Pioneers Festival – the future of tech in a royal palace

What would 2300 pioneers from Europe and beyond do in Hofburg royal palace in Vienna for two days? Pioneers Festival had nothing to do with music (as we are used to in this place), but with the future of tech, as Forbes described the event. And that is pure tech, beyond mobile apps and social networks. Think 3D software pitches, fastest electric car showcased at the entrance and much more.

There are four aspects of this festival that I liked. Here they are (don’t miss the mentioned presentations):

1. There were lots of eye-opening showcases and presentations proving that tech startups shouldn’t be only about mobile apps and social networks. Yes, we can do much more than “a facebook for dogs” and “instagram import on web platform”. A few examples here. Thumbs up to the organizers for bringing diversity to the event.

2. There are advantages of being a startup in Europe – great presentation by Mike Butcher, TechCrunch Europe. “Design, culture, fashion, music. Leverage this stuff. This is part of you. This is where you are from. The world buys this. […] You go to Palo Alto, it’s full of fucking parking lots. We are in a palace.” said Mike. Here the full recorded presentation.

3. Plenty of emphasize on customer development and lean startup methodology. The festival brought to Europe well-known book authors and entrepreneurs like Ash Maurya, Sean Ellis, Alex Osterwalder (click on their names to see their presentations).

4. The winner of the Startup Challenge was a woman entrepreneur representing Poikos, building body measurement technology. Also, women entrepreneurs seem to be a lot encouraged by Dave McClure from 500startups. Quite cool to see him changing approach when a woman was pitching to him. Unfair advantage? :)

Until next time, cheers!