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ADGUARD FROM RUSSIA WINS THE FOUNDERS GAMES CHALLENGE AND € 200 000 AWARD BY WEBIT

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You may see the full video from the Webit’s Founders Games ceremony here.

 

The entrepreneurial ecosystem of Central and Eastern Europe is picking up traction and the region is awaiting its billion euro company soon! The winner of the Founders Games Challenge has already over 12 million users from 140 countries and growing.

The New Markets Startup Oscars Ceremony was held on the second day of Webit.Festival Europe in Sofia, the digital capital of the new markets.

1438 startups from 60 countries have applied. There were 3 rounds of valuation and finally 65 of them were invited to join the festival and provided free expo booths and opportunity to pitch in front of 20 investors and global enterprise leaders.
For 2 days the jury selected 5 out of 65 to present at the ceremony. See video from the live streaming of the Award Ceremony here

The 5 selected finalists were: Biowatch (FinTech biometric company from Switzerland), Clikem (Advertising white label URL shortening & monetization platform from Israel), BuddyGuard (a German home security system packed in a single and beautiful device),  Broshura.bg (Bulgarian based online brochure service with over 10 M monthly users in Europe) , AdGuard (Russian startup for security/privacy protection and ad blocker) .
As the names of the finalist were kept secret to the very last moment, one of the selected finalists BuddyGuard has left to catch a flight and missed its opportunity to win this record award. It was replaced by the next on the list - Playground Energy.

Finally the Founders Games Trophy and cash award in seed investment of 200 000 EUR was granted to AdGuard – a Russian startup with 12 million users in 140 countries, $1.5M annual revenue with 50-75% annual growth. AdGuard is a software tool to protect users from web security/privacy threats including malware, js tracking and scam/untrusted web-pages and blocking online ads.

The majority of the 65 selected startups were in post seed stage with 200 000 to 2 million EUR investment made already and growth potential.

There was also a special pre seed section of the Challenge too.
The € 200’000 award was raised only by Bulgarian investors and successful entrepreneurs to prove that Bulgarian ecosystem is not only supporting its own growth but also the growth of European startups. The 4 investors include the founder of Telerik Vassil Terziev, who made the biggest exit in CEE with Telerik, which was acquired by Progress for 264 million, Ivo Evgeniev (owner of Rosslyn Capital), Lyubomir Minchev (founder of largest SEE system integrator Telelink) and Plamen Russev, investor, philanthropist and Chairman of Webit.Foundation.

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About Webit.Festival Europe

Webit.Festival Europe welcomed over 4300 attendees from 74 countries. Among the speakers were the President of Bulgaria, Mr. Rossen Plevneliev, the President of the European Committee of the Regions Marku Markulla, the founders of BlockChain, Hyperloop, Presidents and top executives from MasterCard, Google, IBM Cloud, Cisco, innovators, entrepreneurs, top European policy makers and investors. Among the speakers were also scientists including Prof. Moran Cerf, a business and neuroscience professor recently names among the the top 40 professors in the world under 40.

Cars producing water as an exhaust product, ceiling cover products from the Carbon in the air, a crystal memory which is practically forever and can record up to 360 TB information were only part of the future tech presented at the festival.

“Europe is becoming second tier player not only to America, but to China and India” said Plamen Russev, investor and Chairman of Webit.Foundation. “Central and Eastern Europe has the potential to help the continent make a jump. We have to prove that Digital Europe can jump” said also the Chairman.

See the official opening keynotes here.

More information:
Elina Georgieva
[email protected]

more pictures:

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The 4 Bulgarian investors and the winner

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The Founders Games host – Evan Luthra (a self made tech millionare and an Instagram star), and the 4 Bulgarians who raised the 200000 EUR award (left to right) Plamen Russev, Bulgarian investor and Chairman of Webit.Foundation, Vassil Terziev, founder of Telerik, Ivo Evgeniev, Bulgarian Investor, Rosslyn Capital, Angel Kelchev, Endeavor Org.

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The President of Bulgaria, Mr. Rossen Plevneliev and Plamen Russev, investor and Chairman of Webit.Foundation

 

 

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The Mayor of Sofia, Mrs. Yordanka Fandakova

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Over 4300 attendees from 74 countries attended Webit.Festival Europe. This is the Blue Hall of the Festival

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Evan Luthra, the Host of the Founders Games Starup Challenge and the Webit’s Pitch Stage

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Webit’s Jazz Networking Area

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Part of Webit’s venue – Tech Park Sofia

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URBAN SUMMIT: Meetups List #webit April 18-19-20

WEBIT.FEST’16 is about to ring the bell and welcome thousands of attendees from 65 countries in Sofia. The conference agenda takes place in the newly opened venue of Sofia Tech Park.

But, even with the new facilities, we faced challenges to accommodate all the attendees, so we had to build and increase the capacity up to 5000 people!

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The conference AGENDA requires ticket for the festival, but there are also number of meetups and cultural events open for everyone to join and experience the festival. You need no registration for the event to be part of the digital&tech Sofia scene during the URBAN Summit on April 18th, 19th and 20th.

All topics and locations of the meetup night could be found below.  You can invite your friends and colleagues to join and even you could apply to be the host of the meetup! Upload all your pictures or videos online with #webit

 

April 18th:

 

Meetup: Art & Tech

 

Meetup: Fintech

 

Meetup: The Art of App Engagement

 

Meetup: Social Tech

 

Meetup: Mobile Geeks

 

Meetup: CyBeer

 

Meetup: Bitcoin

 

Meetup: Wearable Tech

 

Meetup: Music & Tech

 

Meetup: Social Innovation with EU

 

Meetup: Artificial Intelligence

 

 

April 19th:

 

Meetup: Live Today!

 

Meetup: Marketing for Startups

 

Meetup: Intl. Entrepreneurs in Sofia

 

Meetup: Digital Entertainment

 

Meetup: Think BIG DATA

 

Meetup: Digital Travel

 

Meetup: Gamification

 

Meetup: Smart Urban Transportation

 

Meetup: Big Data – BIG DECISIONS

 

Meetup: eSports

 

 

April 19th:

 

Meetup: Start Ups – Start Downs

 

Meetup: Culinary & Tech

 

Meetup: Digital health

 

Meetup: Scalable Realtime DataApps

 

Meetup: Neuroscience and Life

 

Meetup: Hacking the Body

 

Meetup: Robotics Cocktail

 

Meetup: Are we alone in Universe?

 

Meetup: Digital Education

 

Meetup: IoT Cocktail

 

 

€200 000 seed investment for the winner of Founders Games’16 @WEBIT.FEST

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The startup friendly Enterprise event* Webit.Festival Europe just got friendlier!

Here is another BIG € 200’000 reason for the startups to apply for Webit’s Founders Games, get a free expo stand, 2 free festival tickets and win € 200’000 seed investment!

Not a startup?
Great! Webit is the only enterprise event to join and to explore great business opportunities with 75% C-level executives among the attendees as well as to have a walk among the exhibiting top European startups, get inspired, take advantage from collaborating with innovators or explore talent acquisition opportunities!

If you still do not have your ticket - book today! Already registered - see you in Sofia!

More about the € 200’000
A group of prominent successful entrepreneurs, investors and business angels have just joined me and together we announce a € 200’000 seed investment for the winner of Webit’s Founders Games Challenge.

Please share with your network of entrepreneurs that If they are not among the 930+ startups who have already applied - they have 5 days to do it!

For all who have applied and were selected for exhibitors and to pitch in front of the jury -  good luck! Their Founders Games just got € 200’000 more challenging and exciting! :)

See you in Sofia on 19-20 April @ Webit.Festival Europe!

Warm regards!

 

Plamen Russev 
Chairman, Webit Foundation | Global Webit Series

TECHNOLOGY HAS NO GENDER < Sheree Atcheson of Women Who Code @WEBIT.FEST'16 >

shereeWomen Who Code is a global non-profit organization dedicated to inspiring women to excel in technology careers by creating a global, connected community of women in technology.  WWC was founded in 2011 and has since grown to 50,000 members spanning 20 countries. Women Who Code creates an avenue for women in tech by hosting free meetups around the world, and showcases the amazing careers that it can provide-especially to young girls.

Sheree Atcheson is UK Expansion Director of WomenWhoCode.  Here is the recent talk that we had with her, sharing thoughts on what it is to be a girl in tech and what it takes to change the stereotypes:

 

WEBIT: Speaking the facts, is it the IT world man’s territory or not anymore? What transformation have you witnessed for the years as director of Women Who Code?

Sheree: As the UK expansion director of women who code, I’ve witnessed the change in shift from when I started this outreach 3-4 years ago. I don’t believe IT is a mans territory – it is anyone’s territory who wishes to take it and make it into something. In the past years, I have worked with local governments, worldwide companies and huge businesses who have all been interested in ensuring there is no “gender specific territory” in this industry. The existence of these people is exactly the kind of shift we need.

 

WEBIT: What could be done to motivate more girls to get interested in technology?

Sheree: The age old question. It’s a very difficult and detailed problem to try and combat gender stereotypes which have been instilled in parents, teachers and the toy industry. When the majority of toys (from newborn onwards) are targeting girls with pink frilly princess themed toys and boys with blue trucks/engineering toys then we have a lot of work to ensure that those stereotypes do not stop either gender from believing they can and can’t do certain things. Thankfully due to goldieblox, Lego and Lottie dolls, we’re working to prevent the issue in its very first form.

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As for getting girls interested in GCSE and A LEVEL engineering modules, we need to ensure they are always given the opportunity and that teachers are well informed. More often than not, careers teachers are not aware of how vast and lucrative the tech industry is, and if they are not aware, there is a trickle down effect which means the parents don’t know and therefore they steer their children elsewhere.

 

WEBIT: What are the biggest changes we can foresee in terms of female and male engagement in the IT sphere?

Sheree: We have already seen big shifts, with organisations like women who code growing to over 50,000 members. This kind of change is no coincidence and it’s happening because people are interested in making a change. We host weekly and monthly events all over the world, for free, and we’re able to do this because of the large number of people wanting to help change this industry for the better.

 

WEBIT: Have you ever been discriminated or underestimated as female engineer?

Sheree: I was a software engineer for approx 3 years. Now I am a product analyst for market data feed handler technology. I have been very lucky to have not experienced some of the horror stories I have heard of from other women. I have had inappropriate comments made about my appearance and how that somehow is why I have been relatively successful – those kinds of comments directly undermine the hours and hours of work I have put into my outreach career (whether or not that’s the original aim for the comment is irrelevant, it’s not acceptable).

 

WEBIT: Chicago was the first city to make computer science a core subject, required for graduation. Do we need to close the gap between male and female coders early in school?

Sheree: Yes. 100% yes. As I said above, these issues stem from a very young age. The quicker we can work with children to highlight the benefits of the tech industry, the better. We at Women Who Code actively work with schools all over the world to showcase local role models to young girls so they don’t fall into the “you can’t be what you can’t see” mentality. They will be able to see what they can accomplish, if this is the career they’re interested in.

 

WEBIT: GitHub is one of the largest open-source software communities in the world. A recent research (based on approximately 3m pull requests) found that code written by women was approved at a higher rate (78.6%) than code written by men (74.6%). “Women’s acceptance rates dominate over men’s for every programming language in the top 10, to various degrees,” the researchers found, but only if the gender was not disclosed.

Possible explanation: May be women just need to work very hard to prove their skills in female-unfriendly environment?

Sheree: It’s very hard to pin point to definitive reasoning for this, but from the statistics, it can show that the quality of the women’s code is better. I believe the quality of a coder cannot be broken down into “women vs men” (not all men are good coders and neither are all women), but needs to be looked at on a case by case basis.

 

WEBIT: Sarah Lacy, the founder of Pando wrote an article describing disturbing issues on why the VC’s hesitation to fund women start at home. Responding, Sarah Nadav, who is entrepreneur, economist and journalist published a screenshot of conversation she had with a manager of a major VC:

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What is your advice to young girls, who will face discrimination or arrogant behaviour?
Sheree: There are arrogant people in every walk of life and you will 100% come across them. My advice is to always be aware of someone like this and never let them devalue your work or opinions. Also be cautious of yourself, never become that arrogant person and always try to remember how much hard work you had to put into your career to get it where it is now – you’re the leader now and it’s your turn to help the next generation be as awesome as you are.

 

You can meet Sheree at WEBIT.FEST’16 and listed to her talk on the stage of the Dev Summit. 

Tickets prices increase with 30% from April 1st, so hurry up and book your access to the festival. 

INVESTORS SQUAD VISITING SOFIA IN [email protected]

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FOUNDERS meet FUNDERS at WEBIT.FEST’16

This year WEBIT.FESTIVAL welcomes startups from more than 40 countries, pre-seed and post-seed and startups with series A and B of investments. All of them come to Sofia to take the challenge of Founders Games 2016.

Before we ring the bell of WEBIT.FESTIVAL on April 19th, you can still apply here by April 5th to join the competing startups at Founders Games’16.

 

Every idea is a million dollar-idea, depending on your targets, ambitions and mostly – hard work. Starbucks is just a coffee shop, Uber – just another way to travel in the city, Airbnb rents your mattress for a couple of nights, Amazon was an online book store, Spotify – another radio service, Facebook – an university messaging network, Twitter – a wall for 140 letters… Everything is just an idea, before you grow it to a successful business.  Some great examples of the “fixed and growth mindsets” theory  you can find in this piece of Brain Pickings and the article of Salman Khan The Learning Myth: Why I’ll Never Tell My Son He’s Smart . The difference between the two mindset concepts gives the organic meaning of an entrepreneur’s mind state.

 

See the list of investors joining the Investors Day in Sofia Tech Park:

  • Brian Norton from Ridge Road Partners, a VC fund that invests in private and public companies across developing and developed markets globally.
  • Matthias Ummenhofer, Founding Partner of Mojo Capital manages the European Digital Opportunities Fund that integrates investments in European Venture Capital funds, secondaries, co-investments and direct investments in startups.
  • Runa Capital’s Dmitry Chikhachev and Alexander Vidiborsky join the festival on April 19th. The fund provides early-stage funding for cloud computing services, hosted services, virtualization tools, complex software, and IT solutions for fintech, education, healthcare, and public services. The company is now on the run to raise $200 million for Runa Capital II, focusing on investments in USA, the European Union, Israel and Eastern Europe.
  • Cem Sertoglu from EarlyBird Investments, a venture capital firm that invests across multiple stages,  ranging from early-stage to expansionary and growth stages with investment sizes between €200k and €20M. The fund manages around US$1 billion, as the firm is one of the largest European venture and growth capital investors and the largest outside of the UK, with offices in Berlin, Munich and Istanbul. The VC’s Healthcare Tech Fund is oriented towards funding innovative medical technology companies, while the Earlybird Digital East Fund is focused on providing early stage equity capital to high-potential technology companies in Turkey and Central & Eastern Europe. The key interest areas of the fund are Consumer Internet, Enterprise Software and Tech-Enabled Services.
  • Ondrej Bartos is co-founder and partner at Credo Ventures. He seeks entrepreneurs in Central and Eastern Europe who have a vision that extends beyond our regional borders to create global companies.Credo’s team of investors focuses on early stage companies in CEE across the information technology, internet, mobile and healthcare markets. In April 2015, Credo’s second fund, Credo Stage 2, was founded while raising €34M in the first closing.
  • Paul Dowling Co-founder & CEO of Dreamstake and Co-founder of HoxTech Angels, who is working with the 1,000 plus early-stage startups on the platform to obtain funding from VCs and angel investors.
  • Gleb Davidyuk Managing Partner of iTech Capital, with a portfolio of equity injections up to US$10 million per deal in IT companies operating in Central and Eastern Europe, Asia and USA. The average deal size is US$5 million.
  • Maciek Sadowski Founder & CEO of Startup Hub Poland. He manages [email protected] – a seed fund for technological projects at the early stages of development, which invests up to €50K in one round. The fund operates in  strategic partnership with Giza Polish Ventures – a Polish-Israeli venture capital fund.
  • Bartek Gola Managing Partner, SpeedUp Group, which includes a number of venture funds investing in enterprises in an early stage of development (seed, pre-revenue, early growth). Depending on individual needs, potential for growth and project maturity, SpeedUp invests from $30K up to $2M.
  • Alexander Turkot Founder and Managing Partner of Maxfield Capital, a venture capital firm that invests in global seed, early  and growth stage technology companies. Maxfield Capital is currently considering investment opportunities in Europe, USA and Israel.
  • Marcin Hejka is a vice president at Intel Capital and managing director for Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) at Intel Corporation. He is responsible for leading Intel Capital’s investment activity in the region, which also encompasses Russia. Intel Capital has invested nearly US$11.6 billion in over 1,400 companies in 57 countries. The VC fund has 26 offices around the world. Countries include Belgium, Brazil, China, India,Germany, Ireland, Japan, Israel, Nigeria, Poland, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, UK, USA.

The rest of the investors and accelerators joining WEBIT.FEST’16 include Hub:raum, Startupbootcamp, H-farm Italy, Starburst, Techstars, Speedinvest, Seedinvest, Seedcamp and others.

Tickets prices increase with 30% from April 1st, so hurry up and book your access to the festival. 

МОРАН ЦЕРФ В СОФИЯ ЗА WEBIT.FESTIVAL 2016 – Да хакнеш “Super Mario” като да хакнеш човешки мозък

Да хакнеш мозък e почти същото като да хакнеш компютър… само, ако си Моран Церф, разбира се. Биографията му напомня сценарий за sci-fi филм още от ранна детска възраст, когато семейството му се мести от Франция в Израел.

Moran-a-story-teller

Моран изпитва свръх интерес към компютрите през 80-те години, когато най-забавното му занимание е играта Quests, която изисква писане на команди. През 90-те, игрите се променят, компютрите се развиват, а Моран хаква популярната на всички игра –  Super Mario. Представете си колко принцеси можехте да спасите, ако имахте неограничен живот без да ядете гъби за да се превърнете в гигант?

MarioMushroomНавършил 18, той вече пренася познанията си в израелската армия, където служи в специален отряд и хакерството се превръща в негов начин на живот. С навлизането на интернет, Моран става част от хакерски онлайн групи и споделя, че първият път, когато чува споменаването на Джулиан Асанж и Марк Зукербърг, веднага си спомня тези две имена от ранните години на хакерите в мрежата.

 

С годините, хакването на програми, преминава в хакване на хардуер и засилване на неговия интерес към механизмите на човешкото съзнание, което го тласка към изучаването на невро науката и активността на мозъка, емоциите и поведенческата психология.

Ако се опитвате да търсите оправдание, че времето ви не достига и е твърде късно да започнете нещо ново, да промените себе си и онова, което не харесвате, ако не намирате мотивация и причини да учите цял живот, то вие НЕ приличате на Моран Церф.

Освен хакер на компютри и мозъци, той е бил също дизайнер на мебели, пилот, радио водещ и филмов режисьор.

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Настоящата му работа и научен труд включва изучаването на BMI (Brain Machine Interface), или просто казано – как мозъкът ни кодира информация, която прехвърля като команди към машини, които могат да се учат и стават все по-умни с времето. Например, това би оказало революционен ефект върху функционирането на изкуствени крайници и други bionic части от човешкото тяло. Да свържем мозъка си с машина, която да бъде управлявана от нервни импулси е бъдещето на медицината.

Тазгодишното издание на Tech Summit, в рамките на WEBIT.FESTIVAL ще се проведе в два дни, 19-20 април в София Тех Парк. Там ще ви пренесем в бъдещето, а д-р Моран Церф ще хакне и вашите мозъци. Едно от неговите най-запомнящи се участия е лекцията му за TED. В рамките на фестивала, от него ще разберете “Какво ни учи невро науката за промяната и как можете да използвате психологията на своето и чуждото поведение в бизнеса”.

 

Останалите лектори и темите, които ще се обсъждат можете да видите на webit.bg. Част от тах включват:

 

  • Urban tech, air pollution & the future of smart environmental policy
  • How new neuroscience technology will impact sex, pleasure and pain
  • Highly skilled migrants for European smart cities
  • “Innovation and Digital Transformation accelerating the GDP growth in the New Economy : Example of Smart Energy, Smart Cities and Smart Consumers
  • Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Computing
  • The Future of Money
  • The future of space / aerospace and transportation: flying electric cars and the associated trends
  • The Power of Misfits

WEBIT.FOUNDATION AWARD TO YOUNG DEVELOPERS #devsummit

WEBIT.FEST’s Dev Summit takes place on April 20th in Sofia Tech Park, welcoming speakers from three continents. Part of the lineup has been already announced, including MySQL, WomenWhoCode, Angelhack, Google, Twilio and many others. 

Except good content, there is something else that we value and it is talent, tech spirit and entrepreneurship. WEBIT.FOUNDATION was created to support and motivate young people in their career.

We are happy to award the two winning teams of the Hack Bulgaria latest contest and to provide them with free tickets for the Dev Summit, where they can find further inspiration and opportunities.

 

Meet the winners and their ideas!

Team Underdogs made a web application for teachers notebook, which helps communication between teachers, students and parents.

Team Catchy made ​​online store that can be easily added to a blog plugin, so people without technical skills can have their own online store.

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The registration and pass booking is still available on our official webpage till 10th of April. The agenda of 19th and 20th includes also Marketing and Innovation Summit, Tech Summit, Smart Cities Summit, New Economy Leadership Summit, Investors Day and Startup Pitches, Trade and Startup Expo, Night Summit with cultural agenda, WEBIT party on Day1 and Startup party on Day2, 50 meetups on different topics - all of this you can check at webit.bg. 

See you at WEBIT.FESTIVAL!

 

 

Join the Dev Summit of WEBIT.FEST’16 – Software revolution of the new digital markets #MySQL #developers #agile #devops #UX&UI #femalecoders

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Sofia, 20th of April 

<Angelhack> <Women Who Code> <Girls in Tech><Front End Girls><Rails Girls>

 

THE DEV SUMMIT is our dedication to all developers and software architects. The event gathers speakers from three continents to challenge the next generation of DevOps, Agile, UX & UI and more. Quality software building skills are essential for both – startup and enterprise scene. WEBIT.FEST meets you with all components of the digital economy environment.

If you’re either skilled, talented or interested to join the army of coders, request your pass and group delegations access from [email protected] by 8th of April.

 

The AGENDA of WEBIT.FEST’16  includes five parallel summits, as well Webit Night Summit with musical, art and cultural events around the Festival + more than 50 meetups on very specific topics which will gather opinion leaders at one place to discuss topics around their expertise.

WEBIT Foundation partners with number of global and regional organizations in order to provide opportunities for talented and skilled developers to receive training, coaching, networking and community building.

Meet some of the speakers and partners of the DEV SUMMIT here and follow the updates at webit.bg:

 

 

240197697Michael “Monty” Widenius  is the main author of the original version of the open source MySQL database, a founding member of the MySQL AB company and is currently CTO of the MariaDB Foundation.

MySQL  was acquired by Sun Microsystems for US$1 billion in 2008.

His keynote at this year’s WEBIT.FEST will take place during the DEV Summit. mysql

 

 

 

 

AngelHack is the world’s largest and most dAngelhack-Featurediverse global hackers and code creators community, who “invent the new and make change happen”. Back in 2011, their first hackathon event in San Francisco gathered 25 developers. Today AngelHack’s community is over 50,000 in 96 cities worldwide. Their target audience is not just programmers or people who can code—it’s anyone with an idea.

WEBIT.FEST’16 welcomes Brian Collins, who is the CMO of Angelhack. You can meet him in person and listen to his talk at the DevSummit.

Here you can check a recent interview of Brian for our blog.

 

 

Women Who Code is a global non-profit organization dedicated to inspiring women to excel in technology careers by creating a global, connected community of women in technology.  WWC was founded in 2011 and has since grown to 50,000 members spanning 20 countries. Women Who Code creates an avenue for women in tech by hosting free meetups around the world, and showcases the amazing careers that it can provide-especially to young girls.

Sheree Atcheson

 

WEBIT.SERIES partner with WWC to advocate and support the XX chromosome into the future of the tech industry. Our platform together is created to provide opportunities and mentorship for girls, who are brave, passioned and excited to code.

 

 

Sheree Atcheson is Expansion Director WomenWhoCode. She graduated in computer science from Queen’s University Belfast-where 90 percent of her CS classmates were male. Things are about to change these days. Meet her to fall in love with coding!

 

 

developersGoogle sends two superstars at WEBIT.FEST’16 - the head of app ads for EMEA, Lorenzo Bianchi and Benjamin Faes, who leads the publisher business solutions across Europe.

Benjamin joined Google in 2008, initially in charge of launching YouTube and the Google Display Network across Europe, while Lorenzo works on product strategy and advertisers success in app promo ads across all owned & operated Google properties and display. The DevSummit will give you a chance to sneak into Google’s Ad Platforms development team.

 

540545021_1280x720Twilio is cloud-based communication service provider based in San Francisco, California, which allows software
developers programmatically to make and receive phone calls and send and receive text messages, by merging the worlds of cloud computing, web services and telecommunications.The company now counts nearly 560,000 developers.

Some of the largest global enterprises and startup unicorns use Twilio’s platform, including Walmart, Hulu, Uber, Airbnb, eBay, Shopify,Salesforce, Box, Zendesk,Coca-Cola and Lyft.

Phil Nash is Developer Evangelist at Twilio, serving developer communities in London and all over Europe. He is a lover of all things front end, a Ruby developer. Meet Phil at the DevSummit of WEBIT.FEST on 20th of April in Sofia Tech Park.

 

The full lineup of partners and speakers of the DevSummit includes also Datastax, Just Eat, Girls Who Code – Romania and Girls in Tech – RomaniaFrond-end Girls Romania, Rails Girls, Association of Software Engineers, Softuni and more.  You can join them at Sofia Tech Park, 20th of April.

See you there!
Yanita K.

 

 

STARTUPS @WEBIT.FEST 2016 – Claim you Free Expo Table + Free Festival Tickets + Pitch on the Stage

 

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Sofia Tech Park, 19-20th of April

 

Founders Games is WEBIT’s programme for startups. The application is open till 31st of March and the opportunity is limited to 200 startups in 3 stages – early stage, post seed and growth and shall provide them an expo table and opportunity to pitch on stage.

How you may join and receive a free pass:

We are always happy to welcome quality startups, who challenge the global environment and, who are not afraid to compete.

Fill your APPLICATIONS at the following link by end of March:

Startups, accelerators and investors could send their request and questions to: [email protected]

 

Our partners network is full of opportunities, so go ahead and check below the list of accelerating programmes, investment funds, mentoring and co-working resources available at WEBIT.FEST 2016.

 

 

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Startupbootcamp is a global network of industry-focused startup accelerators that provides investment and mentorship services. With programs in Amsterdam, Berlin, Copenhagen, Eindhoven, Istanbul, London, Barcelona and Singapore, since launching in 2010, Startupbootcamp has accelerated 241 startups of which 71% went on to receive funding.

The accelerator’s programs focus on many different verticals Smart Transportation & Energy, E-commerce, HighTechXL – Hardware Technology, FinTech – Financial Technology and Insurance, Internet of Things & Data, Digital Health.

 

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Hub:raum Krakow offers startups with outstanding business ideas from CEE a comprehensive package of support which includes seed-funding, co-working space, mentoring and access to Deutsche Telekom assets, such as customer bases, technical service and workspace facilities.

This year hub:raum organizes two initiative: ChallengeUp! and WARP – you can see details below.

The verticals that fit within include: INTERNET OF THINGS, CYBER SECURITY, HEALTH CLOUD BASED BUSINESS SOLUTIONS, CUSTOMER ANALYTICS & BIG DATA, MOBILE PAYMENT & COMMERCE TV, VIDEO & MULTI SCREEN TELECOMMUNICATION & CONNECTIVITY.

At the moment you can apply to two programmes:

Challenge Up! - Internet of Things Accelerator with Intel and Cisco (2nd edition)

hub:raum Kraków WARP – 5th edition

hubraum WARP ChallengeUp infographic

 

ClujHUB coworking space and Startup Transilvania StartupTransilvania-logo3

The Romanian ecosystem is vibrant place for founders these days with a few strategic startup hubs, the country’s map is getting more and more attractive for investors. Cluj-Napoca, the capital of Transilvania is the symbol of Romanian entrepreneurship spirit, strategically positioned close to five capitals in CEE: Belgrade, Budapest, Sofia, Kiev and Bucharest. The acceleration programmes provide mentoring, work-space and financing of young entrepreneurs.

 

seedcampSeedcamp invests smart capital into pre-seed and seed stage startups. In 2014, they announced a €20million Seed fund, which enables investments up to €200,000 into rounds between €300,000 and €2M. As of September 2015, Seedcamp has a portfolio of 192 companies and is backed by over 30 institutional Venture Capital firms and angel investors. Participating VCs and advisors in Seedcamp’s launch included Index Ventures, Atomico Investments, Atlas Venture, Balderton Capital, TAG, Forsyth Group and Brown Rudnick.  The fund focuses on providing investment for startups looking to scale globally, rather than focusing on the initial hurdle of getting up-and-running.

Startup-Poland

Startup Poland  is a grassroots organization created by Polish startup founders with the goal to help build better conditions for Polish startups by influencing policy-makers, educators, academics and media. Warsaw is one of the largest startup hubs in the CEE region. This was why Google launched their third European Campus in Warsaw, following Madrid and previously London in 2012. Poland has a few startup centres apart from its capital city, including Cracow, Poznan and Gdansk. Startup Poland hopes to highlight all those cities. The purpose of the Foundation Startup Poland is to create better conditions for the development of start-ups in Poland with local or international founders.

 

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betahaus | Sofia is a part of an international network with hubs in Berlin, Hamburg, Cologne and soon in Zurich, Lisbon and Barcelona. The first coworking space in Bulgaria is a fav place for shared work space and exciting networking events for freelancers and startup teams in Sofia – capital of Bulgaria and host city of WEBIT.FESTIVAL.

The Bulgarian information technology industry is one of the fastest growing industries in this country. According to European Information Technology Observatory (EITO), the Bulgarian IT industry has been enjoying at a two-digit rate, and there are no signs that this growth will slow down anytime soon. In addition to this, Bulgaria has the second fastest broadband in the world after South Korea. Bulgaria outcompetes other EU member states by offering the best of both worlds and offers low cost opportunities for both companies and individuals. Bulgaria’s flat tax rate of 10% is undoubtedly exceptional from a EU perspective. The country’s strategic location is a huge benefit for startups with global ambitions. Sofia is  just an hour away by flight to Istanbul, Bucharest,  two hours from Berlin, Paris and Barcelona, three hours to London and four to Dubai.

There are direct flight to Middle East through Dubai Airports,  comfortable transfers to some of the busiest airports in the world – Ataturk in Istanbul and Dubai International Airport, Doha – where you can basically choose a flight to every part of Asia and Africa.

If you’re not convinced yet, that Bulgaria is the hottest place for building your company, come to WEBIT.FEST on 19th and 20th of April to see for yourself!

*The startup party is set for 20th of April’s night in betahaus | Sofia.

 

912d2b1c7b2826caf99687388d2e8f7c-horizontal_carouselbetahaus | Berlin 

Berlin is one of the best cities for startup founders in Europe, and at the same time cheaper than many of its European counterparts. According to the statistics a new start-up is founded every 20 minutes in Berlin and the industry is set to produce 100,000 new jobs by 2020.

If you need a space to work and spend nice time, you can find betahaus|Berlin in Kreuzberg – the fav place of creative minds in the city! Feel free to use the wifi, work, and meet people. Last November, officially was launched the betahaus|Academy: speciality courses in the fields of business & marketing, web & design, and crafts & DIY. If you’re “too cool cool for school”, join it! Everyone says, Sofia is the little sister of Berlin. The wall is down and Berlin meets Sofia at WEBIT.FEST’16…

 

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Techhub  is the global community for tech entrepreneurs. They work with over 600 companies around the world to help them scale.

TechHub members can work, meet, collaborate, learn and have fun at any of our locations under our global membership. Its network enables members to work smarter, develop faster and increase their chances of startup success. It has programmes and spaces in London, Madrid, Warsaw, Riga, Bucharest, Bangalore and Swansea where we help startups go global.

coworkingReaktor is a place for Warsaw-based startups and freelancer to work, collaborate and network. The Polish market  of 40 million residents seems big enough to scale a business even if you’re not looking to expand outside of the country. However, the situation get a different picture and the globally oriented business rise up in Warsaw, elevating the city up as one of the European startup-friendly capitals.

Reaktor was created in 2011 by a number of local startup founders in cool old-­fashioned house to be the place where people and ideas collide and where disruption is born. Overnight, the house became an epicenter of the Warsaw startup community.

hub-polStartup Hub Poland is a non-profit foundation, which aims to facilitate technological development in the CEE region and increase its global presence as a place where disruptive technologies appear. Their financing arm, [email protected] is a seed fund for technological projects at the early stages of development, which invests up to €50.000 in one round. The fund operates in  strategic partnership with Giza Polish Ventures – a Polish-Israeli venture capital fund and supported by the National Centre for Research and Development of Poland (NCBR). Visa and legislation support is available for founders outside the European zone.

The verticals of investment include Biotechnology in agriculture, Food processing, Innovative food distribution channel, Using information technologies to support the management of animal farms and plant nurseries, Automatics and robotics in agriculture, Biotechnology and Medical Devices New Materials and Nanotechnology, Big data , Artificial intelligence, natural language processing, algorithms, Knowledge management, Internet of Things, Mobile technologies in industrial applications, Corporate mobility.

WEBIT.FESTIVAL 2016 welcomes founder & CEO of Startup Hub Poland, Maciej Sadowski. Join his Investor Talk (webit.bg)

the-us-fundraising-primer-for-eu-companies-piotr-wilam-1-638Innovation Nest is a seed/VC fund based in Krakow, which invests in early to Series A stage B2B technology companies with global focus. The investment range is from $25k up to $1M in startups across Europe and in collaboration with funds and angles from Europe and the US.

The recently launched acceleration program named Growth!, based at the newly opened Campus Warsaw main goal was to accelerate startups from Central Eastern Europe that sell their products to business customers and already generate revenue.  If you are looking for fundraising from Innovation Nest, the right time will be: “between Seed and Series A funding, is one of the most tricky stages of startups’ growth. It seems things are going in the right direction, but in order to grow as expected, the founding team needs to move to another level – start scaling things that work and abandon things that don’t.”

 

CcUg1CwW8AE1JtJStarters Hub Istanbul is a unique platform based in Istanbul serving EMENA and CIS regions, providing startups with extensive know-how and network, multi-stage funding, hands-on mentorship and an inspiring workplace. The hub is the regional arm of Startupbootcamp’s accelerating program with no geographical or vertical limitations.

For 3 months, 10 selected startups are being provided with funding and incubation space along with intense mentoring. At the end of the program, the founders join Demo Day to pitch their product.

 

metavallon-the-accelerator-702336Metavallon Greece is a model social enterprise that empowers and accelerates startups at the very early stages (€22.000 in pre-seed funding) in 4 month program.Through its three-stage program (Τhe Lab, The Accelerator, The Hub), Metavallon seeks to motivate talented individuals, expose them to experienced entrepreneurs, experts and investors, and provide them with the necessary resources to start their own high impact businesses. Its mission is to uplift the endeavors of active entrepreneurial spirits around the world and generate a powerful venturing movement in Greece and beyond.

Verticals of the startups include Fintech, B2B & Enterprise, Big Data & Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality & Augmented Reality, Internet of Things, SaaS & Cloud services, Telecommunications & Mobile, Energy & Cleantech, Health & Biotech, Science.

 

h-farm-david-selovin-fotografia-photography-fotografo-padova-1H-Farm is an accelerator that does Seed and Early Stage Venture Investments. It is an innovative platform set up in 2005 to help young entrepreneurs launch new initiatives and support the digitalisation of Italian companies. “H-FARM Investment” is the division dedicated to the startup investments through three complementary ways:

H-CAMP: Acceleration Program dedicated to Digital startups that operates in the “Made In Italy” sectors with a focus on B2B solutions where H-FARM has a word-class network. Each selected startup receives an investment in terms of Services (mentorship, workshops, tech partners, business network, demo day) and Cash.

H-FARM Venture Fund provides direct and indirect investments in early-stage Italian startups (on the fields of SaaS, consumer internet, and B2B services) and in early-stage European startups with global ambitions in the fields of SaaS and consumer internet.

WEBIT.FESTIVAL 2016 welcomes Maurizio Rossi,  co-founder of H-FARM Ventures. Join his Investor Talk (webit.bg)

 

buildit-homepageBuildIT Hardware is a young, Estonian accelerator focusing only on the business of building, selling, and investing in hardware

The accelerating program is a new 3 month long based in Estonia’s Tartu Science Park, plus a 1 month Seedcamp-style investor “roadshow” in the U.S., China and UK. Startups can apply from anywhere, though there is particular emphasis on Eastern Europe and Russia. Teams must have at least 2 members and preferably have (or be close to) a working prototype. In return for entering the program, Buildit invests €15,000 for 5-10% equity.

 

hong-kong-startup-ecosystem-toolbox-v1-1-638WHub.HK connects talent with startups and entrepreneurs with co-founders. As a profile-driven platform that showcases the team behind the startup, WHub lets startups share their company mission, products and current job openings. If you would like to get a job at a Hong Kong-based startup, Whub can help.

Startup founders could receive support to get into top accelerators and to raise millions of dollars in seed funding. Startup Next Hong Kong is a Techstars Community Program and is run in a collaboration with W Hub.

Application Deadline for 2016’s program is 22nd of March.

 

202e23aMojo Capital manages the European Digital Opportunities Fund that integrates investments in European Venture Capital funds, secondaries, co-investments and direct investments in startups focused on digital opportunities.

Mojo.capital was founded in 2014 by Matthias Ummenhofer, previously head of European Investment Fund’s technology investment business to capitalise on the digital growth opportunity in Europe.

Matthias is joining the speakers lineup of WEBIT.FESTIVAL this year, so startup founders could meet him in person during the Investors Talks Day (see our agenda on webit.bg).

 

 

Insight Venture Partners is an American venture capital fund based in New York. The firm focuses on growth-stage investments in businesses with technology, software and Internet-enabled, mobile and ecommerce verticals.  They have raised more than $13 billion and invested in more than 250+ companies.

Elodie-Dupuy22They has invested in companies such as Twitter, Tumblr, Flipboard, Quest Software, Jagex, Hootsuite.
Insight Venture Partners is active globally with portfolio-company investments in 65 countries on six continents.


At this year’s WEBIT.FESTIVAL you could meet Elodie Dupuy, who is Vice President at Insight Venture Partners based in NY.
She pursues high growth internet , new media and SaaS companies in non-US markets, specifically Europe and Latin America.  Investors Talks Day at WEBIT.FEST could be found at webit.bg.

 

 

 

000026154_imageArticlePrincipaleLargeStarburst Accelerator provides seed funding from the top business angels and venture capital firms dedicated to Aerospace, Defense and Security as well as access to the largest aerospace group stakeholders to get your first 1M$ contract. The accelerator program offers startups an opportunity to showcase their business to leading corporations in the aerospace, aviation and defense industries. American sponsors for the Starburst USA program so far include: Boeing, Panasonic Avionics, Millennium Space Systems, Raytheon and Booz Allen.

The program provides also access to office space located in the center of Paris and Los Angeles.

You can meet Starburst’s founder Francois Chopard at WEBIT.FESTIVAL’16.

 

602Runa Capital is a global technology-focused venture capital
firm. It provides early-stage funding for cloud computing services, hosted services, virtualization tools, complex software, and IT solutions for fintech, education, healthcare, and public services. Runa Capital’s first fund, Runa Capital I, began with a $30 million initial commitment and reached $135 million by 2012. The company is now aiming to raise $200 million for Runa Capital II, focusing on investments in USA, European Union, Israel and Eastern Europe.

Most recently the firm opened offices in San Francisco’s SOMA district with plans on doing more investment in North America, as well as to better support the existing investments it has already made in US companies.

Dmitry Chikhachev Co-founder and Managing Partner of the fund joins the speakers lineup at WEBIT.FEST this April.  You can meet him during the Investors Talks (webit.bg).


Marcin HEJKA, INTELIntel Capital is a division of Intel Corporation, set up to manage Corporate venture capital, global investment, mergers and acquisitions. Intel Capital invests in a broad range of hardware, software, and services companies targeting computing and smart devices, cloud, datacenter, security, the Internet of Things, wearable and robotic technologies and semiconductor manufacturing.

Since 1991, Intel Capital has invested nearly US$11.6 billion in over 1,400 companies in 57 countries. The VC fund has 26 offices around the world. Countries include Belgium, Brazil, China, India,Germany, Ireland, Japan, Israel, Nigeria, Poland, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, UK, USA.

Marcin Hejka is a vice president at Intel Capital and managing director for Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) at Intel Corporation. He is responsible for leading Intel Capital’s investment activity in the region, which also encompasses Russia.

You are welcome to meet him at WEBIT.FEST 2016, during the Investors Talks (webit.bg).

 

 

ba351-6a00d83451a72369e2019b0514a728970d-piEarlyBird is an international venture capital firm that invests across multiple stages,  ranging from early-stage to expansionary and growth stages with investment sizes between €200k and €20M.

It manages around US$1 billion, as the firm is one of the largest European venture and growth capital investors and the largest outside of the UK, with offices in Berlin, Munich and Istanbul.

Earlybird looks for investment opportunities with European DNA but global ambitions. The Health Tech Fund is oriented towards funding innovative medical technology companies, while the Earlybird Digital East Fund is focused on providing early stage equity capital to high-potential technology companies in Turkey and Central & Eastern Europe. The key interest areas of the fund are Consumer Internet, Enterprise Software and Tech-Enabled Services.

Cem Sertoglu is an entrepreneur and venture capital investor, focused on technology ventures in Turkey and CEE. You are welcome to meet him at WEBIT.FEST 2016, during the Investors Talks (webit.bg).

 

viewTechstars METRO Accelerator  opened its doors  in October of 2015 and  announced the first class of startups taking part in its  programme. International teams from five countries moved into the offices of German Tech Entrepreneurship Center in Berlin. For three months, they benefited from the focused support of mentors as well as financial support to expand their business model internationally. The program supports Digital Transformation in restaurants, hotels and catering companies.  The first class, consisting of eleven international startup teams, presented at Demo Day in Berlin on the 28th of January, 2016.

Each company participating is battling for up to €120,000 in investment capital and access to METRO’s resources, relationships, sales force, and a streamlined business development process to pour rocket-fuel on your innovative idea.

Rob Johnson is a serial entrepreneur and investor. He is currently the Managing Director for Techstars in Berlin, Germany. Rob is also joining the Investors talks at WEBIT.FESTIVAL, so you can meet him in person. 

 

_LB_8861Credo Ventures seeks entrepreneurs in Central and Eastern Europe who have a vision that extends beyond our regional borders to create global companies. Credo’s team of investors focuses on early stage companies in CEE across the information technology, internet, mobile and healthcare markets. The inaugural fund, Credo Stage 1, has raised €18M. In April 2015, Credo’s second fund, Credo Stage 2, was founded while raising €34M in the first closing. Founded in 2009, Credo Ventures is based in Prague, Czech Republic.

Ondrej Bartos is co-founder and partner at Credo Ventures, as well speaker at WEBIT.FEST 2016. Join the Investors Talks (webit.bg).

 

5O0O1ITqSpeedUP Group is a leading group of venture funds, investing in enterprises in an early stage of development (seed, pre-revenue, early growth). Areas of our interest include enterprises and entrepreneurs in Central and Eastern Europe, who want to conquer the global market by utilizing their self-developed solutions. Depending on individual needs, potential for growth and project maturity, SpeedUp invests from $30K up to $2M.

To get into their scanning, your company should be from areas such as: consumer internet, hardware, Software, Mobile, Digital ICT, Life Science, Health Care, Clean Tech, e-Commerce, IoT, MarTech, FinTech.

Bartek Gola is the CEO & Managing Partner at SpeedUp Venture Capital Group. He is also joining the Investors talks at WEBIT.FESTIVAL’16, where you can meet and talk to him.

 

The Hub.hu is a new generation co-working environment that gives startups, enterpreneurs, freelancers, digital nomads, creatives, techies and micro-businesses the opportunity to work and collaborate in a creative, community focused atmosphere. In one of the most beautiful cities of Europe – Budapest, the startup culture of Hungary is emerging and vibrant. The success stories of Hungarian companies, such as Ustream, Prezi and LogMeIn are a big inspiration to the young local entrepreneurs and helped to attract investors attention.

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GlebDavidyukiTech Capital was established in 2011 in Riga and today’s portfolio is comprised of equity injections up to US$10 million per deal in IT companies operating in Central and Eastern Europe, Asia and USA. The Average deal size is US$5 million.

iTech global investment strategy lies in the following sectors:

- Online advertising technologies: online marketing platforms and tools for website promotion, context advertising and real-time bidding

- TMT (Technology, Media and Telecommunications): software, software-on-demand solution providers, e-gaming and e-entertainment, IT outsourcing

- E-commerce, e-processing and e-banking, FinTech, BigData & Processing, OnlineTravel

- New Media: infoweb portals, social networks, e-advertising channels

At WEBIT.FEST’16 you could meet Gleb Davidyuk, who is Managing Partner of iTech Capital.

 

 

1-cIZ_GJpbXsR6KCiboqrZhgSpeedinvest is an early stage seed and Series A fund based in Vienna, Austria. With funds of approx. EUR 100M and offices in Vienna and Silicon Valley it targets early stage companies out of Central Europe in the internet and mobile sector. Speedinvest is the biggest VC fund ever raised in Austria, as the fund is raised from more than 100 entrepreneurs and private investors.

Specifically, they aim to build a bridge between Europe and Silicon Valley. Their US team works as outsourced strategic and biz dev operations for their investments, with the goal of accelerating growth and maximizing valuation.

WEBIT.FESTIVAL 2016 welcomes Stefan Klestil, who is partner at Speedinvest. Stefan is responsible for FinTech investments across EMEA. Join his Investor Talk (webit.bg)

 

SeedInvest-Product-Team-e1418666387704Seedinvest is an equity crowdfunding platform that connects startups with investors online. SeedInvest has focused on building liquidity in the platform by attracting high-net-worth individuals, family offices and venture capital firms. Currently the platform partners with Angel Investing website Gust.

Notable funding rounds on SeedInvest have included Atlas Wearables ($1.4M raised), Snapcard ($1.5M raised), Virtuix ($3M raised), Vengo Labs ($2M raised) and Knightscope($1.5M raised).

SeedInvest founders Ryan Feit and James Han were involved in consultation with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and in the United States Congress for the passing of the JOBS Act.

Ryan Feit is the CEO and Co-Founder of SeedInvest. Ryan was instrumental in the passage of the 2012 JOBS Act, which changed 80-year-old U.S. securities laws to make it possible for entrepreneurs to raise capital over the Internet. He is joining the stage of WEBIT.FEST 2016, as part of the Investors Talks Day (webit.bg).

 

 

Hacking Sofia – Digital capital of the new markets #webitspeakers

It’s less than two months till the date of WEBIT.FESTIVAL 2016 (19-20th of April) and it’s been 8 years since the first Webit event took place in Sofia.

If we have to give you an comparison of  WEBIT.FESTIVAL this year and how important it will be for the region, the closest metaphor is that 2016 for us is what the historic landing of Falcon 9  was for SpaceX!

Europe is becoming second-tier player not only to America but India and China and we are confident we can help in getting back in the first row. Because of people such as the founders of Telerik, BitDefender, Chaos Group, Rimac Auto … Sofia and Eastern Europe has a lot to offer and help and it is time to be heard and involved in the digital future of Europe.

The endless work and dedication are making a difference and as our Chairman, Mr. Plamen Russev says “Never give up is not a cliche”. The constant efforts to improve the environment that we live in and to promote business making here have recently gathered us with Betahaus Sofia. So, here we are, creating our own bro-code and collaborating to cement the city as hub of entrepreneurship.

While we are getting ready to press the start on 19th of April, the speakers lineup is being announced,  so we have decided to give you closer look at some of them.

You can comment to share your thought and to say Say “Hi” to:

 

: #1 Brian Collins CMO, AngelHack @LifeofaBrian – place for anyone with an idea

Brian Collins

Brian Collins is the Chief Marketing Officer of San Francisco-based AngelHack, the world’s largest and most diverse global hackers and code creators community, who “invent the new and make change happen”.

Back in 2011, their first hackathon event in San Francisco gathered 25 developers. Today AngelHack’s community is over 50,000 in 96 cities worldwide. Their target audience is not just programmers or people who can code—it’s anyone with an idea.

Brian is always traveling to different hackathons interacting with hackers, so we decided to give him an opportunity to meet and network with the geeks in Bulgaria in advance. He will be speaking at WEBIT.FESTIVAL, where you can meet in person and share your ideas.

 

 

WEBIT: You say you’re travelling a lot to meet developers around the world. Will it be the first time for you in Bulgaria in April and who would you like to meet with at WEBIT.FESTIVAL?

Brian: This is not just my first time in Bulgaria, but my first time in South East Europe. In my travels last year everyone was telling me about how Bulgaria and CEE in general have been making huge strides in tech over the last few years.

I’d love to meet anyone who’s excited about building out their tech communities.  AngelHack works with individuals to help build a foundational tech community in their city and companies to build communities globally.

 

WEBIT: Is there any difference between hackers from the valley and those from Europe?

Brian:European hackers share a lot in common with our South East Asia hackers.  Their projects tend to be very specific to problems they see in their neighborhoods and communities every day.  Example: one of our Eastern European winning teams from last year, AppKeep, created an app that automatically collects the manuals of all of your in-home appliances.  It can then give you the best repair options should they break down.

Hackers in the Valley tend to be much more focused on larger solutions. Our Silicon Valley team this year, Air Quail, was creating hardware to crowd source air quality metrics down to your street or over a whole continent.

Neither is superior to the other: they’re different ways to focus on problem solving.  The key is: does it work? And if so, how can we expand it?

 

WEBIT: What about Eastern Europe?

Brian: I had a college roommate who was a Bulgarian coder.  He was generally quiet,  but one of the things I remember the most was when it was time to work on a project he would lock himself into his room for two or three days.  He was essentially throwing one man hackathons!

That’s always been my image of Eastern Europe hackers – sometimes quiet but never afraid to get their hands dirty on the tough coding.

 

WEBIT: AngelHack is hosting a hackathon in Sofia in June. Why and what’s the idea behind it?

Brian: This is our 9th Global Series, but our first time in Bulgaria. Our hackathons are a ton of fun for developers, designers, or entrepreneurs and the winning team gets an invite to our HACKcelerator program.  This lets them turn their hackathon idea into a start up reality.

Our theme for the series is Anyone.Can. Code. One of the things we hear over and over again are the incredible stories of how people learned how to code.  For some they begin at 3 with basic logic.  For others they taught themselves much later in life to make a change.  Code has no gender, no age, and no cultural limitations.

Our series is broken into the tech hubs that everyone expects (London, San Francisco, Singapore), and the up and coming communities (Sofia, Lima, Lviv).  We work really closely with our ambassadors like Rumen to help create events that bring the community together and help them network and create something amazing.

 

Betahaus: What are your observations about Bulgaria being part of the global entrepreneurial generation?

Brian: Tech is moving from finding global solutions to everyday problems, to finding localized solutions to neighborhood problems.  I’m excited to see Bulgaria entering the entrepreneurial landscape, to see what problems are most important for them to solve.

One of the things at AngelHack we see is that the same problems get tackled over and over again in hackathons.  But not all of them are successful.  Often it’s the team that has the most common connection to the problem at hand who can attack it in just the right way.  A team in New york may tackle an idea, but it’s the team in Kuala Lumpur who actually solves it.

I can’t wait to see what problems Bulgaria is going to solve in the coming years.

 

WEBIT: Did you know anything about the tech hub of Sofia before being invited to speak here?

Brian: Sadly nothing about Sofia specifically.  But I’m excited to learn more while I’m there!

 

*Applications for Dev Summit access: http://www.webit.bg/dev.php

For more info: [email protected]

 

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