Lifestyle & Culture

New for 2020 (updated): Dispatches’ list of the best startup and tech events in Europe and beyond

(Editor’s note: A number of events are cancelling or rescheduling due to the coronavirus. We’re in the process of updating the status of all the events on our various lists.)

Boy, that escalated quickly. It really got out hand fast, didn’t it? It jumped up a notch. You’ve heard all the lines about how we went blissfully into 2020 thinking it was going to be the best year ever for startup and tech events, then COVID-19 happened.

So, we’re going back over the list and updating dates and adding info. If there’s a positive side, getting in will be easier this year as – let’s face it – we’re not in the go-go 2010s any more. So, let’s use up our budgets now while nobody’s paying attention ….

We’re getting updates from organizers faster than we can process them, but speaker lineups and other details are changing. So we’ll keep monitoring. Also, look for more online-only events. We got an email from Ray Dargham at STEP, which puts on the conference in Dubai, and they plan a series of small virtual events.

As always, Dispatches will continue weighing the potential benefits of an event with the costs and omit the unjustifiably expensive events, as well as search for events which can help you build your skills and industry connections. 

Also, we’re pushing beyond our borders to include events in Israel and Dubai that are easily and affordably accessible from Paris, Frankfurt and Amsterdam.

Send us your event at: [email protected] … and thanks to all you who’ve send us your event info through the years. It goes without saying that this list will be updated weekly.

Paris Blockchain Week Summit, 31 March & 1 April (rescheduled tentatively for December)

Paris wants you to forget Amsterdam, Tel Aviv, Tallinn, Lisbon, Barcelona and every other digital-innovation capital. To do that, the French have come up with Station F, the French startup visa and lots of big events including Paris Blockchain Week Summit. Tickets start at 175 euros for developers and you can get yours here.

The goal is to make France the first G20 country to create a business-friendly environment for the rapidly growing blockchain/crypto currency ecosystem. 

France actually has a secretary of state for Digital Affairs, and he’ll be there at Station F. Tickets start at 175 euros, and you can get yours here.

Arch Summit 2020, 1 & 2 April in Luxembourg City (rescheduled for 28 & 29 October)

Small but seriously wealthy Luxembourg has banking and finance and even steel, but it’s missed out on the digital revolution. Until now.

Arch Summit – brought to you by a joint venture between Vodafone Group and Technoport (Luxembourg’s government-run incubator) – brings startups and corporates together as more multinationals such as Vodafone look to juice operations with fresh blood and new thinking.

Tech tracks include:

• 5G (surprise … since this is all telecom driven)

• IoT

• AI

• blockchain

• and anywhere else a big telecom can play in the revolution to link the planet.

This is more of an industry trade show than a feel-good gathering, so a booth, matchmaking tool and networking come with the 499 euro price of admission.

This is really Vodafone’s party, so their top brass will be there speechifying. But there are real opportunities to take home serious money including 150,000 euros in cash if you win the pitch contest, as well as 6-months of support through Technoport.

You can get your tickets here.

Seedstars World Summit, 2 & 3 April in Lausanne, Switzerland (online only)

This is Seedstars summit where the best-of-the-best global startups and investors come together in arguably the most beautiful setting of all the world’s startup events, in Lausanne on the shores of Lac Léman (Lake Geneva).

The highlight is the pitching competition between 12 finalists for the Seedstars Global championship. The Summit includes speakers panel discussions and industry-focused workshops.

The whole thing works like this: Seedstars organizes startup/entrepreneur events across the globe in 80-plus emerging ecosystems. More than 100,000 people from all over the world belong to the Seedtars network, including 2,000 investors. 

The idea is to find and fund the technologies and businesses that can really boost emerging markets. As you might expect with a do-good effort, tickets start at an affordable 85 Swiss francs and you can get yours here.

You can see the full agenda here.

Dublin Tech Summit, April 22 & 23 (rescheduled for 9 & 10 September)

Along with Berlin, Barcelona, Amsterdam and Frankfurt, Dublin is a city of tomorrow as Brexit transforms the tech and financial landscape of Europe.

The Republic of Ireland has attracted operations of most of the largest tech companies in the world from Amazon to Zalando. So, this 2020 event is themed as “What Does Tomorrow Looks Like.” (For the record, no question mark.)

This is an emerging technology event with 200 speakers that’s projected to attract 10,000 attendees, so this is the big event replacing Web Summit, which left Dublin for Lisbon in 2016.

This year, the marquee speaker is Eric Yuan from a little unicorn called Zoom, which Microsoft tried – and failed – to acquire before it went to an IPO.

Tickets start at 259 euros and you can get yours here.

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