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[UPDATE: Thanks to everyone for the hundreds of venue ideas you’ve sent in as a result of this post. My team, 2 Pears, will respond as soon as they can to every one, but not immediately, so please be patient, thanks].

We interrupt normal programming to bring you an issue that’s affecting our ability to create a better tech ecosystem in Europe. At TechCrunch Europe we’ve been trying to help really energize the startup tech community across Europe – which suffers from the difficulty of being disparate and spread out – with a series of organised meetups.

These are unlike casual networking events just in a bar. They feature speakers, lots of pitches from startups (no startups pay to pitch of course, ever) and live video streaming for those who either can’t make it or who want to tune in to get a glimpse of what the tech scene is like in that country. That live feed has gone onto TechCrunch.com and brought hundreds more to visit the place we’re in.

Now, we’ve done this so far in plenty of places, such as Helsinki, Paris, Stockholm, Barcelona and more recently Berlin and Munich. Frankly I didn’t think we’d be doing anything anyone on the local scene hadn’t already done at some stage. However, without exaggeration I’d have to say the reception in each place has been incredible. Clearly there is something about the the TechCrunch brand that brings all the right people together in the one place: entrepreneurs, startups, angels, VCs and other interested parties.

So we’d like to do more – visit more European cities, do more events. But – and here’s the point of this post – we are fighting against Europe’s high venue costs.

Wherever we’ve been we’ve attracted 150-200 attendees or more – that’s practically a full conference, even though we usually have just an afternoon of presentations and then an evening of networking. Every time we do this we need to find a venue that can hold that many people. Often even more want to come. This is our biggest cost. But European venues like hotels and conference centres still seem to operate on a tediously high cost basis, despite the economic environment.

There are two things that have made this easier. Firstly where a corporate partner steps in to help. In Munich we were lucky to be able to use the great facilities of a large Sun Microsystems office. Secondly, sometimes a startup has a great office which is just large enough to fit 150, maybe 200 people – as in Berlin with the office of Zanox. But these partners are rare. We may also explore more university venues.

So, one of the big obstacles standing in the way of our creating an event where we can showcase startups to the TechCrunch audience is venues. If we can find more affordable venues, or even free venues – combined with commercial sponsors – we can create more events and better coverage for the startups scene in Europe and everyone will benefit.

So take this as a blatant request: If you’re in Europe and have a space this kind of size and want to partner with TechCrunch Europe – especially if you are in the East, such as Ukraine, Russia, Poland and beyond – then please get in contact with our events team 2Pears.

Secondly, if you are a specialist in live streaming events (as in camera people, plus live web streaming etc), then get in touch. Around Europe we have worked with Bambuser, Sevenload, Newspepper, Stream5 and others. If a venue doesn’t have WiFi but we can find a partner who can provide WiFi, then that’s of interest too.

Lastly, obviously we need commercial partners, of course, so get in touch about that as well.

End of rant.

[Photo Credit: BitchBuzz]

  • http://twitter Dr Rand Pink

    Meet Up at Monte Carlo 1/24/2010 .

  • Josh

    Get in touch with the Innovation Office at the University of Muenster:

    They are well connected with local banks, seed funds, authorities, companies, students, startups, scientist and so on.


    • Josh

      Oh – and they have excellent on campus wifi ;-)

  • http://imranali.name Imran Ali

    Would be happy to help…wanna be part of the 3rd Leeds Web festival in May 2010?

  • http://www.chelariu.de Paul

    The world is very complicated =)

  • http://ww.amazee.com Gregory Gerhardt

    Hi Mike, hope all is well. The Amazee team will be happy to get the accomodation right in Zurich – Bluewin Tower, Techopark – or why not Google… just let us know when you’re planning your next excursion to the Chocolate Valley. We’ll plan it on the spot. I’ll leave a note with 2Pears. Cheers, Gregory

  • http://www.wavespr.com Claire Thompson (claireatwaves)

    I think the link in this may not be working? Wanted to make a suggestion, clicked on link and it came to Mike’s profile, not ‘2Pears’ who I can’t find on Twitter either.

    May be me being dim, of course :-)

    • http://uk.techcrunch.com Mike Butcher

      Claire – scroll down that page. Also 2Pears on Twitter are @2_pears

  • Cian

    With some local help it shouldn’t be hard to find a good cheap place in Berlin. It may not be very flashy, but it will certainly have that Berlin charm to it. Rental prices in Berlin are way lower than most other European capitals. Also, maybe once a suitable venue is found you could have it in the same place at set times every X amount of months. Most places in Europe are within a couple of hours flight from each other anyway.

  • sk

    eastern and central europe tech scene = FAIL. dont waste your time

  • David Semeria

    The technical universities in Milan and Turin certainly have enough space, and they’re both extremely keen to promote start-ups and innovation (including when it comes from outside their walls).

    Drop me a line if you need contacts.

  • http://jotabl.com/ Jason

    Come to the UK!!

  • http://www.ioworld.com Alan Hodes

    Hi Mike,

    Have you thought about inviting one of BBC’s Dragons (ie, Peter Jones)? I expect that he has sufficient office space and could also attract a certain amount of PR.

  • http://www.primetime.com.ve john vutech

    South America as well

  • Az

    Hewlett-Packard Labs in Bristol, UK have fairly good conference facilities, as does the University of the West of England right next door (having recently purchased a huge portion of HP’s unused land and vacant buildings).

    Plenty to see and do in the city itself as well.

  • Nan Palmero

    We’re headed to Germany this week, why not take over the tweetup we’re having in Munich at the Hofbrauhaus on 11/14? http://www.twtvite.com/z5r44f

  • http://www.getseoshop.com Ruud

    What about a venue in Holland? Near Utrecht or Amsterdam. If you want i’am sure you will find something. Just ask some universities, investors or sponsors. If Holland is an option, just contact me and I will figure out what’s possible.

  • http://www.akashgarud.in cool designs

    well its being such a wonderfull platform to all. It should not limited to a particular country or city.

  • Christian Kvalheim

    We had the Euruko Ruby conference here in Barcelona at citilabs


    Venue was very affordable and top-notch, conference was about 250 people.

  • http://www.zap-store.com Sebastian

    A little bit OT:

    Justed wanted to add my portion of appreciation of your work to support Europe´s New Technology landscape to develop, organize and marching forward in a more united way – because it is absolutely necessary!

    Surely, even the best hot zones/clusters in Western Europe will never become 2nd Silicon Valleys, alone due to the regional differences in language, mentality, financing etc. – but the overall European market is far more capable as what we have seen until today!

    It can´t just be Skype and some national clones of US web 2.0 platforms, there must be more! So, thanks for your support and back to the show!

  • briseparpaing

    The recent ending of the TechCrunch France website is quite disappointing to say the least.

    You guys clearly made a step in the wrong direction to energize the tech startup community here.

  • http://english.mojedelo.com/ Martin Pelicon

    The biggest career event in this part of Europe will take place on 25th & 26th of november in Ljubljana (Slovenia). Lecture rooms will carry out career-oriented lectures, presentations of companies, workshops and round tables. Could be the right place for you… Don’t hesitate to contact me.

    More info on http://qwx.si/acr

    All best,

  • http://notgr33ndata.blogspot.com Tarek

    How about the middle east, can we see a TechCrunch meetup in Egypt one day?

  • igzKap

    Check out Bratislava, Slovakia if u really need to lower the costs for the event place , it is within a driving distance from vienna , budapest and prague ( all highways) and cheap enough

  • uneasy

    It makes me slightly uneasy the way you pitch this as if it is not a business opportunity for you. Nothing wrong with that but is it not free to pitch because that enables you to charge sponsors who hope to sell services to developers pitching at meet ups? As a business venture I would prefer to see it stand on its own two feet, pay its way like any other business because there is a demand for it rather than this idea of it asking for help.

    • Ryan

      Oh come on,
      while you´re talking about business – consider it´s about supply and demand. If there are venue suppliers that offer space for free, that´s the market price right there – 0 Euro/Dollar/etc. Obviously it would make sense for them to sell their venue at that price, if they decide to do so.

      Why shouldn´t Techcrunch make use of that, it helps both sides.

  • http://www.bbwloversmatch.com/ Candee Caine

    Well Eastern Europe is a hopping and happening place. Lots of programmers there

  • TT

    TC could try and partner with http://codebits.eu/

    It might be a little bit too late for this year’s event, but never the less, take a look.

    Sure, Portugal is relatively unknown in the international maps, but imho that’s a good thing – it’s a hidden gem.

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