As digital technology makes it easier and cheaper to gain access to markets in some of the world’s most far-flung places, startups are able to develop rather quickly compared to several years ago. Berlin is one city enjoying accelerated growth in this area: a new startup is founded in the city almost every 20 minutes.
Berlin is infamous for its strong international scene, and the city attracts an enormous concentration of capital, offering endless opportunities to early-stage companies. It has a massive talent pool from Europe and the rest of the world which makes networking uncomplicated and has induced an irrepressible and energized community in the city. Many young people have been capitalizing on the booming startup scene in the city, with local universities organizing events to encourage more awareness of technology and entrepreneurship among the youth.
Tech Open Air (TOA), was founded in Berlin by Nikolas Woischnik and is the first and largest interdisciplinary technology festival in Europe dedicated to bringing together tech, music, art, and science through knowledge exchange and collaboration. It is expected that more than 120 events will be held at various venues around Berlin, in addition to multiple conferences on the latest trends in the startup tech world.
The event has grown from a small crowdfunded festival to an event of international acclaim in the past eight years and has been able to impress many big tech players such as the founders of SoundCloud, Native Instruments, Hello Fresh, Zalando and OneFootball. They are part of the TOA family which includes 5000sqm of working space, Ahoy Berlin (acquired by Knotel in 2018) and the communications, digital strategy and events consultants Openers.
On July 2-5 2019, TOA is hosting more than 160 speakers and drawing an anticipated 20000 participants locally and internationally. In addition, there will be 120 satellite events held by national and international companies, startups and scientific institutions from around Berlin. This event will bring together many of the brightest minds from the international startup and technology scene for the eighth time at Funkhaus, Berlin.
Speakers come from diverse backgrounds such as technology, music, art and science and adhere to the mission of ‘future-proofing’ attendees. This vision brings together some of the least expected connections between some of the most varied disciplines. TOA will be collaborating with music festival Melt for the first time this year, as they will be curating the Studio 1 music program at TOAxNight on July 3. In a novel exchange of expertise, TOA will be curating an extension of Melt’s show later in the month with an emphasis on tech integrations and new media formats.
“The collaboration between Melt and TOA is another great indicator of the interdisciplinary approach we’ve taken from the very beginning,” says Niko Woischnik, founder of Tech Open Air. “By working together we are driving forward the interconnectedness of various talents and encouraging communication and exchange that will, as the new format’s name indicates, lead to fantastic new developments and ideas.”
Tech Open Air is an opportunity to engage with leaders in the fields of future technologies, work, and modern life. The show is focusing on several key aspects such as New Communities, Pioneering Business, Zukunftsmusik & Kunst, Deep Tech, and Emotional Innovation. Confirmed speakers include
- Claire Hughes Johnson, COO of the online payment service Stripe
- Bruce Linton, Founder & CEO of the first listed cannabis company in North America, Canopy Growth
- Michal Braverman-Blumenstyk, CTO, Cloud and AI Security Division at Microsoft;
- Danny Lange, VP of Artificial Intelligence at Unity Technologies
- Dorothee Bär, Minister of State in charge of digitalization at the Federal Chancellery in Germany
- Ben Bradlee Jr., who is best known for overseeing the Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of the sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church.
TOA is also hosting an Open Circle, which is an intimate program of events that takes place concurrent to the TOA Festival. Chaired by Axel Springer CEO Mathias Döpfner since 2018, it offers exclusive access to unique events in the company of inspirational individuals from across the world. In fact, TOA has done several past tours that include New York, Austin (SXSW), and Mexico City, with planned 2019 events in Tokyo and Cape Town.
Technology has become more prevalent in business as it is able to transform the way we work. Collaboration between industries is able to foster new innovation that can drive society ahead. Tech Open Air will help participants understand and use technology as a tool for future-proofing their business, and recognize that using tech will put them at the front of the pack in their fields.