With the mission to showcase not only great speeches from reputed tech professionals, but also provide a platform for the CEE tech community, How to Web is already building a steady following. The 2013 edition of the conference brought together 800+ participants from 10 countries and 40 international speakers, who addressed topics like business growth, the new media and leveraging the most recent tech trends. Naturally, we had to be there, too.
This year, the event, which took place in Bucharest on 20-21 November, showcased a line-up of international speakers, some of whom with strong entrepreneurial background, such as Thomas Hartwig (co-Founder and CTO of King.com), Cristopher Martin (Senior Manager Bosch), Philipp Kandal (co-founder and CTO of Skobbler, Germany and Romania), and Michael Levit (founder of Spigot, US). Among the speakers we also spotted some familiar CEE faces: investors Lyuben Belov from Bulgarian accelerator LAUNCHub and Radu Georgescu from Romania also took stage.
“How to Web has continued our tradition in putting together great entrepreneurs, specialists and investors from throughout the SEE region,” said Bogdan Iordache, co-Founder and CEO of How to Web.
A common agenda
Dylian Dimitrov (founder of Bulgarian startup accelerator Eleven), who attended the conference for the second time, said that the event was “perfectly sized, not too small that you can’t bring high-profile speakers and not like those very large conferences which can get too impersonal.” Like other participants, he came with a clear agenda: “I want to find startups to include in our accelerator programme, like we did last year, when a startup pitching on stage – Gameleon – was included in our programme in January 2013.”
The event again featured a Startup Spotlight section, bringing eight startups from CEE face to face with accelerators and investors like Jon Bradford (TechStars London), Carlos Espinal (Partener Seedcamp) and Sitar Teli (Connect Ventures).
“It was a hit with more than 400 mentoring sessions, workshops and pitching during the conference, and 20.000 dollars in cash prizes for the winners,” says Iordache.
This year the Startup Spotlight award went to Smart Hand, a startup from Bulgaria that engineers a myoelectric prosthetic hand for disabled people. “The award received means a lot to us, especially in terms of international recognition as compared to the skepticism that we’ve faced in Bulgaria,” said Ivaylo Yankov, co-founder of Smart Hand, whose team went home with 10.000 dollars. “It’s fresh air for our company and the cash prize will help us make our product better.”
The runner-up was Synetiq from Hungary – the team received a 3.000 dollar cash prize. The IXIA Innovation Award and 5.000 dollars went to Romanian Wyliodrin. There was also a Best Pitch award, worth 2.000 dollars, which went to Bulgarian Data Maid.