The Best Annual Tech Startup Events In Europe

Well, I guess I’m about to be shot down here. For a while I’ve been contemplating a post about all the annual events in Europe which are specifically relevant to tech startups. Now when I say that, I do not mean hacker meetups in bars, or monthly events in various European cities. I mean Annual conferences and events where you will find startups, tech entrepreneurs and investors either milling about at a big general event on innovation (like DLD) or pitching on stage at a conference like Le Web. You will notice there are no URLs yet. When I get time I will add them (you can always use Google). For now I just wanted to get this post out there for you to look at and kick the tyres on. [UPDATE: Here’s the picks for 2013].

Yes, I know I have missed out the many, many monthly or quarterly meetups around Europe in various cities. That is not the point. The point is to surface the best annual events. I have been to many of them, so in some ways this is a personal list, in other ways I’ve tried to highlight others I have not attended but which I’ve heard are good. In addition, the majority – if not all – of these events are for an international audience so are held in English. I have tried not to included annual events which are only tailored to a single country and held in a local language.

You will also notice I have not put in dates. That’s what your favourite search engine is for, so use it. What I wanted to achieve here was to show the ‘travelling circus’ of tech startups events as they appear roughly week-by-week in Europe, thus Week 1, Week 2 etc. This could also help event planners.

Clearly not all these events overlap and in some months there is more like 5 weeks than 4. If I have gotten anything really badly wrong then leave a comment below and I will adjust the listing.

Also, I have included significant US events which European startups may want to attend. I have not included events in Asia, for which I apologise. This is more about US/European event traffic. I have also not included developer events in general – ones that are included are where engineers, product people, designers & CTOs can be found.

Yes, some have notes attached, like Recommended, or Interesting. To be honest, ALL of them are interesting, but some are more off the beaten track than others and deserve a mention. To all my friends who run conferences that don’t get a mention, I apologise – you are all great. Feel free to remind me about yours in the comments if I’ve missed anyone.

I hope everyone finds this useful. I will try to keep maintaining this post so that it remains up to date. Enjoy.


• Week 1
CES, Las Vegas

• Week 3
DLD, Munich – Invited / Ticketed – Recommended
WEF / Davos – Invite Only (increasingly full of tech companies)
MIDEM, Cannes – Now has a startup track
The Europas – The European Tech Startup Awards, Berlin, Jan. 22

• Week 4
The Crunchies Awards (TechCrunch), San Francisco – Recommended


• Week 2
Social Media Week (Multiple global cities)

• Week 3
London Fashion Week (big for Fashion tech startups)

• Week 4
LIFT, Geneva
Mobile World Congress, Bercelona – Recommended
Unofficial “Heroes of the Mobile Fringe” Festival, Barcelona – Recommended
TechCrunch Meetup Barcelona at MWC – Recommended


• Week 1
CeBit, Hannover

• Week 2
SXSW Interactive – Recommended
Startup Camp Berlin, Paris

• Week 3
London Web Summit – Recommended

• Week 4
The Guardian Changing Media Summit, London
ArabNet, Beirut – Recommended


• Week 1
GDOL Digital Talkfest, Istanbul – Interesting
MiPCube, Cannes (art of MipTV, good for tech startups around TV)

• Week 2
Innotechsummit, London

• Week 3
DEMO, Santa Clara
Balkan Venture Forum, Macedonia
Railsberry, Krakow – Recommended for European Rails developers
Mobile Mobile Conf, Krakow – New for 2013, for mobile devs/designers, but run by a proven team, worth a look
Bacon – See – developer conference liked by startupers.

• Week 4
“London Big Data Week” events, (crowd-sourced)
CapitalOnStage, London
The Next Web, Amsterdam – Recommended


• Week 1
Berlin Web Week / re:publica – Recommended

• Week 2

CTIA – Recommended for Mobile
Net Prophet, Cape Town, South Africa – Interesting
NEXT Conference, Berlin – Recommended
Heureka, Berlin – New
Engage Invest Exploit,, Edinburgh

• Week 3
Kinnernet, Israel – Invite only
FutureEverything Festival, Manchester, Bilbao
Cannes Film Festival, Cannes – Good for media startups

• Week 4
Disrupt NYC, New York – Recommended
LOGIN.LT, Vilnius – Interesting
MLove Berlin – Interesting
DLD Moscow – Invited / ticketed
Thinking Digital, Newcastle, UK – Interesting


• Week 1
The D Conference, California, London – Interesting for mobile startups

• Week 2
Latitude 59, Tallinn – Interesting for the Baltics
Red Innova, Madrid
Startup 2.0, Bilbao, Spain

• Week 2
Microsoft BizSpark European Summit, Brussels

• Week 3
F.ounders NYC, New York – Invite Only
SWITCH Conference, Portugal
Cannes Lions, Cannes – Good for media/advertising startups
Startup2Bilbao, Bilbao
ICT Spring Europe, Luxembourg

• Week4
Le Web London – Recommended, London – Invite Only
EU Digital Agenda Assembly, Brussels (Annoying clash with Le Web!)
Menorca Tech Talk, Menorca – Invite Only
Forum SPB, St. Petersburg
Noah, San Francisco – Interesting for late-stage startups
TED Global, Edinburgh
Innovate Israel, London


• Week 2
DLD Women, Munich


• Week 1
Young Rewired State, UK

• Week 2
GDC Europe – Useful for social games developers/startups.

• Week 3
Campus Party Berlin
Tech Open Air Berlin – New & interesting
Turing Tech Festival, Edinburgh – Interesting


• Week 1
Burning Man, Nevada – Lots of tech entrepreneurs tend to go
IFA, Berlin – Not as big as CES
Digital Derry, Northern Ireland – New event Summer Party, London – Big and Fun

• Week 2
DConstruct, Brighton
Geekcon, Israel
TechCrunch Disrupt SF – Recommended
Pirate Summit, Cologne

• Week 3
Seedcamp Week (+ Sometimes SeedSummit at the same time), London – Invite only but recommended
DM Ex Co, Cologne – Advertising startups / Germany, Prague
WPP Stream, Athens- Invite only
TechCrunch Italy, Rome

• Week 4
MindTheProduct, London
FailCon France, Paris, Copenhagen


• Week 1
White Bull Summit, ‘Pathways to Exit’ – Sitges, Spain – Recommended
DigiTalk, Bulgaria
MindTrek, Finland
Webrazzi Summit, Istanbul – Recommended

• Week 2
Ennovation, Poznan
Webit, Istanbul – Recommended
WHU’s, Vallendar, Germany – Biz school conf in English
i7summit, Paris

• Week 3
Arctic15, Helsinki
Dublin Web Summit & START, Dublin – Recommended
F.ounders, Dublin – Invite only

• Week 4
IDCEE (Investor Day CEE), Kiev
Web 2.0 Summit, SF
GigaOM Structure:Europe, Amsterdam
Wired UK 12, London
Pioneers Festival, Vienna – Recommended
DLD Tel Aviv, Israel – Recommended, Tel Aviv – Recommended


• Week 2
Noah Conference, London – Recommended
HowToWeb, Bucharest – Recommended

• Week 3
Global Entrepreneurship Week (various global events like Internet Week Europe, London)
SIME, Stockholm
Monaco Media Forum, Monaco
SVC2UK, London
Slush, Helsinki


• Week 1
Le Web, Paris – Recommended

• Week 2
TechCrunch Moscow 2012