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New for 2017 (updated): Dispatches’ list of Europe’s best startup and tech events

(Editor’s note: This running list of Europe’s best tech and startup events will be updated throughout 2017.)

Dispatches Europe is all about global mobility of talent, and we believe in the value of all the collaborations that can come out of the collisions of creative people at tech events.

So we decided it was high time for Dispatches’ 2017 list of best startup and tech events across Europe.

And yes, we’re having a hell of a time keeping up with all the new events … just for May and June.

In fact, here are links to a couple we missed:

 • Skolkovo Village,  Moscow, 6 June and 7 June

Love ’em or hate ’em, the Russians know tech. This is the fifth year for Skolkovo, and we like the concept of no VIP BS, no closed sessions, no restricted areas and no dress code. So who really learns from Silicon Valley? The freakin’ Russians.

Last year, this event drew 20,000 visitors, 4,000 startups and 800 investors.

You can sign up here.

•  DigitalK in Sofia, Bulgaria, Sofia, 8 June and 9 June

We keep telling you the future is in the Balkans and Eastern Europe. Well, here’s your chance to find out if we’re right. If you do, you’ll run into representatives from Apple, 500 Startups and Gartner.

You can see lots more events on our new Passport social-media platform.

Also, send us the details on your event to and we’ll get it posted ASAP.

IOT Tech Expo, Berlin,  1 June and 2 June

This is the second year for IOT Tech Expo, which is run – like so many of these events – by a company. In this case, London-based Encore Media Group.

IOT Tech Expo boasts “top level content and discussion across 6 conferences, solution based case studies and examples from industry leaders, a vast exhibition exploring the latest technologies, live demos, dedicated networking opportunities, and a start-up incubator.”

There are six conference tracks covering; Connected Industry, IoT in Enterprise, Smart Transportation & Cities, IoT Innovations & Technologies, Data & Security and Developing for the IoT. And with an a big event, there’s a massive number of speakers … at least 200 “senior level” speakers, according to the website.

To be honest, IoT ain’t our schizzle dizzle, as Snoop says. So we didn’t recognize a lot of the names. But we did recognize their employers, and they include Microsoft, Allianz, Lufthansa, the European Space Agency, BMW, HSBC and Volvo.

The reason we’re including this event is because, yeah, you can spend 1,000 euros on a ticket. BUT, there’s also a free ticket for those wanting to learn more about IoT, looking to develop an IoT product or just checking stuff out. The Free Expo Pass allows access to the ‘Developing for the IoT’ and ‘IoT Innovations’ conferences over both days and the vast exhibition! Register for a free expo pass here.

• Festival, 2 June and 3 June, Lisbon

This is kind of cool … a job fair disguised as a tech event. Or a tech event that’s actually a career day … we can’t decide.

What makes it NOT a job fair? Topics include fintech, AI, IoT and all the high-tech buzz words. There’s the 24-hour hackaton to “solve the problems that really grind peoples’ gears.” Grease those gears and you could win 6,000 euros.

But yeah, this is basically a boutique job fair that puts highly talented tech people in the same relaxed room (or on the same boat … there’s a cruise ) with employers. There are also career workshops.

From the website: 

At the Festival you’ll meet 60 of the coolest tech companies from all over Europe. Get to know the people you could one day be working with, in our absurdly informal festival environment.

Companies include Farfetch, Microsoft, KPMG, Fujitsu and Bosch.

Too good to be true … there must be a catch, right? Yep, a big one.

You can’t buy your way in … you have to be selected, judged by your tech bonafides.

You can fill out the form here. Go for it …..

• London Tech Week, 12 June through 16 June

You had to wonder when the music industry and tech would mind mild.

Well, it’s coming this summer.

London Tech Week will host a concert featuring Oscar- and Grammy-Award winning composer Hans Zimmer (“Black Hawk Down,” “The Lion King,” “Gladiator”), according to a news release.

London Tech Week bills itself as “Europe’s largest festival of technology,” with hundreds of events across the city from 12 June through 16 June. LTW is projected to attract more than 40,000 visitors from all over the world.

(Actually, that would make it considerably smaller than the Web Summit, which recently drew 53,000 attendees after its move to Lisbon.) But LTW is far more spectacle than substance, with awards and drone races.

From the release:

Showcasing the very best of London and European start-ups, London Tech Week will partner with The Europas to host this year’s awards ceremony at Here East on June 13. This year’s awards ceremony will also feature two brand-new awards categories – tech for good and smart cities innovation.

You can see the full news release here.


• The Europas, 13 June, London

There’s a certain amount of irony here. London is hosting The Europas, the Best of Europe. We’re thinking for the last time. (You know … that whole Brexit thing.)

Billed as “One incredible night in London,” this is really an awards event which names the “hottest startups in Europe.” But strike out the word “Europe,” and insert “London.” This is about building the London ecosystem, specifically AI and the latest tech.

The Europas promises a “deep-dive into niche discussion groups relevant to your business, network with Europe’s key founders and investors, and enjoy a stunning awards dinner and party.

Stop us if you’ve heard this, but The Europas are about networking and putting promising startups in front of investors. The website isn’t particularly clear about what sort of startups their looking for, just “high tech.” Which covers a multitude of sins.

We’ve heard of Balderton Capital, which does serious early stage investing. They will be there. Otherwise, the list of VIPs and speakers is UK-centric.

From the website:

Instead of a massive anonymous ‘congress,’ the majority of The Europas delegates are invited key players and experts, keeping the numbers low and the networking high quality.

You know when organizers promise stunning award dinners and glittering awards, the tickets are going to be pretty pricy.  Actually, they’re not that bad, starting at 245 pounds and you can get them here.

Viva Technology Paris, 15 June through 17 June

The Big One is back for 2017 in Paris.

In 2016, the inaugural year of VivaTech drew 45,000 people.

This year, the dates are 15 June through 17 June. This is the one event we will attend simply to see for ourselves everything going on under the direction of entrepreneur Xavier Niel. Niel is the driving force behind Station F.

This year, Viva Technology’s theme is “The Rendez-Vous for Game Changers,” and you can see the new website here.

Last year, Alphabet (Google) Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt was a featured speaker, and several mega-tech companies including Google saw fit to debut new products in Paris. Which tells you a lot about this event.

Schmidt is on the list of speakers for 2017, and Google is a platinum sponsor.

The people we’d like to hear include Claire Balva, CEO of Blockchain France and Daniel Zhang, CEO of Alibaba.

And this might  be of interest … at least one big VC firm from The Valley will be there in the form of Andreessen- Horowitz (A16Z). Also, Atomico, the fund created by Skype founder Niklas Zennström is on the website.

This year, as with last, it seems like every big company in France and the world has challenges including telecommunications giant Orange, Eurostar trains, Cisco Systems and Air France/KLM.

You can see them all here.

There will be 20 labs hosted by companies such as Orange, BNP Paribas and LVMH.

New for this year is a job board with 366 positions open in every category from digital marketing to cybersecurity. You can see those here.

You can get your pass here … and the event is heavily discounted if you register in advance … early bird offers up to 31 May.

Passes start at 192 euros and go up to 392 euros. But read the fine print on access.

App Design & Development Conference, 22 & 23 June in Barcelona

imgresThis looks kinda cool, if a bit ad hoc. App Design & Development will bring together designers and developers who build iOS, Android, TV and wearable applications. And we’re thinking potential employers might outnumber the coders at ADDC if our own frustration at finding tech talent is any indication.

ADDC already has a number of speakers from top  tech companies including Google, SoundCloud and Spotify. The website states there are more speakers to be announced.

All tickets except the 499 euro standard tickets are sold out.

• NOAH17 Conference, 22 June & 23 June in Berlin

Yet another important and gigantic event in Berlin, billed as the “largest Unicorn gathering.” Also, this is an all-things-to-all people event, the goal of which is to build a “sector-neutral ecosystem connecting established Champions and new Challengers.”

There’s so much information on this, it’s kind of overwhelming. But you can see it all here. (.pdf warning)

Scheduled seminars include Automotive 2.0, Apps World, a session with John Collison, founder of transaction giant Stripe,  a session with Zalando executives including CEO Robert Gentz as well as with Oliver Samwer, the overall CEO for Rocket Internet … and Farfetch CEO José Neves will be there.

Here’s the mission statement from the NOAH17 website:

The NOAH Conference provides a platform for leaders of the digital economy to meet and interact. The target audience spans from entrepreneurs, investors, corporate executives, networkers to leading industry journalists.

Previous speakers include Travis Kalanick from Uber. So yeah, it’s a big deal.

You have to fill out too much stuff for them to calculate your attendee category, so we have no idea how much it costs.

But if you have the time and money, he’s the application page.

Money20/20 Europe, Copenhagen 26 June through 28 June

Greed, for the lack of a better word, is good. And if there is a tech category where a lot of people are going to get crazy rich, it’s fintech. Because you know … everyone likes money.

Which is why Money20/20 Europe will be the place to be in June. Money20/20 is a global network/events company for fintech innovators and investors that’s split between London and New York.

In June, they’re coming to Copenhagen for Money20/20 Europe. The group organizes the largest global events “enabling payments and financial services innovation for connected commerce at the intersection of mobile, retail, marketing services, data and technology,” according to their “about” page on the website.

This includes (theoretically) everyone from startups to CEOs at global financial giants.

Of the announced speakers so far, the Big Name is Jack Dorsey, who’s billed as the “CEO of Square.” You might know Dorsey better as the co-founder and CEO of Twitter.

Ashock Vaswani from Barclays Bank will also be speaking, as will Wiebe Draijer, chairman of the board of Rabobank and Ann Cairns from Mastercard.

You can see the full 2017 agenda as a .pdf.

For the first Europe event last year, Money20/20 Europe attracted about 4,000 attendees including 500 CEOs from 1,500 companies and 70 countries, according to the website.

From the website:

The show featured 422 speakers, over 200 sponsors and more than100 media partners. Our unparalleled senior audience was comprised of visionaries and luminaries: the people who built the ecosystem, and the people who are disrupting, challenging and changing it. 

As you can imagine, this is not an inexpensive event.

Tickets start at (are you sitting down?) 3,000 euros, and you can get them here. (What, you thought this was going to be free? Please ….?

Download the 2017 event brochure here.

See you at Money20/20 honey.

• Kickstart Accelerator starts this fall with parallel programs in Zurich and Basel

Switzerland is big in several high-tech sectors including Medtech. In fact, Swiss researchers in Lausanne are in a partnership with the other big hardware center, Eindhoven, in a MedTech startup called G-Therapeutics.

Not satisfied with controlling the world financial system, the Swiss want to make Zurich and Basel startup hubs.

Kickstart Accelerator is looking for 30 startups for a program that offers up to 25,000 Swiss Francs in seed money.

Kickstart Accelerator is open to startups working on “future and emerging technologies” in FinTech, food, robotics/intelligent systems, smart cities and healthcare.

Selectees will get an 11-week program (from September through November) with working and living spaces covered as well as access to 15 corporate partners, mentors and experts.

Here’s the schedule:
Apr 30 – Applications close / Deadline
Jun 22 – 23 – Bootcamp
Jun 30 –  Startups selected
Sep 4 – Accelerator Program Kick-off
Sep 6 – Partner Fair & Presentations
Sep 7 –  Opening ceremony
Sep 27 – CEO & Founders dinner
Nov 17 – Final Demo Day

By the way, the two programs run at the same time, one in Zurich, one in Basel.

Kickstart Accelerator is an initiative by digitalswitzerland, a cross-industry association, which aims at making Switzerland a leading digital innovation hub in Europe, according to the website. In the first edition last year, six startups raised a total of 4 million Swiss Francs.

You can apply here.

EuroPython 2017, Rimini, Italy, July 9-16

EuroPython is the largest conference in Europe for developers and coders who use Python programming language.

We’re excited because our longtime friend Jan Willem Tulp is the headline speaker.

Jan Willem has created visualizations for global corporations, organizations and media including Google, Scientific American, Nature, Popular Science, World Economic Forum, Unicef, Unesco, ESA and Philips.

He speaks regularly at international conferences, and teaches a workshop on data visualization design.

Python was developed in the Netherlands to be a versatile tool allowing programmers to express concepts in fewer lines of code than possible in languages such as C++ or Java, according to Wikipedia.

Python is now ranked among the Top 5 most popular programming languages, so millions of people use it every day. And this is the event for them. It doesn’t hurt that it’s in Rimini, Italy on the coast!

So this is a big deal.

Tickets start at 130 euros, and you can get them here.

Sponsors include Intel, Facebook and Microsoft.

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