The Heureka conference is in full swing, and you can keep up to date with all the latest news from the event right here. Just keep pressing refresh to get the latest updates…
9:30AM Mark Hoffmann, CEO of Vertical Media kicks off with his welcome message. Mark gets everyone to introduce themselves to their neighbour and explains that Heureka! is all about focus on people and ideas in this room.
10AM Sebastian Siemiatkowski of Klara delivers his keynote speech, focusing on his biggest business mistakes, including launching in Scandinavia, not discussing expectations fully and going to business school instead of learning to code.
He also recommends treating investors like you would a date – don’t call them too soon and find someone who shares your interests.
10:20AM Kolja Hebenstreit of Team Europe introduces panel discussion on “Is starting an internet business rocket science?”
10:35AM Delivery Hero co-founder Markus Fuhrmann explains how his company grew to 405 people in 10 countries in 18 months. Apparently The Smurfs are his greatest inspiration: “They are entrepreneurial, they have guys who know their shit, they’re maybe not *so* diverse, but they know how to have fun – and that’s important to Delivery Hero and Lieferheld.”
So know we know.
10:55AM Jeroen Seghers of Zugo, a explains the key rules of distribution.
11:05AM Henrik Berggren of Readmill advises not to trust his talk – that it contains no facts whatsoever, but delivers a really entertaining talk on first-time fundraising, which seems to involve simply calling Alex Jung of SoundCloud. He also says that Berlin is the best place to found a company as “The collective intelligence of founders in Berlin right now is amazing”. But make sure to pitch in San Francisco and get your VCs drunk or take them to the movies – get them off their home turf.
11AM Meanwhile in our breakout room, the first batch of startup hopefuls get five minutes each to present their ideas to VCs and investors in our speed-pitching event. Hopefully some pairs will find love together at the event…
11:48AM Ijad Madisch from ResearchGate explains what his Heureka! moment was – and it came during a project to attach a human finger to a mouse. “I realised that I had no way of sharing information if anything went wrong or to gather information from other scientific sources easily. That’s when the idea for ResearchGate came about.”
12NOON Investors’ screening – “Why chose us?” Top VCs and investors from som of the most prominent companies explain what it is that makes their particular company so special. It’s like speed-pitching but in reverse…
14:10 The Bumpy Road to Heureka! Florian Mück, our favourite public speaking coach is up next, accompanied by some props, including a landrover and a football top that says “Fellatio” on it.
His key points for finding your the bumpy road to inspiration are perseverance, people (grow your network), positivity (surround yourself with positive people) and always have a co-driver. Oh, and also that the world doesn’t need less orcs, just more Gandalfs. This is possibly our favourite quote of the conference so far…
14:30 Rising stars session – Key thinkers from the world of apps, mobile and gaming take to the stage to discuss emerging trends. Matthäus Krzykowski from Xyologic tipped Project Slice for the top, while Jens Hilgers of Geewa observed that online gaming is being particularly disrupted right now – with new channels of distribution meaning that small developers can reach a global audience and new platforms such as Facebook opening up gaming to new audiences.
Stephen Jacquemot from Microsoft BizSpark, perhaps unsurprisingly, is looking to a future with one convergence device to rule them all (presumably running Windows), while Jochen Krisch from Exciting Commerce thinks that “gender innovation” and finding out how women want to shop is a key trend.
16:00 Globalisation session – Michael Jackson from Mangrove Capital is hosting a session on how to successfully globalise your product. Important factors include doing your homework and acquiring local partners, according to Ralf Hirt of Glam Media. Roman Kirsch of Fab.de (formerly Casacanda) announces that: “Since we knew that we go to the globalization session today, we have expanded even more rapidly last week in 13 new countries.” Fab.de will now hit Belgium, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Ireland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and the UK. Great preparation guys!
17:10 Incubator screening – who is the best? Gruenderszene’s very own Joel Kaczmarek hosts a session with the big Berlin players to discuss the big issues around our ecosystem.
Lukasz Gadowski from Team Europe, Passion Capital’s Stefan Glänzer, Florian Heinemann from Project A, Seedcamp’s Philipp Möhring and Alexander Kudlich from Rocket Internet battle it out on who offers the best environment for startups – but they still have time for a group hug (see picture).
The debate is raging hard, with each defending their particular models. Surprisingly, most panelists are defending the “copycat” model, calling it necessary for the ecosystem.
Stefan Glänzer went on to explain: “Copycat incubators also do a great job of educating people. If there is a big employer doing this then they help to give a large number of staff an education, which will eventually lead to creating home-grown innovators.”
Alexander Kudlich of Rocket defended his company’s output by pointing out that you also have to be innovative and daring in execution and countered Joel’s Pinspire/Pinterest comparison by calling Gruenderszene the “European TechCrunch” – cheeky!
Team Europe’s Lukasz Gadowski even admitted that his first successful venture, Spreadshirt wasn’t an original: “One of my friends pointed out that it was just like CafePress – good ideas sometimes happen at the same time. It just proves you were right.”