inventures Event Series Our new series provides you with the most important startup events of 2015. We will provide you with events for each season but will also present theme and industry focused events in- and outside CEE to you. Watch out for new chapters coming soon!
Surely, London, Paris, Berlin and Munich may be places where startup events are an almost daily occurrences, but CEE countries don’t spend the whole winter in a deep slumber either. Here are some of the key events happening closer to you
Startup Weekend, Vienna (Austria):16-18 January 2015
A grand tradition restored in Vienna, the Startup Weekend is going to be back in just a few days when developers, entrepreneurs and startup enthusiasts will join forces for 54 hours of fun, creativity and hard work. There are just a few tickets still left for 60 euros apiece, so make sure you grab yours in time.
Global Game Jam, Throughout CEE: 23-24 January 2015
Most of the countries in the region will have at least one city participating in the international Global Game Jam event, founded 7 years ago. This year, numbers are expected to surpass the 488 locations in 72 countries around the world, with Austria (Linz, Vienna, Graz), Bulgaria (Sofia, Plovdiv, Bourgas), Greece (Thessaloniki, Patra, Athens) and FYROM (Skopje, Bitola), all boasting more than one location. Hungary, Poland, Romania, Serbia and Slovenia are also joining the marathon in which programmers, designers, graphic artists and enthusiasts will try to create a game in less than 48 hours. Ticket prices and availability vary by country.
StartupTurkey, Antalya (Turkey), 26-28 February
Photo credit: StartupTurkey; http://on.fb.me/1AQFTHIGathering the best of Eurasia’s startup scene, the three-day event will invite investors and top tier tech executives on stage to inspire local entrepreneurs and feature a speed-networking bash. Over 100 startups from the region will not only have a chance at some time in the spotlight during the demo day, but may also soak in some sunlight if they are lucky, for the seaside resort’s climate is usually pleasant at this time of year. There is no information on ticket prices, but startups can apply through a questionnaire or request an invitation online.
CEE Women Startup competition, Budapest (Hungary): 5-9 March 2015
The second edition of the week-long reality-show style competition will take place in March in Hungary. Geared exclusively towards startups with predominantly female teams, this challenge will see five startups come head to head for a chance to win investment opportunities, free working space and other prizes. If you want to join, you can still make the shortlist by applying before 3 February. No information on ticket pricing is available yet.
Regional events provide a great first level of networking, but every once in a while it is great to see how you compare to the big players in the sector. Usually a hotbed of innovation announcements and prototype unveilings, specialized industry gatherings are in a league of their own. Here are some European ones promising to heat up the winter.
Bett Show, London (UK): 21-24 January 2015
EdTech has been a big topic for startups, because there are countless of ways in which education can be improved through the advance of technology. This London-based event is key for any startup thinking of taking the education road and has “been bringing innovation and inspiration to the education sector for over 30 years”. Over 35,000 visitors are expected to attend and one reason that the numbers are so mind-boggling is that entry is free to all trade visitors who register online (or those looking to start a new business in the next 12 months) and you would only need to pay 30 pounds if you try to enter without a badge on the day.
Wearable Tech Conference, Munich (Germany): 2-3 February 2015
Wearable tech in Munich; Photo credit: http://on.fb.me/1IDM7ep
According to organisers, more than 80,000 visitors will descend on Munich for the 14th edition of the WT conference. The topic of wearable technology is a big one for startups too and with speakers from big brands like Adidas and Intel and startups such as Bragi and BitBite, the event is a must-visit for any entrepreneur hoping to make it into this specific industry. Tickets are currently selling at 895 euros, but latecomers will have to cough up 1,250 euros if they register after 20 January. About 100 exhibitors are expected to show the latest gadgets and for 3,332 euros, you could also get a demo package including two tickets, a table and two chairs.
GSMA Mobile World Congress, Barcelona (Spain): 2-5 March 2015
Already mentioned among the key events of 2015, the Barcelona congress gathers startups and big industry players together and is a great place to see where technology is heading. Tickets start at 749 euros VAT excluded, but if you also want to attend the keynote speeches and conference sessions, the price goes up to 2,199 euros, VAT excluded. Members of organiser GSMA can get a 30% discount on tickets sold by the association.
Internet of Things Summit, London (UK): 12-13 March 2015
With a focus similar to that of the MWC, this event will bring together key players in the exciting new game called the Internet of Things. With 50 speakers and 200 attendees, the event promises to have a cozy feel and offer group brainstorming sessions and interactive workshops on energy, big data, future cities, connected homes, and more. Super early bird tickets have been discontinued, but you can still grab an early bird one, sold by 6 February for 375 pounds. Even better, theorganizers seem to understand the struggles of young entrepreneurs and offer startups/academics and developer tickets at 125 pounds apiece.