For one week, the Netherlands will be the center of the global startup community. Thousands of aspiring entrepreneurs, developers, hackers, investors and corporate innovators will get together to create tomorrow’s economy. Startup Fest Europe takes place from 24 – 28 May and aims to bring the world together and help startups grow faster. More than 28 events will take place in 14 cities across 5 days.
Even though you can visit some awesome keynote speeches around the country, there’s plenty of great events in Groningen too. We’re starting a few days earlier too, with no less than four hackathons during the weekend of May 20 to May 22, a couple of cool keynotes and pitches about virtual reality and great talks about the art of scaling up by Catawiki and Crowdynews.
Startup Fest Europe is initiated by StartupDelta, as a crown to the ambitious results that have been achieved. For a full week, the Netherlands will showcase the fields of expertise in which it excels: food and agriculture, health, energy, high tech and water technology. Chaired by Constantijn van Oranje and led by Jim Stolze, this world-class event brings the most exciting speakers to the Netherlands whilst facilitating worldwide matchmaking between funds, startups, talent and centres of excellence.
The main goals: deals, deals and deals. Startup Fest Europe is an official EU presidency event, supported by the ministry of Economic Affairs and the ministry of Education, Culture and Sciences.
Big keynote speakers
The spectacular lineup of keynote speakers includes Tim Cook (Apple), Eric Schmidt (Alphabet, Google’s parent company), Travis Kalanick (Uber) and Nathan Blecharczyk (Airbnb), and during the opening day on May 24th at the Beurs van Berlage, StartupFest will host Europe’s most promising startups and the world’s greatest Venture Capitalists.
The world’s leading VCs will meet the very best of what Europe has to offer, Vinnie Lauria (Golden Gate Ventures), James Wise (Balderton), Matteo Rizzi (Omidyar), Jeppe Zink (Northzone) and Elody Dupuy, Vice President at Insight Venture Partners.
Flying in from London, Silicon Valley, Johannesburg, Mumbai, there’s an extraordinary international top selection looking to invest in Europe. Their portfolio includes successful investments in companies such as Skype, Betfair and Takeaway.com, so you can rest assured: they all are top-notch!
The startup festivities in Groningen
So what kind of kickass stuff is there to do in Groningen? Quite a lot, so here’s a quick rundown of all the things you can’t miss:
Hackathons, hackathons, hackathons!
You can hack your way through no less than 4 hackathons with four different themes: health, flood control, Bitcoin and sound & music.
The Aquathon (May 20-22). TNO and the Regional Water Authorities put sensors in the Dutch dikes and collected 5 years worth of real time Big and Open Data. Six teams of diverse creatives will work on innovative solutions to solve five different cases in the water sector, ranging from VR applications, to 3D mapping and realtime risk assessment.
Hacking Health (May 20-22). Working together on the future of healthcare. Three days in a creative pressure cooker for healthcare in teams consisting of healthcare professionals, patients, developers, creatives and entrepreneurs to find and develop a solution.
Startup Weekend (May 20-22). A 54-hour event where developers, creators, designers, marketers, product managers and startup enthusiasts come together to share ideas, form teams, build products, and launch startups! This year’s theme is sound & music.
21 Bitcoin computer hackathon (May 26). IntoBlockchain.com is organizing a modest hackathon with a great opportunity: play around with the first three 21 Bitcoin Computers available in the Netherlands.
Keynotes you can’t miss:
Everything you need to know about virtual reality. On Monday May 23, SMC050 will explain everything you wanted to know and more about virtual reality in the MartiniPlaza, with keynotes from the experts and pitches from VR startups.
The art of scaling up. If you want to learn how to go from promising startup to successful scale-up, don’t miss the VentureClass. Marco Jansen (Catawiki) and Edwin Kuipers (Crowdynews) will be discussing their road from startup to scale-up, the art of scaling up, their struggles and the role of investors, during this year’s VentureClass on May 26.
Now this is quite a hefty programme to take in all at once, so that’s why, in the coming weeks we’ll provide you with a few cool articles highlighting all the different awesomeness. So stay tuned!