TechCrunch Disrupt Europe is kicking off in Berlin this Saturday with a 24-hour hackathon followed by its main event beginning 28 October, which features two days of influential speakers, startup pitches and expert panels. Feeling overwhelmed by all the upcoming events? Check out our list of must-see speakers and panels at the tech conference…
Top picks from the main event (28 – 29 October)
What: Fireside chat with Marc Samwer (Global Founders Capital/Rocket Internet)
When: Monday 28 October, 10:10am – 10:35am
Why: He may not be the most famous Samwer brother but there’s no denying that Marc has his fair share of advice to pass on from his years behind the world’s most aggressive company builder, Rocket Internet. Even if we’re disillusioned by the Samwers’ copycat approach and questionable business methods, we have to admit we’re curious to hear firsthand from one of the elusive brothers. Let’s just hope it’s more than a carefully managed PR exercise.
What: Founder Stories with Nathan Blecharczyk (Airbnb)
When: Monday 28 October, 12:10pm – 12:35pm
Why: Blecharczyk got the entrepreneurial bug early on – he launched his first business while he was still in high school, which turned over close to a cool $1m. Not willing to rest on his laurels, Nathan went on to cofound and work as the CTO of Airbnb, a company that is still rapidly growing and considered a major success in the sharing economy. How he got there and how Airbnb is dealing with its recent legal setbacks is a tale we’re looking forward to.
What: Haute Commerce: Chris Morton (Lyst), Demet Suzan Mutlu (Trendyol), Jose Neves (Farfetch)
When: Tuesday 29 October, 10:40am – 11:05am
Why: There’s a lot of talk about the dying breed of brick-and-mortar stores – will it or won’t it happen? Who knows? What we do know is that online fashion hub Farfetch landed an impressive $20m in Series C funding this year to keep doing what it’s doing: bringing together independent retail boutiques and eCommerce. We’re interested in hearing whether Neves has predictions on the future of eCommerce…
What: Founder Stories with Patrick Collison (Stripe)
When: Tuesday 29 October, 3:25pm – 3:50pm
Why: Patrick Collison, 25, and his younger brother John started payments processor Stripe in 2010 after founding their first company together while still teenagers. Since then, Stripe’s grown to about 60 people, raised about $50m and is now processing millions of dollars per day. That’s a story worth hearing – and one that fits very neatly between two of the biggest areas to watch in tech: business-to-developer startups and online payments.
What: Mind the Funding Gap: Robert Bonanzinga (Balderton Capital), Sonali De Ryker (Accel Partners), Saul Klein (Index), Dave McClure (500 Startups), Ciaran O’Leary (Earlybird Ventures)
When: Tuesday 29 October, 4:05pm – 4:35pm
Why: We don’t care if they’re among the most highly-rated VCs out there and among the most active in Europe. We’ll be there for profanity-laced insight, comic timing, and a raw and honest assessment of the state of VC – and we expect this panel to deliver
What: Founder Stories with Sean Rad (Tinder)
When: Tuesday 29 October, 4:35pm – 5:00pm
Why: Mobile dating app Tinder seems to be blowing up these days – according to a report by Bloomberg Businessweek in September, it’s making two million matches a day. With the stigma typically attached to online dating, garnering users for these sort of apps is usually difficult so it’ll be interesting to hear how Rad’s idea behind the increasingly popular platform came about.
Don’t have a ticket? Here are some spin-off events…
What: Bubble over Berlin
When: Saturday 26 October, 5 – 8pm
Why: The networking event brings together 150 invite-only attendees from the world of art and technology.
What: Getting your Cash from the Crowd
When: Tuesday 29 October, 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Why: Interested in kicking off your project with crowdfunding or crowdinvesting but don’t know where to start? Hosted by Berlin Startup Academy CEO Christoph Räthke, the event brings Indiegogo founder Slava Rubin and Thomas Herzog from Innovestment.de to the stage for insights on tips and best practices.
For related posts, check out:
- Cafes, clubs and culture – the top 10 Berlin city guides and blogs
- The Big Berlin Conference Guide – the secret places to make the most of your stay
- “Everyone is trying to find their way in online publishing” Ned Desmond, TechCrunch COO, on what it takes to maintain an online empire and why he’s set on Disrupting Berlin