Pioneers “pulling the plug”
By organising events such as the Pioneers Festival (see our article on last year’s happening), STARTeurope are one of the key players in uniting and promoting the Austrian and also the European startup community. Now, the organisation headed by Andreas Tschas and Jürgen Furian has decided to “pull the plug” on one of their most popular Viennese happenings, the Startup Lounge, as the format is rebranded as Pioneers Unplugged.
Apparently, the “unplugged” refers to unplugging yourself from work and digital devices. While we’re not sure how this is going to work, we found out some other details from Allan Schlundt Bodien, who is the head of the new format that will launch on 11 April at the HUB Vienna.
Why the rebranding?
Allan Schlundt Bodien, head of Pioneers Unplugged, told inventures.eu that switching up the brand is a way to “refine and improve” the format. In other words, Startup Lounge may have been popular, but not particularly sustainable. Now, it’s “time to take it to the next level,” Schlundt Bodien said. Rebranding, however, also means “homogenising the brand”, in which it falls under the same umbrella as their very own Pioneers Festival and the “New Age of Pioneering”, which was recently announced on their yet-to-be launched website pioneers.io.
The decision comes at a time when uniting the brand seems to be of major importance. With the Dublin Web Summit held at the same time as the Pioneers Festival on 30-31 October this year, homogenising may be the official reason, but strengthening and differentiating the brand seem to follow closely behind.
Going beyond the conceptual argument, however, there is also much practical reasoning behind the move. It’s called transitioning into a sustainable revenue model, especially as STARTeurope is a startup itself. Several implications have emerged from this intent, one of them being the downsizing of the startup’s staff.
In addition, unlike Startup Lounge, Pioneers Unplugged is now charging 10 euros for tickets, thus replacing its – until recently – “free entry” policy. Introducing an entrance fee, however, does not appear to have had any negative influence on the visitor interest. On the contrary, all tickets for the event were sold out within 12 hours, Schlundt Bodien said. “By attaching a fee to the event, we’re ensuring that those that truly want to be there… will attend.”
The organisers have revealed five of the speakers for the kick-off, buthave also kept a few “extras” secret. Among the line-up are Andreas Tschas, CEO of Pioneers, and Gernot Grömer, President of the Austrian Space Forum, as well as representatives of three of Austria’s very own startups: Albrecht Karlusch, co-founder of Abotic, (see our article on the startup here) Ali Mahlodji, CEO of Whatchado, and Richard Poettinger, CEO of SmartMenu. Pioneers Unplugged will be moderated by Can Ertugrul. The place: HUB Vienna. The date and time: 11 April, 18:00.
Although the kick-off event has sold out, this is how you can stay on top of upcoming Pioneer-related happenings.