Business Ideas, entrepreneurship, Events, startup

Freigeist Conference CGN

On Thursday the 6th of May I attended the Freigeist Conference at Rheinenergie Stadium in Cologne. The conference connects movers and shakers in the regional online tech and marketing scene; marketers, agencies, programmers, global companies (Google, Microsoft, etc), start-ups, consultants, venture capital, funders, founders, investors and the like. I thought it would be a good opportunity to reconnect with old contacts, meet new and sample the general status of the regional tech scene.

I had to cut the conference short to attend to matters at work, not being able to attend the more social sessions and the start-up pitch competition in the evening, but here’s a rough of what I experienced before having to leave prematurely.


Steffen Kramer from Google Germany showed off some of the tools they provide to plan, track and monitor online marketing efforts and a brief primer how to use them:

Google Insights For Search

Google Ad Planner

The Google Business Channel on YouTube provides more videos on their solutions.

I managed to live-stream some of the talks, but the network and software was unfortunately a bit flaky.

Thierhoff Consulting

Dr. Kai Thierhoff talked about successful German startup stories, but unfortunately – at least in my personal opinion – the focus of the talk was mostly on clones of US start-ups, the German mee-too companies that will, as I see it, have extreme problems sustaining business after launch (just a hint to copycats; the Internet knows no borders, you know) – and besides are very boring and very non-innovative. He also mention the brilliant presentation template from Sequoia Capital that is worth checking out if you are thinking of pitching VCs for funding.

Microsoft Azure

MSFT Azure is (like e.g. Amazon Web Services) a software and hardware answer to cloud computing needs with their respective products and services.

The potential applications of Microsoft Azure are vast so many people take exams like this az303 exam to earn certifications to show they have good knowledge of the application. These exams cover everything from network, storage, and security to cloud development to self-service management capabilities.

Carsten Humm, technology evangelist at MSFT held a basic primer on the concept and pricings. A selling point was that they comply with EU data storage and privacy laws – the data is saved within the EU should you require it.

He also mentioned that MSFT will be holding a BizSpark Camp in Cologne on the 24th of June if that’s your sort of thing.

Here’s a short primer on MSFT Azure lifted off YouTube: