If you’re in startup and you know it raise your hands! You are? Excellent, we love you! Even if you’re not, we still love you. However, today, we’re going to talk about startup business. Getting startup off the ground is a job that requires devotion, innovation, time and a lot of work. But if you don’t have any connections, things are going to be slow, not to mention finances. So to kill two birds with one stone, the best place to get some investments and connections are startup conferences. If you don’t know what those are, don’t worry, we’re going to present to you 2015 conferences to spark up your imagiantion. Fasten your seat belts!
First things first, TechCrunch Disrupt NY is one of the startup conferences, with the big THE. Held in New York on May 4th through 6th, it connects leaders with startup enthusiasts on the big scale. Each day starts with panels and one-on-one chats featuring TechCrunch writers and editors, guest speakers, leading venture capitalists and entrepreneurs. Each afternoon, there is a Startup Battlefield competition which culminates in six finalists taking the stage at the end of the event for a shot at winning the Disrupt Cup and $50,000. Don’t forget about 24h Hackathon that will happen on May 2nd and 3rd where teams join forces to create a product within 24-hours and winners get the chance to present their product on the Disrupt stage.
Jumping across the Atlantic pond, last month LeWeb was held in Paris, but don’t worry, they already have started planning things for next December. It is Europe’s most established tech conference known for digital innovation where visionaries, startups, tech companies, brands and leading media converge to explore today’s hottest trends and define the future of internet-driven business on three stages called Pullman, Eiffel and Haussmann. However, it is Paris that we’re talking about, so it is a romantic fact that LeWeb was founded by husband and wife Geraldine and Loïc Le Meur. If December is too far, don’t fret because there is also another LeWeb that will be held in European tech hubbub, London on 16th and 17th of June.
Before you hop to the more northern parts of Europe, you should definitively check out Spark.me. It will be held in the beautiful Budva, Montenegro on May 31sy and June 1st and you just simply cannot resist the Adriatic coast in the late spring. The conference is designed to ignite your imagination, inspire you and to let you find your spark, that one great idea. Their philosophy is that a successful conference is built on more than just good speakers and a good agenda (though they certainly promise both), but it is also about the people who attend, and in the way they interact. It is a small and cozy event by the beach, which means lots of room for dinners, informal get-togethers and other opportunities to work on those world domination plans.
If you are just enamoured with Adriatic coast, then we must also talk about Rock Paper Startups. With exact dates yet to be announced, we can say that it will be held in Rijeka, Croatia, in April. There is just something attractive in pitching your project over a beer in flip-flops that you just can’t resist. You can learn how to switch from working on client projects to working on projects for users! It doesn’t matter if you want to build a hardware, B2B or B2C business. Oh, did we mention that the last two were endorsed by your very own Domain.Me and that there were speakers from our troops? To be exact, just a few months ago, Nataša Đukanović was talking about branding and emotions on Rock Paper Starups. Excuse us, but we had to have this (humble) brag.
If you are less of a chilling-on-the-beach type, but you don’t want to wander too far from water and boats, we can introduce you to Pirate Summit. With the motto “Putting the Arrr! in startup”, it is definitively one of the craziest startup conferences. It is held on September 2nd and 3rd in Cologne, Germany and it is Europe’s biggest invitation-only gathering of early-stage startups and investors. It represents grassroots entrepreneurship that are authentic, crazy and real. You get to meet experienced as well as upcoming founders, high-profile investors and entrepreneurial rockstars. It’s top-class networking and having fun while listening to inspiring talks and panels. They also have “Walk-The-Plank” pitch competition and there will be fire, lots of it.
To round up this list and let things get loose, we must swim back across the Atlantic to SXSW that is held in Austin, Texas in March. Although technically more of a festival that is known for its Film (held from 13th to 21st) and Music (held from 17th to 22nd) parts, it also has a third part called Interactive which is held from 13th to 17th. It is entrepreneur-related programming covers a multitude of topics ranging from social media, hacktivism, health 2.0, privacy and security, to 21st century transportation models. While this diverse range of panels is very popular with the digital creatives, sessions that focus on startups and entrepreneurism have seen an immense spike in attendance in recent years. Did we mention they have a Startup Village?
If you want to attend any of those don’t wait too long, or the seats and places will be snagged very soon. Entrepreneurs are a quick bunch!