It's Festival season again in the startup world. There are so many great events this spring, how are you going to choose which one to go to? In San Francisco, there is Launch, In Hannover there is CeBit. In Barcelona there is Mobile World Congress. That is all happening in March. In May there is Pioneers Festival in Vienna. However, one of the most overlooked and underrated tech events in the startup world is Bitspiration Festival.
This year will be the fourth edition of the event. And it is going to be legen.... wait for it...dary! Bitspiration will take place in the Palace of Culture and Science in the heart of the Polish capital of Warsaw from June 22nd to the 23rd.
The Inspirational Venue
The organizers wants to make the experience memorable, as a result, each year they try to choose some venue that is extraordinary. The previous editions had been held in Krakow. In 2013 it was held at the Engineering Museum in Kazimierz district of Krakow, known for its rich Jewish history and surviving synagogues. Last year, it was held at the Forum Hotel on the banks of the Vistula River. This popular venue, with its bohemian decor, is known to locals as a place to be seen and network with the cool. This year it is no different. They have gotten access to a large amount of space in the historical landmark. It is quite symbolic because the venue is located at the most well known intersection in the country. They are saying, Poland is at the intersection of history and the future, and there is no looking back.
Past guests of the Festival includes the likes of:
- Keith Teare - Founder of TechCrunch
- Ralf Wenzel - Global MD of Foodpanda
- Don Dodge - Developer Advocate of Google
- Vitaly Golomb - Mentor 500 Startups
- Dan Bragiel - Partner I\O Ventures
- Jakub Krzych - Founder of Estimote
- Ashvin Navin - Co-founder of BitTorrent
- Max Niederhoffer - Partner of Sunstone Capital
- Liz Wald - Head of International Operations at Indiegogo
- Ben Dressler - Head of User Research at Spotify
One of the unique selling points of Bitspiration is the access that you get to the speakers and industry experts. They do not lock their valued guests inside some back stage VIP area. The organizers want the attendees to network with as many people as possible. Therefore, as a startup or just an entrepreneur with an idea, it is possible to pitch to the heads of Onet, Google, Warner Music, or Intel over an impromptu coffee.
If you want press coverage of your startup, there are plenty of tech journalists there. You can pitch to John Biggs of TechCrunch as well as other major publications.
If you are looking for funding or mentoring in accelerators, there will be representatives from Google, Deutsche Telekom and other European ventures there. Looking for legal advice? This year, you will have access to the lawyer who represented Estimote, Brainly, and Seed Labs in Augie Rakow of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe in Silicon Valley. If he is busy, perhaps you might want to talk to Tytus Cytowski of Cytowski LLC who was involved in the Kontakt.io and Sunstone Capital deal worth millions of dollars.
More Value for your Dollar
To get that level of access in other events, you might have to spend hundreds to thousands of Euros. In the Mobile World Congress, you would have to spend over 4,000 Euros for VIP level access. In Bitspiration, that level of VIP access will cost you only 300 euros. It even includes a dinner with the speakers. Before March 1st, prices are 125 Euros, and 150 Euros after March 1st. So get your early bird tickets before your time runs out. The organizers told me that they are shooting for 1000 guests. I like the more modest numbers as you are able to make more meaningful connections while networking. In a big Festival of over 10,000 guests, FOMO sets in and you are only able to make superficial contacts with other attendees.
If this wasn't convincing enough, have a look at this video:
Warsaw's main airport, Frederic Chopin, is 10km south of the centre. LOT Polish Airways (www.lot.com) has nonstop flights from Kennedy Airport to Warsaw; British Airways ( ba.com) fly from Heathrow, while Wizz Air ( wizzair.com) flies from Doncaster, Glasgow, Liverpool and Luton. Lufthansa flies there from most European cities.
Taxis are plentiful and cheap, though rates are unregulated, so it’s a good idea to ask before getting in.
Hotels in Warsaw tend to cater to business travelers, so expect room rates to drop on weekends.
For aerial views, a great location and modern rooms, the InterContinental Warsaw (Ulica Emilii Plater 49; 48-22-328-88-88; www.warszawa.intercontinental.com) rises to the occasion. The three-legged skyscraper has 404 spacious rooms, a sparkling pool on the 43rd floor and several good restaurants. Rooms typically start at 105 euros, about $154 at $1.47 to the euro, but have been as low as 48 euros ($70) online.
With a reputation as Warsaw's best budget option, the Hotel Campanile (8) has free Wi-Fi, a good buffet breakfast and a relatively central location at 2 Towarowa (campanile.com). Doubles from 153 PLN (40 Euro) room only.Thank you for reading another one of my posts done just for you! If you liked what you read please share it by using one of the buttons up top and check out other posts in this blog. I don’t want you to miss out on future posts so please follow me on Twitter @Eurodude23. If you haven’t done it already, please like my fan page by clicking here! See you next time!
Disclaimer: KSUP.co is a media partner of Bitspiration.