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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 June and July.

This being Europe, the pace slows in July and August (yes, even startups here take vacations!), then resumes in September.

We have a whole bunch of links to events later this year at the end of the post, so don’t miss that if you’re a planner ….

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


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 – 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.

• Re•Work Machine Intelligence Summit, 28 & 29 June, Amsterdam

Re•Work Machine Intelligence Summit is all about machine intelligence, which is – along with AI – the hottest of hot tech categories. The summit also is unique because it’s a tech event organized and run by women. But there’s more! Re•Work topics include not just machine intelligence/deep learning, but renewable energy, medtech, robotics, chatbots and, of course, women in tech.

Oddly, of the speakers announced, there’s only one woman … Tanya Harris, CEO of Harrman Cyber, based in London. Of course, machine intelligence is still in the lab phase, and several universities will be representin’ including the ETH Zurich, University of Amsterdam and the University of Kaiserslauter (Germany).

Re•Work has put on summits in the U.S. and Europe since 2013.

Passes start at 395 euros for startups/students and you can get yours here. Also note this event runs concurrent with a “Machine Learning and Autonomous Vehicles” summit.

• Inspirefest, 6 – 8 July, Dublin

Inspirefest is another all-things-to-all-people conference … technology, science, design and the arts including infosec, blockchain, AI, robotics and games.

The main conference runs 6 and 7 July in the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre in Dublin’s Silicon Docks. Unlike Re•Work above, which is organized by women, but has few women speakers, Inspirefest has women in the majority including Ellen Pao from Kapor Capital and Ann O’Dea, founder of Inspirefest,

Early bird tickets start at 150 euros and you can get them here.

•  High Impact Summit Eindhoven, 9 – 11 July

Eindhoven has the distinction of being the ultra-high-tech capital of Europe. This, our HQ city, is home to ASML, NXP and other companies that make the machines that make the machines in the semiconductor industry that power computers, phones and even cars.

Now, the HighTechXL accelerator based on High Tech Campus Eindhoven is pushing into other innovation categories including fintech and medtech with the High Impact Summit.

The summit includes challenges in photonics from ASML, for sure. But if your startup is more into fintech, you can tackle this challenge from ABN Amro bank and EY, the accounting firm/business consulting giant:

Help ABN AMRO and EY build the future of financial services

  • Data security and privacy
  • Authentication Data Analytics/Machine Learning/AI
  • Process automation/Robotics
  • Blockchain

Or you can work with Philips on their core business, medtech.

Eligibility criteria are:

  • a working prototype
  • the ability to launch a finished product or service within the next two years
  • the ability to have your posse on the ground at High Tech Summit

Deadline to apply is 20 June, so don’t delay.

Here’s the email:

EuroPython 2017, Rimini, Italy, 9-16 July

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.

Tech Open Air, Berlin, 11 – 14 July

Back in 2012, Berlin startup types created a new kind of festival … the first crowd-funded, multi-disciplinary conference. Tech Open Air is “bound by the desire to build a bridge between the tech, music, art and science worlds,” according to the website.

Speakers including Alex Ljung from SoundCloud, TomTom co-founder Corinne Vigreux, Jake Lodwick, Vimeo and dozens of other people from organizations and companies ranging from NASA to Viber.

The most interesting opportunity is that there are lots of pitch categories and challenges that put startups in front of potential investors. BUT, you have to get signed up on the website by 15 June.

Tickets start at 359 euros and you can get them here.

SaaStock, 18 – 20 September, Dublin

As Marc Andreesson so famously noted, software is eating the world. This is billed as one of the biggest gathering of software-as-a-service players (founders, executives and investors) in Europe. SaaStock 2017 is a place where global SaaS companies of all stages can meet and network.

This is so far outside our field of expertise that we don’t really recognize the speakers or the companies they work for.

Girish Mathrubootham from Freshdesk? We’re assuming he’s the Gary Vaynerchuk of the Saas world.

You can see the list here.

This is another event that’s waaaay too expensive for startups. But for those lucky software engineers, developers and coders working for big corporations, tickets start at 800 euros for the early birds.

You can buy tickets here.

Bits & Pretzels, The Founders Festival, 24 – 26 Sept. in Munich

We hear more about this festival than any other. “The new event we’re putting together is sort of like Bits & Pretzels, but for (fill in the blank.)”

So what is Bits & Pretzels? It’s a 3-day founders festival connecting 5,000 startup enthusiasts (tickets are limited to 5,000) to the founders of Virgin, Airbnb, Evernote or Zendesk, according to the website.

Oh, and throw in Kevin Spacey. (It’s the trend these days, adding actors and musicians.)

Bits & Pretzels creates unique networking around Munich Oktoberfest and encourages meaningful relationships between founders, investors and the media.

Basically, you have to apply to attend, and if you’re excepted, you find if you have to sell your first-born child to get a ticket.

You can apply here.

Coming up later this year (all events are in English):

South Summit, 4 – 6 October in Madrid. Spain Startup was founded in 2012, amidst the economic crisis, as a joint initiative with IE Business School with the conviction that entrepreneurs were the driving force to reactivate the economy. In three years, South Summit has become the worldwide reference as leading event around innovation, with more than 12,500 attendees from more than 100 nationalities last year.

World Summit AI, 11 & 12 October in Amsterdam: World Summit AI brings together the four pillars of AI System – enterprise, startups, investors and deep tech.

Websummit 20176-9 November in Lisbon. This is huge … serious entrepreneurs and CEOs. There were 53,000 people last year from 15,000 companies in 166 countries after Websummit moved to sunny Lisbon from not sunny Dublin.

Slush 2017, 30 November – 1 December in Helsinki. Yeah, it’s freezing cold in Helsinki in the winter (hence the name “Slush”). But last year, more than 2,300 startups, 1,100 venture capitalists, and 600 journalists from over 120 countries came to Slush to drive business, and to experience the phenomenal atmosphere.

Dutch Open Hackathon, 9 – 11 December in Rotterdam. This event is sponsored by KLM/Air France.

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