Saturday 1 November 2014
CATEGORY: Technology

Modern Technology & Austria – probably not the most obvious connection…  thanks to Tim and Juergen I had  the pleasure to attend the Pioneer Festival in Vienna’s amazing emperor castle – the Hofburg.

2014-11-01 21.40.34Under ancient columns, shiny chandeliers and a bust of old emperor Franz Joseph, a multitude of startup companies, exponential technologies and great people from all over the world came together.

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Best of all, it was also another chance for Peared, our company from this summer’s Singularity U  to present. Susan, who flew in from Oxford, made an amazing pitch!! and we won 🙂 (yet again!!!)…. but now enough of self advertisement.

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SU buddy Yaron joined in the conference too – and together (Rumba + Rumbaˆ2) we were making awesome connections:

– there was Ben, from one of the leading accelerators in Asia – he shared with me the story of the Demon and the Dog (It derives from a quote by the court painter of the emperor of China. When asked what was the hardest thing to paint, he replied “dogs” and when asked the easiest he responded “demons.” In other words, it is harder to manage the commonplace than the exotic. )  

– there was the world premier of the Aeromobile – a car that’s also a place  – cool, but definitely a demon

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– Musicbox, an innovative startup from Berlin that combines playing rummy with djíng – probably a demon too!

– one can make a business out of pet GPS trackers……..not shore what my doggy’s Zuna and Iggy would say to that

– the future is in food: check out food notify – a cool startup from Vienna, that labels the content of  food for nutrients and allergens  (in light of the coming EUR regulation I would label it a dog, as in the story above!)

– and finally the winner of the startup competition: Oradian, a company that provides innovative banking solutions in Africa – 500mio customers in the next thinking – now that is exponential thinking.

Also presenting was Danielle from Lightsail, a company that compresses air to store energy – crucial for the upcoming green tech revolution!

Last but not least  – three learning points:

– you can design a business so that a loss of 26 satellites can be put away with a shrug (a clear lesson in diversification!) – chapeaux to Planet Labs if the Antares rocket failure really has no business impact

– Tech conference parties are quite a male affair ….. even after 10 beers they feel a bit lame (well until the bring up the dancers – see picture)

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– Even Red Bull has its limits: Afterparties (i.e. a trip to Grelle Forelle) are cool, but not if you have a breakfast meeting at 7am next day…..

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