Top 12 Startup Conferences in Europe to get You Funded or Famous!

Top 12 Startup Conferences in Europe to get You Funded or Famous!

01-Aug-2014 by SophiaKirova


It seems like “the time is now” and is right to be an entrepreneur in Europe. The recent report by Dow Jones VentureSource showing that European startups have raised their highest quarterly total since 2001, is nothing but good news. The interesting part is, the capital that has been intensively fueling these startups for the past 3 months, comes mainly from the USA.

With the establishment of the Google Ventures Europe and Index Ventures’ new fund, among others, there seem to be many opportunities to inject some cash in your startup. But pitching your idea to investors still happens in the old-fashioned way – during events or through your network. This is why we have made a small selection of upcoming startup challenges and events, which can give you a solid push by either a cash prize or VC attention.

1. The Pirate Summit Cologne 1-5 September (Currently Open)

“Founders, high-profile investors and entrepreneurial rockstars”, The PirAAARte Summit is a true networking event. Early-stage startups can take the “Walk-The-Plank”-pitch challenge. On boat of this-year’s ship, there will be 3 events and various entrance fees to choose from. For modest pirates, there are special early-bird offers and also free tickets. But hurry, since the free roadmaps to Treasure Island are scarce, you will have to AAARply for some.

2. RE.WORK London 18-19 September (Currently Open)

A demo stage for all aspiring leaders from Robotics to SpaceTech to EduTech. Startups have 4 minutes to demo their product and 4 minutes for questions. Prizes are also included in the package: a two-hour technical coaching & business mentoring one-to-one session with iMakr and 1 year’s access to GA’s online on-demand videos (Front Row) plus £200 credit to GA classes & workshops in London. Applications close on 15 August.

3. Webrazzi Summit Istanbul 25 September

Webrazzi is Turkey’s most prominent digital conference covering all things digital – Digital Marketing, Social Media, E-commerce, Venture Capital, Angel Investment, Online Gaming, Mobile Applications. Strong accent on the MENA startups, many keynote speakers, industry guests, founders and media. If you check the attendees, you will spot Mike Butcher (TechCrunch) and Robin Wauters (Tech.eu). A splendid networking event.

4. Founders Games Istanbul 1-2 October

The Global Webit Congress is the the largest digital and tech annual conference held in Turkey and probably one of the biggest in the World with more than 10,000 attendees coming form 110 different countries. During the two-day agenda of the GWC takes place the Founders Games, which provides over 1 Million EUR grant in marketing budgets for up to 200 startups.

5. IDCEE Startup Competition Kiev 9-10 October (Currently Open)

The Ukrainian Conference gathers 300 investors, startups and leaders for 2 days in early October. 3 out of the 150 startups that will be invited to pitch, will share a €30 total cash prize. You need to be working in the field of Internet technology, less than 3 years old and have no more than €3M of investment.

6. Startup Battlefield London 20-21 October (Currently Open)
Startup Battlefield is the startup competition of TechCrunch Disrupt. 15 teams pitch their products live on the Disrupt stage in front of judges, press, live and online audience. TechCrunch’s editors, VCs, entrepreneurs and product experts select 6 companies for a final, “drama-filled” round. The winner takes it all – a £30,000 check and the coveted Disrupt Cup.

7. Pioneers Festival Vienna 29-30 October (Currently Open)

The startup program of Pioneers Festival in Austria welcomes all software and hardware companies – Web & Mobile, AI, Robotics, IoE, Space, MedTech, Fintech, Data. Startups are entitled to an exhibit booth and compete for a pitch slot. 50 finalists get their 90 seconds of stage fame. Success stories and more info here. Applications are open until September 1.

8. Numa 2014 Tampere 4-6 November (Currently Open)

Takes place within the November MindTreck 2014 forum on tech, knowledge and media in Tampere, Finland. The competition is open to all designers, computer scientists, artists, economists, and engineers who can combine ubiquitous computing and media. Prizes are in cash. Call is currently open until 31 August.

9. The Summit Dublin 4-6 November

There is just one thing you need to know about it: you couldn’t get more exposure at an event. It’s glossy and chic and famous. Startups can exhibit for free.

10. Slush Helsinki 18-19 November

You might not really be up for a slush on a cold November day in Finland, but the event is certainly worth it. These Finish guys’ mission: “to help the next generation of great, world-conquering companies forward”. It is a mighty entrepreneurial community so we can’t help but recommend it to any startup. All teams get pre-set meetings with more than 100 VCs and a chat with many media people. You will most certainly get featured in the news as a “promising” new talent.

How to Web conference in Romania is rebooting this year. The organizers are preparing a yet stronger event with more light on startups. You can check the info from previous editions here. Follow their blog and twitter account for the latest updates on the new event.

LeWeb is a biannual industry conference with two venues – Paris and London. It’s a great place to catch up with the latest tech trends but also a one-of-a-kind chance to make yourself known to the startup community. Waze, a social GPS company and previous Startup Competition winner, was acquired by Google for $1.3bil. Applications will open soon.

+Bonus – as we talk Europe, we should never forget the economic power of the Union. EU gives diverse grants to startups under the Horizon 2020 program.

Startupbootcamp will attend most conferences to meet great startups. If you want to meet, keep an eye on our @Sbootcamp twitter account.

Any other hot startup competitions across Europe on your radar? The list is not exhaustive, so feel free to add what’s missing in the comments. Cheers, @Sophia & @Peter