The 2015 edition of the pan-European startup contest Idea Challenge sees an increase in variety and internationality. The series of events re…
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They call it “the hottest event on entrepreneurship and innovative technologies”, so if you’re an entrepreneur, have an innovative technology that you’re dying to bring out of your basement, or are simply looking for some startup heat, then you might want to consider going to the Pioneers Festival. Yes, it’s at the end of October (30-31), but some pre-planning won’t hurt, nor will some more insight into what to expect. So here comes.
If you’re a startup...
...you might want to get your papers, story and team together, and apply for the Pioneers Challenge, the Pioneers 90" Pitch and/or the Pioneers Showroom. This year, the organisers are looking for the up-and-coming software and hardware startups in web and mobile, as well as, for the first time this year, in artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, energy, aerospace, and health – the last of which is a field we have recently focused on (see here). The Pioneers Challenge, being one of the event’s highlights, will allow the top 50 startups – carefully screened and selected by an expert jury – to pitch their business ideas to some of the most influential European investors (the line-up of whom has not been made public yet) on 29 October. The best eight teams will proceed to the finals, where they will go through the same drill just not only in front of the decision-makers, but the entire 2.000+ festival participants. Last year’s winner was British startup Poikos, with Austrian Helioz and German BeamApp as the runners-up.
If you’re a speaker...
... then you might happen to be either Christopher Ahlberg, founder and CEO of Recorded Future, Sitar Teli, investor at Connect Ventures, Andy Johns, growth expert at Quora, Twitter and Facebook, or Antony Evans – currently about to wrap up his Kickstarter project “Glowing Plant”. These are the first four speakers, as announced by the organisers last week. Looking back at the 2012 line-up with more than 60 influential speakers, and looking forward to the extended focus of Pioneers – which may have something to do with differentiating the brand from the Dublin Web Summit to be held on 30-31 October as well. There are ever-rising expectations as to who else will join.
If you’re an investor...
... you will be listening to a variety of startup pitches, (re-)discovering enthusiastic teams, innovative ideas, and hopefully feasible business plans. But most of all, you’ll be getting lots and lots of business cards.
If you’re simply in the audience...
... you’ll be hearing plenty of tech talk, and meeting some of the big names of the CEE and international startup scene. During the two-day festival, you’ll get to choose between two stages: the Academy, where you can get some in-depth insight into entrepreneurship, its dos and don’ts, and ups and downs; and the Arena. The latter goes by the following definition: “New topics and trends will be discussed in an entertaining setting where the audience will get inspired and experience technological innovations.”
Tickets are 151 euros for students, 301 for startups and 601 euros for the regular ticket. The 2-for-1 special offer for two regular tickets for the price of one expires on 3 June, so if you’re quick, you might just make it. Further details here.
On a related note, Vienna will be hosting the second local Pioneers Unplugged on 20 June at Chaya Fuera.
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