Events, startup

It’s that WebSummit time again

Gary V…

It’s that time of year again! This year the WebSummit moved to beautiful Lisbon, Portugal. Who’s in town? Hit me up on them there social interwebs and let’s have a drink or dinner.

This thing is getting huuuuge… But we all know we come to catch up outside of the talks, having chats and drinks outside of the venue even…

WebSummit is also a Great excuse for me to visit my fiends at Startup Braga and Startup Portugal

Events, startup

Pitching the state of NRW as a great place for startups in Warsaw, Poland

Evangelist #1 for startups in NRW in action…

Previously, we had been visiting Moscow to spread the good word and recently I was invited back by the city of Düsseldorf (the capital of NRW) and NRW.INVEST to be a part of the delegation with the Lord Mayor of Düsseldorf, Thomas Geisel and others, to spread the gospel about why the German state of North-Rhine Westphalia (NRW) is a great place for startups in Warsaw, Poland (twin city of Düsseldorf).

We also visited a lot of interesting tech / startup places like here at Google Campus / Techub Warsaw

These were my slides:

entrepreneurship, Events, speaking, startup

Pitching the state of NRW for Startups in Moscow, Russia

So that’s what my name looks like in Russian

Recently I was invited by the city of Düsseldorf (the capital of NRW) and NRW.INVEST to be a part of a delegation with the Lord Mayor of Düsseldorf, Thomas Geisel and others, to spread the gospel about why the German state of North-Rhine Westphalia (NRW – where I have now been living for the 12 last years) is a great place for startups in Moscow, Russia (sister city of Düsseldorf).

Talked a little bit about why NRW is a good place for startups, the biggest exits we’ve seen and which startups who could be having the next big exits here

As you might know, this has been a pet peeve of mine for years and I was delighted to be able to help shed some light on why this region has a lot to offer and why I have been staying on here as a foreign startup founder all these years.

Some impressions:

Yup. That guy again…

Fun fact; Turned out Sigmar Gabriel was also staying at Ritz Carlton Moscow – so we photobombed his press conference

Here are the slides I used:

Events, pitching, startup

The 2nd Rheinland Pitch Summer Finals is a Success!

A record +1.000 audience at the Rheinland Pitch Summer Finals 2016 in buibui Bilk, Düsseldorf

The Rheinland Pitch is Germany’s largest continuously running startup pitching event since 2013. It’s a monthly startup pitching event, where regional startups in all phases are invited to apply. The selected startups (usually 7-12 per month) receive a full day of pitch coaching and help with their pitch decks for free (by me), pitching their results at the end of  the day. From those pitches we select the three best to put on stage a week later, in the evening on the last Monday of the month, in front of an audience of press, media, investors, students, entrepreneurs and the general public that selects the best pitch by public voting.

When Lorenz of STARTPLATZ (right) and I started with the Rheinland Pitch back in 2013, we never imagined it would become this big

Every six months, we have a best-of-the-best finals where the winners from the last preceding months are put on an even larger stage at an even larger event. At these events we also have an expert jury that counts for 50% of the votes. We call this the Rheinland Pitch Summer & Winter Finals.

Yesterday saw the second ever Rheinland Pitch Summer Finals (the first was also spectacular). And what an incredible finals it was! A record +1.000 audience came to see three best-of-the-best regional together with one wildcard winner pitch in front of the lord mayor of Düsseldorf and a top notch jury of experts.

Yours truly moderating at the Rheinland Pitch finals


The Lord Mayor of Düsseldorf, Thomas Geisel, was in the house – opening with some choice words about why startups are important


The 3rd place went to RadBonus (left) and Rise Technologies (right) shared the 3rd place.


Share DNC took 2nd place.


And the winner was Düsseldorf’s own Volunteer World!

You can find more images from the event here. (All images by Karina Vilenskaja, ©Digitale Stadt Düsseldorf)