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I am getting tired of reporting about events, because this is not the sole purpose of this website. Yet, somehow this year there are just so many of them. A good place to see people, and let others decide which startups have a global potential, conferences are useful… in moderation.
In a typical conference craziness spread over a couple of days at IDCEE in Kiev, Ukraine I have forgotten who exactly coined in the term “wantrepreneur”. Yet this is how one could call the audience at the conference itself. That mysterious speaker asked the audience members to identify themselves as a startups, investors or the wantrepreneurs. So, either investors were concerned to reveal their true identity (more than a half hid behind a “participant” or “special guest” badge, according to the organizers), or the participants indeed fell into the “third category”.
What they have learned is that they generate unique ideas, think global and choose the right investors even if they wanted more than just cash. I have heard it all before at other startup events. But it does not matter, as the event attracted superb speakers and acting quick one could connect with the investors, or even get an advice from the more established entrepreneurs on how to promote their product locally. I have observed and facilitated some of such discussions, which I believe are key at such events.
A few words about the startup competition: Mixgar won, Quoteroller came second, Speaktoit took the third place, and Pinpoint concluded the list of the finalists. I covered the companies in more details in my earlier TechCrunch post here.
At the startup competition the diversity of startups was great. The twelve finalists selected from 150 applicants, varied from the Ukrainian Webvan 2.0 Zakaz.ua to an established ad retargeting service provider myThings.com, a profitable commission-based business which employs over 50 people. which also might be responsible for bringing me Zalando ads to every single content website I visit in Germany.
Regrettably I missed some of the pitches while networking elsewhere but also because the schedule was not very well adhered to. Next year they should second Patrick de Laive to watch the clock and boss excessively talkative speakers into submission.
English was spoken through the conference, with a few exceptions: the Ukrainian vice prime minister Sergey Tigipko, the venerable Alexander “Sasha” Galitsky of Almaz Capital Partners, and surprisingly, and only on one occasion, Esther Dyson.
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