Let’s face it. Some tech conferences have lost their way. While TechCrunch Disrupt remains a firmly curated, media-driven, event, with hundreds of journalists attending, a couple of other conferences have really gone for scale. A minimum of 15,000 people, thousands of companies, echoing halls — and a lot of investors (and journalists) turning their badges around so they don’t get torn apart by hungry entrepreneurs. Don’t get me wrong — there’s nothing wrong with scale, and it can be very useful. But isn’t it time to bring things back to a more human level?
So, in partnership with TechCrunch, The Europas Conference & Awards, which I founded, has come up with a new model. Think of it as a relaxed, summer prelude to the heat of Disrupt. (Tickets available here).
It goes like this:
• Far fewer people (800-1,000), with many of those specially invited
• Key Founders and investors speaking; many more invited to simply hang out
• Robust, expert discussions and Q&A directly from the main stage
• Intimate “breakout” sessions with key players on vertical topics
• The opportunity to meet almost everyone in those small groups, super-charging your networking
• No VIP rooms, which means you get to interact with the Speakers
• No live stream — you’re either ‘mindfully’ there or you’re not
• Major journalists from major tech titles, newspapers and business broadcasters
• A parallel Founders-only track (PathFounders) geared towards fund-raising and hyper-networking
• A stunning awards dinner and party which honors both the hottest startups and the leading lights in the European startup scene
That’s what The Europas hopes to achieve. A great group of people in the heart of London, Europe’s biggest startup ecosystem, with key investors, Founders and ecosystem-players. Far less pitching, but a lot more humane conversations in an environment where people can get to know each other in a non-transactional way.
And what better way to do that in the summer sun, by the River Thames, with a drink in your hand, the prospect of some great conversations, and a fantastic party and celebration of the European startup scene in the evening.
So who’s coming so far? Here’s a run-round of some of the key speakers, amongst many others. More will be announced soon.
Many new Founders quickly realize that company culture is at least as key to success as their product. To that end, Julia Hartz, co-founder of Eventbrite, will be speaking about how you build a robust team and culture.
Startups often talk about exits, often far too early. Greg Marsh, founder for onefinestay, will be coming along to give a full and frank account of his exit this year to AccorHotels for $170 million, after several years of building his company. How did he move towards the end game? We’ll find out.
Michael Schneider, who built and exited Mobile Roadie, will give us the scoop on how he’s building Service, his new startup, out of LA, and what the future of customer service actually looks like.
Bethany Koby, cofounder of Technology Will Save Us, will talk about the trials and tribulations of building a hardware startup out of Europe.
We’ll have John Henderson of White Star Capital discussing Artificial Intelligence with Azeem Azhar of The Exponential View and Anita Schjøll Brede of hot new AI startup out of Norway, Iris.ai. Founder-turned-VC Andy McLoughlin (Huddle) will be grilling startups in our Live Office Hours session with Local Global’s Saul Klein, Sonali de Rycker of Accel Partners, and Connect Ventures’ Sitar Teli and Nic Brisbourne of Forward Partners
We’ll be investigating and asking where the innovation is in Fintech with Passion Capital’s Eileen Burbidge, Mark Tluszcz of Mangrove Capital Partners, Taavet Hinrikus of Transferwise, and Tina Baker of Jag Shaw Baker.
Did someone says EUnicorn? What does the future hold for Europe’s Unicorns? We ask Qualcomm Ventures’ Jason Ball, and Balderton Capital’s Suranga Chandratillake will it all go Pete Tong for the European unicorn.
Other VCs and angels attending include Christian Hernandez (White Star Capital), Nenad Marovac (DN Capital), Irena Goldenberg (Highland Capital), Omri Benayoun (Partech), Tracy Doree (Spring Partners), and Harry Briggs (BGF Ventures).
You’ll hear about Cyber Security startups from Jonathan Luff (Cylon) and Ruth Anderson (Head of UK Cyber at KPMG). Growth Hacking will come courtesy of the founders of Secret Sauce. The Internet of Things will be debated by Thomas Nicholls (Sigfox) and Andy Hobsbawm (EVRYTHNG).
On Health startups we’ll have Ida Tin, Founder of Clue from Berlin. And on Internationalization Brynne Herbert from MoveGuides. More to come!
Confirmed Media so far include Liam Boogar (RudeBaguuette), Robin Wauters (Tech.EU), Madhumita Murgia (The Daily Telegraph) and James Cook (Business Insider).
We’ll also get a different flavor from world-renowned speaker Jonathan MacDonald, founder of the Thought Expansion Network, who will present the exclusive findings of his survey “What gives a company the most competitive advantage” which you can participate in here.
That’s just the beginning. There’s more to come. And we haven’t even announced the shortlist for of The Europas Awards yet! (Patience… next week).