Given the pandemic, huge changes are being wrought in tech events, something which used to be the lifeblood of the industry. Many a startup has pitched to win funding, and many a hackathon has formed teams that went on to greater things. It’s a sad fact that this era is over, at least until the pandemic has fully passed, but this could take some time. Two significant European events have now had to change in order to carry their brands into new realms.
European breakout success story Infobip (which has raised more than $200 million) was born out of Croatia. And so was the seminal developer conference Shift. With Infobip needing that engineering community, and Shift needing a more stable home in uncertain times, it seems only natural that Infobip would put developers front and center of their company strategy with the acquisition of Shift, and appointing its founder and CEO Ivan Burazinto to the board as chief developer experience officer. Shift will now form the basis of Infobip’s all-new Developer Experience department.
As Burazin said: “The vision was always to become one of the largest developer conferences in the world, and also to strengthen Croatia’s connection to the world of software developers. So now with the backing of a unicorn and the freedom to keep working on independently, the vision seems to have finally become possible.”
He says Shift won’t disappear, but will now expand globally, first to the U.S. and then to Latin America and southeast Asia, initially in remote events.
Infobip CEO Silvio Kutić said: “Infobip is on a growth trajectory to expand rapidly into the B2C vertical, or more specifically Business-to-Developer (B2D) space. Having Ivan on board with his experience as the founder of Codeanywhere, a B2D SaaS company, and creator of Shift, the largest developer conference in the region, will be an asset to us going forward.”
Meanwhile, a key startup and founder/investor-oriented conference “Tech Open Air Berlin” is also changing.
Tech Open Air (TOA), was known for its technology and startup festival, which attracted upwards of 20,000 people in Berlin every summer, but it has now pivoted into a new brand: TOA Klub. This will now be a “cohort-based learning and doing platform.” The four-six weeks of online programs will be aimed at helping professionals progress in the tech industry.
TOA Klub will offer Founders Klub (for founders learning to startup); Investors Klub (for newbie investors); Crypto Klub (a “crash course in the crypto field”); and Co-Creators Klub (for founders looking to pivot and grow).
The first confirmed mentors and speakers include Rolf Schrömgens (founder, Trivago), Dominik Richter (founder, HelloFresh) and Jeannette zu Fürstenberg (founding partner, La Famiglia VC).
Nikolas Woischnik, founder of TOA said: “The world will come out of this pandemic having digitally aged by decades, not years. The complexity of our business environment has greatly accelerated. At TOA this gives our long-time mission of “making people, organizations and the planet futureproof” ever more purpose. With the launch of Klub, it is time for us to leverage technology to deliver on our mission in a more impactful and accessible way.”
I for one am glad these greats brands have found new homes, because I know the brands and the founders both carry huge respect in the European startup scene.