copy we’ve ever read on a tech-event website:
I imagine that right now, you’re feeling a bit like Alice.
Hmm? Tumbling down the rabbit hole? Reality is a funny thing. The life you’ve led is not, in fact, the totality of what is possible for you. And if you can release yourself from the bonds you don’t even see, you would then be able to see the world as it truly is. The world beyond the Matrix.
- Project management
- Future of work
- Corporate vs. startup
- UX front end
Passes start at 40 euros, and you can get yours here.
Re•work, 15 & 16 March, London
This London gathering is a multiple-channel event put on by a group of women who organize events around the world bringing together technologists, entrepreneurs and innovators. More of a techie, academic and policy wonk event than a glamour event, with substantial discussions of the most disruptive innovations.
Above all, Re•work events (including the dinners) are great for networking whether you’re in San Francisco, Boston or Hong Kong.
For this March event, there are three channels: Deep Learning in Retail & Advertising; Deep Learning in Finance and AI Assistant.
There are 60 speakers scheduled from Google, Airbus, Deutsche Telekom, Bloomsbury AI and Atomico and others.
Passes start at 65 pounds, and you can get them here.
START Summit, 15 & 16 March in St. Gallen, Switzerland
This event in the remote but scenic university town of St. Gallen near Lichtenstein shows how the Swiss are starting them early. Think of it this way: What if you had run into Page and Brin were still at Stanford?
START Summit is for student entrepreneurs seeking to meet investors and mentors.
START Summit is a student-run conference for entrepreneurship and technology, organized by START Global, Europe’s largest student-network for young entrepreneurs. So, yeah, it’s all about the smart kids. And today’s prodigy is tomorrow’s billionaire.
Which you can see in the level of speakers: We counted no less than 63 representing – among others – NASA, Cisco, Amazon, Google and Oxford University.
Student tickets start at 99 Swiss francs and you can get them here.
One of the first big-name conferences of the year. And an expensive one at 500 euros, but it is for corporates.
If you’re a believer in Eric Ries’s Lean Startup fail fast philosophy, this is a must-attend event. And yes, Ries – a former software engineer turned digital guru – will be there. (See the video above for a little bit of Ries’s philosophy.)
It looks like he’s promoting a new book on how to insert the startup ethos into corporates, which is a thing now.
LSSE is basically a two-day boot camp disguised as a summit, meant to get those junior VPs focused, up and running their own internal startups.
Day One: In-depth workshops for corporate innovators, with practical sessions on building the modern company around entrepreneurship and continuous innovation. Applying the Lean Startup methodology in practice.
Day Two: Keynotes by experts, seasoned practitioners and founders of fast scaling startups. Roundtable debates and networking.
KPN New Business and HighTechXL join forces for a new challenge: The Next Big Thing for KPN.
They’re collaborating to bring together the best and brightest high-tech minds at The Next Big Thing hackathon to shape the future of KPN. The ideation session is Thursday, 22 March 11:30 to 17:00 in Eindhoven. The event will be held at Effenaar events complex just across from the Eindhoven Central Train Station.
Join smart, connected and secure hardware with AI, Blockchain and Data challenges to create The Next Big Thing for KPN.
Startup Funding Event Global brings inspiring startups and world-class founders on 1 stage to compete for an Innovation Funding Award with 42,000€ worth of marketing materials.
We got this from Lova Kremer, part of the team putting this together:
This year we’re launching Startup Funding Event in Rotterdam, there will be 42000€ worth of prizes given away to the winner, and NO STRINGS ATTACHED.
The 42k worth of prizes includes a lot of mentoring, marcom and consulting. BUT, you get a shot at entering the World Startup Factory in Den Haag.
We’ll have more on this as we follow up.
(Editor’s note: This is courtesy of Cristina Radulescu at I-COM Global.)
The sixth edition of the I-COM Data Startup Challenge will showcase top startup teams from around the world who leverage value from marketing data and measurement as the central selling point of product or services.
I-COM provides a great opportunity to connect with potential clients and investors and helps startups reach the next level. It is also a chance to gain global exposure to key decision makers in the marketing industry at the I-COM Global Summit, to be held in San Sebastian, Spain, from April 9-12, 2018.
For the 2018 Data Startup Challenge:
- The Top 20 Startups will have the opportunity to attend the 4-day I-COM Global Summit (including the iconic Gala Dinner) as part of the Official Selection at a discounted Summit access fee.
- Only the Top 10 Startups qualify to participate in the final round of judging and present to all the Global Summit attendees.
- The Top 10 Startups will have the opportunity for 1 on 1 meetings with major brands and agency groups like Unilever, Havas, Publicis, WPP*
The awards will recognize up-and-coming startups on the forefront of new approaches and technologies and shine a light on the most successful case studies in the field.
For this edition, we are introducing a new category: Artificial intelligence
Other categories include: General, attribution, content marketing, CRM, mobile, programmatic, social media and video.
Why you should enter:
- Connect with key clients who could potentially invest in your product / service and help
propel your company to the next level of development
- Gain global exposure to key decision makers in the marketing industry
- Meet with seasoned executives for mentoring during “Office Hours” session.
I-COM defines a Startup company as follows: Product is live in the market, at least having one client = 1 case study; The company is less than 4 years old; Annual revenue less than US$ 2.5 million
The deadline to enter is January 29, 2018. You can apply here.
I-COM was founded in 2004, a spin-off of a P&G led industry initiative. Backed by 100 associations in 40 countries, today, I-COM is a Global trade body exploring the creation of business value from Marketing Data & Measurement.
(Editor’s note: It looks like this event is in both German and English.)
This might be the deal for corporations looking to startups for new ideas and new ways of working. Which is a thing, now.
From the NKF Summit mission statement:
The NKF Summit is a startup crash course for corporates. With this digitization conference, NKF Media offers a platform for the exchange between startups and established companies. In terms of content, it’s all about the burning question of how old-established companies of different sizes make the most of digitization with the help of startups.
Coca-Cola, Axel Springer and Aud. as well as the German CEOs of Airbnb, Casper, Outfittery and Uber, have all participated during the first two iterations.
And this is cool: Fifty startups have the chance to attend for free. They get:
• two free tickets
• one expo stand
• two speednetworking sessions
The Next Web, 24 & 25 May, Amsterdam
This is one of Europe’s mega conferences, drawing 15,000 people for 2017. A big deal even in Amsterdam … this year, even more so.
For 2018, a jury selected by Chivas Venture – funded by the Scotch brand (part of the giant Paris-based Pernod Richard) – will award a total of $800,000 to social startup. Another $200,000 will go to runners-up. You can see the details of the Chivas requirements here for next year. And social startups, of course, are the startups that solve problems such as access to clean water or micro-loans through private, self-funding initiatives. (TOMS Shoes would be a good example.)
Okay, about the rest of TNW – what’s left to say? A giant conference addressing the topics of the moment. No surprise, this year, AI, Machine Learning, and blockchain are among the 18 tracks.
The speakers are typically Tier 2, so you won’t see The Big Names.
This year is no exception, but still a solid lineup.
• Cassie Kozyrkov, Google’s chief data scientist
• Anjali Sud, CEO of Vimeo
• Chase Jarvis, CEO of CreativeLive
• Mike Curtis, Airbnb’s VP of engineering
• A bunch of people from Reddit
Notably missing this year are Dutch entrepreneurs just as Booking.com and Adyen are breaking out globally. Guess they’re busy.
Latitude59, 24 & 25 May in Tallinn, Estonia
Latitude59 bills itself as “the flagship startup/tech event of the world’s first digital society.”
The event is integrated into Estonia’s national marketing effort for its startup/e-Residency matrix.
The boutique event attracts around 2,000 people, mostly from the Baltics and Nordics, as well as investors from across the globe. More a serious event, less a party. But as we’ve written many, many times before, a lot of great technology starts with Estonian talent.
Tickets start at 69 euros for students. Yes, 69 euros. Not 690 or 6,900.
Latitude59, by the way, refers to Tallinn’s north latitude. So, ah, take a sweater.
TechCruch and VivaTech are teaming up for a Startup Battlefield Europe event this spring in Paris. This event is for early stage, pre-launch startups. This is your chance to win 25,000 euros in NO-EQUITY, cold hard cash and consideration for the BIG event … Startup Battlefield at TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco 2018.
To get there, you have to pitch in front of a live audience.
Applications are now open through 15 March, so don’t delay.
Startup Battlefield has had more than 700 contestants since it started in 2007, startups that have raised more than $8 billion in funding and racked up more than 100 exits. Not bad.
Product Camp, 7 thru 9 June, Gdynia, Poland
We just got this from Karolina Łuć in Gdynia:
We’re organizing (likely the biggest, hopefully the coolest 😉 product conference in CEE. Product Camp will be held 7-9 June 2018 in Gdynia, Poland. There are three days (workshops day + conference day + barcamp day) packed with over 70 practical sessions on topics as varied as: voice, product strategy, leadership, IoT, dev process, AI, research, VR, bots, SaaS, mobile. We’re expecting over 700 participants: product & interaction designers, researchers, product owners, product analysts & UX leaders.Confirmed speakers include: Peter Morville (founding father of information architecture), Josh Clark (famous mobile UX designer), Steve Portigal (guru of user research) + other amazing presenters from Dropbox, Minecraft, Frog, Ustwo, Lloyds banking.
Eric Reiss will also be there. (We know … he’s not Eric Reis, but it slowed us down.) The Dropbox thing got our attention and there are a lot of interesting speakers. The slogan is also cool: “The highest ratio of Product & UX heroes per square meter.”
Gdynia is on the coast just north of Gdańsk, so getting there should be easy. And there’s a tequila after-party event on the beach. So, yeah, this looks cool!
Tickets start at 1,299 PLN, or about 300 euros and you can get them here.
As we state in the Digiday blurb above, no business segment has been disrupted more dramatically by the Internet than media and advertising. Conventional media misplayed digital from the beginning.
First, media execs gave away content, mistaking the Internet for a novelty rather than the most efficient information-delivery platform in history. Then, they lost classified advertising to Craig’s List. Now, Facebook and Google have combined a 60-share of digital advertising.
How do we get out of this hole? Nordic Media Insights might have the answers.
NMI is an annual media conference for executives, managers and professionals in the Nordic (Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark and Iceland) and European Media Industry. But last year’s speakers including several American media executives including Joseph Kahn, managing editor of the New York Times, and Melissa Bell, co-founder of Vox.com.
So far, there are 40 announced speakers, and you can see their bios on the website.
CONFIRMED SPEAKERS 2018: 1) Max Amordeluso, Lead Evangelist for Amazon Alexa in Europe2) Ricki Rebecka Petrini, Head of Content Marketing, Mediekompaniet 3) Rickard Lawson, Country Manager & International Publisher Relations Manager, Strossle Norway 4) Lina Brounéus, COO Content, Viaplay and Viasat 5) Fredric Karén, Publisher, Svenska Dagbladet 6) Lotta Tjulin Thörnqvist, Creative Sales Manager, Schibsted Brand Studio 7) Stig Olav Kasin, Chief Content Officer, The Future Group 8) Astrid Schmeltzer Dybkjær, Business Developer, Information 9) Johan Lindgren, Head of Analysis, Aller Media 10) Sören Karlsson, CEO United Robots 11) Rishad Tobaccowala, Chief Growth Officer of Publicis Groupe 12) Jens Finnäs, Founder and CEO Journalism Robotics Stockholm and operator of Newsworthy news service 13) Anna Arvidsson, Head of Bonnier News Brand Studio 14) Thomas Sundgren, Head of Platforms, Mittmedia 15) Maya Garkusha, founder, Programmatic Consulting Nordic 16) Alec Sokolow, film writer (Toy Story, Skylanders, etc) 17) Steffen Damborg, Expert Advisor, WAN-IFRA Global Advisory 18) Magnus Anshelm, CEO of MMS
The 2018 Nordic Media Insights tracks will address the biggest issues:
• Robotics and Artificial Intelligence
• Great Branded Content & Native Advertising
• New & Adjacent Business Opportunities
• Increasing Consumer Revenues
• Digital & Interactive Storytelling
• What’s Next for Programmatic Advertising?
• Meet the Hottest Nordic Media Startups
You can get early bird tickets here starting at 7,500 Swedish krona (750 euros). Tickets are discounted until 1 January, when they go to 9,500 krona.
Webit.Festival, 26 & 27 June in Sofia, Bulgaria
This is more a gathering of government officials, EU policymakers and corporate executives than it is a typical startup/tech event. But Webit.Festival is projected to draw 7,000 people from 100 countries, all people who can influence Europe’s futurre digital course. But at the heart of Webit.Festival is Bulgaria’s chance to shine during its presidency of the European Union. And promote itself as an emerging innovation center.
Make no mistake … this is a big deal. True, Elon and Zuck won’t be here. But Mariya Gabriel, the European Commission’s commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society will be one of the 70-plus speakers, along some big corporate names including Andrew Tsao, managing director of Silicon Valley Bank and Maurice Lévy, the head of Publicis Group.
Somewhere in the middle of all this, the 200 “most promising” startups are scheduled to be honored. And this is all part of EU Digital and Innovation Week, the flagship event of the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the European Union
Tickets start at 190 euros, and you can get them here.