How I Survived London Web Summit 2012

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The London Web Summit took place this Monday, March 19th. There, 1000 attendees and 50 speakers gathered to listen to some of Europe’s finest startup minds discussing topics like “Celebrities, Startups and Hype,” creating liquidity in Europe, government involvement, and “Vladivostok or the Valley?” Here’s one Berlin-based founder’s take on the event, from the instant coffee to Mike Butcher’s leather jacket…

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Arriving in London, I bump into Paula who takes me around and introduces me to investors and some other people. I mix up the names and I don’t remember what they’re doing. I stop listening to their pitches after one minute and look around, searching for… coffee… no coffee!?? I mean, how is that possible?! I just had two hours of sleep, I need good coffee…”Ugh, they only have instant stuff”, I hear people moaning.

My next career step in the neighborhood deli?

So what do we do? We take it to the deli outside and grab proper coffee and breakfast. I am with some guy from Denmark. He is investing. But not in our startup. In tech stuff, like the real shit, you know… and I don’t really care. I need food. And it’s more interesting to hear stuff about this guy’s diet, because he is getting ready to go climbing somewhere in France. He eats fruit in the morning… just fruit?

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This is an Instagram photo. See EyeEm pic below for contrast.

I feel like a fat kid with my huge sandwich…but I eat it, anyway. Who cares about his French girlfriend, who probably is super skinny, because she lives in Paris… she likely doesn’t eat baguettes and croissants. That’s what the other three people are getting when I take them to the deli one after another. I get a free coffee, because I am bringing in the customers. “This could be the next step in my career,” I joke.

Then I bump into Zoe. I love this woman.

She is charismatic and it feels natural and effortless hanging out with her. She introduces me to some more people, we talk about the Berlin tech scene, funding, Monoqi‘s perfect design, the bad performance of certain apps and girls in tech. We listen to a speech held by this woman whose site is called  “make love not porn“…  she is hilarious talking about “investor’s wet dreams” and about porn, but the good type of porn… whatever that is… “She has a point, but if she fails she might turn into a joke, what a pity,” I overhear. Whatever…at least people are laughing…

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This is an EyeEm photo. See Instagram pic above for contrast.

I am getting really hungry, again. But there is not enough food for lunch. What the fuck…???? It’s annoying… OK, need to meet investors NOW… EarlyBird, Wellington Partners, this guy is kinda cool, I felt like we bonded over a sandwich at the deli outside, and some others whose names I don’t really remember…irrelevant in any case.

And two companies launch! Jolicloud and Tweek

I love Nadia from Tweek, Swiss girl in Berlin, my type of person, so I am supporting her to the fullest. Go Tweek, I am wearing a sticker on my leather jacket. Simon gets mad because I’m not wearing a Monoqi sticker. What else?

Morten Lund actually managed to get his business cards!! A big “Yayyy” for him and a small one for the tech scene…oh wait, no, the other way around! I overhear a girl saying that she is going to hunt him down. An actual groupie? Don’t know, don’t care.  Well, at least he stopped  giving away funding just because someone comes to hang out and have a drink with him at his house. Too bad for me actually, I am good at those things…kidding…no seriously…

After which Mike Butcher enters, the leather-baring show master

Mike Butcher is a super star, as usual…! He’s a short guy with a big attitude. And the Fab.com guys are charming, too. I’m actually enjoying their presentation.

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This is an iPhone photo. Just forget it.

Ugh, some people are annoying.  All they do is talk and all I hear is “blahh…” Why are they so full of themselves? I see a fellow Berliner, God, he looks so tired, poor pretty face. Tired of networking and people talking bubbles…burst, burst, burst.

We have a drink and zone out for a bit…fundraising can be a you-know-what, but, well… an entrepreneur’s gotta do what an entrepreneur’s gotta do.

And finally, the afterparty. Too bad there is none

At least, we are through. Drinks and an afterparty everyon! Too bad it’s uhhhm…lame… never mind though. My first conference in London… wooohooo! Conclusion: no flirt, no drinks, no food…omg….it’s business!!!!

xoxo London Web Summit’s last standing survivor