In 356 days it’s once again set to host the ‘one and only’ Pioneers Festival.
What ingredients do you need for a festival? Answer: kick-ass fans, outrageous acts, a killer program and lots of beer. Now, what’s required for a stellar high-tech conference? You need world-class speakers, innovative topics and a venue that blows you away as you walk through the front door. Put all these ingredients together and you have Pioneers Festival 2012.
The three-day start-up Festival was all about breaking boundaries, going beyond one’s comfort zone and fearlessly diving into the abyss of the unknown — that’s being a pioneer — and we had over 2,500 Pioneers at the Hofburg Imperial Palace last week. STARTeurope’s young team shattered all expectations by hosting an outrageous Festival in Vienna; BMX jumps; free runners ; a laser show; crazy screaming for not only the incredible speakers, but for the dueling Startup Challenge teams. Blend in cutting edge technology; know-how sharing; networking; a world of innovation; new thoughts and insights into emerging technologies and industries and you have a brilliant Festival whereby everyone has a chance to become a Pioneer. This was a three day window to the future — now it’s simple. Carpe Diem!!
This is what Pioneers Festival was all about and in 2013, it will be again. Save the date for: October 30th- 31st!
The Festival kicked off with a 24 hour hackathon for a financial services product at the Co-Working Space of Sektor5, resulting in two outstanding developers working with professional entrepreneurswho were battling it out in The Clash Of The Founders. On the October 28th, 50 pre-selected start-ups (the golden 50) were chosen out of 858 applications from 58 countries and from every continent on the planet. All were invited to the Startup Challenge-Kick-Off-Day with the aim to get each start-up team ready to rumble. On the 29th, the exclusive Investors-Day, the atmosphere was intensifying. The top 50 had to pitch their business venture in front of an audience of investors and jury. You guys know that the business is rough, so at the end of the day only the best 16 start-ups remained. On the October 30th, the Hofburg Imperial Palace opened its doors for 2500 guests! After standing in the cue for a while, expectant faces entered the venue. After passing innovative, hot showcases like the coolest and fastest Rimac electric car and interactive, high-tech booths, the decision surrounding which track to enter was the only remaining challenge! Since program highlights are something very subjective I won’t comment on any; I’ll let you decide since all the speaker speeches, presentations and panels are free to watch here.
The festival feeling kept peaking to new level highs with 7 after show parties — and the headache following on the 31st was a bitter-sweet reminder you were shakin’ it up at the Halloween party. Pioneers may party hard, but it didn’t stop them from working harder when the venue was packed again by 9 am the following day. The last day was a mixture of panels, discussions, show-cases, workshops and roasted start-ups; it ended with a fabulous crescendo — the winner of the Pioneers Challenge and the prestigious Pioneers award. EleanorWatson from the UK and founder of Poikos received a champagne shower, a roaring round of applause, jubilant whistles and took home 25 k thanks to Kapsch.
The closing keynote was as unconventional as the entire festival. The founders of STARTeurope, aka, the pumpkin and dandy, (as a hint to the crazy halloween closing party) were on stage dedicating the closing to the team organizing Pioneers and the kick-ass fans — all without whom this magical Festival would have been a snooze fest. To put it in Forbes words “Pioneers Festival is what LeWeb used to be”, or like TechCrunch says …”something we need more of in Europe”. Thanks to all of you who made this happen and for helping us prove that Vienna is a city of entrepreneurship!
From this point forward, 356 days are clicking down to yet another epic Pioneers Festival. If you have a minute, we would love to receive your feedback about the event in order for us to keep improving from year to year. As a final note, save the date for Pioneers Festival 2013: Conference days, October 30th and 31st at the Hofburg Imperial Palace. Buy your Early bird ticket on special offer for the 2013 Conference Days! Ya better hurry up, we might be booked out a little earlier this time!
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