Campus Party Europe has begun with a bang, with Europe’s biggest tech party hosting the who’s-who of the tech, startup, science, design, software and robotics scene. VentureBeat syndication partner VentureVillage is here in Berlin all week checking out our pick of the speakers and workshops and getting in touch with one of the Angry Birds creators, the world’s first cyborg and Don Tapscott.
Set up in the lofty open hanger at Templehof Airport, the nine Campus Party stages are separated by computer workspaces crammed with festival participants. Robots are dodging between the hackers and entrepreneurs while warrior cries stemming from the gaming area are intermittent distractions to the speeches. The mood is definitely upbeat and creative.
Federal Minister for Economics, Dr. Philipp Rösler opened the first Campus Party in Berlin, spurring the participants on by saying "people like you, here at the Campus Party, are shaping our future, propelled by your sense of optimism and enthusiasm for technology."
The first morning of the event saw Danae Ringelmann, founder of international crowdfunding platform Indiegogo kick off the Gründer Garage competition on the entrepreneurial stage.
The competition gives people with startup ideas the training and coaching from Stiftung Entrepreneurship to form a solid business plan and then seek funding on Indiegogo. Her vast experience in raising capital for startups made Danae’s speech on the keys to gaining crowdfunding a highlight.
Her tips? Make sure you have a great, personalized pitch with videos, be proactive by using social media and start close to home by pitching to an audience that cares, such as friends and family. And her views on crowdfunding? It’s “your way to prove that your idea is valid and needed in the world”.
Startups versus corporate life
Adding to the startup-vs-corporate-life debate, Olga Steidl discussed the pros and cons and the realities of working with entrepreneurs as opposed to working in corporations. Although she claims that “being a startup person is being prepared to fail”, she also emphasizes the unmatchable feeling of creating something new.
Gathering by far the largest crowd of the day was the keynote speech by enigmatic bestselling author and social media pro Paulo Coelho (he proudly corrects the introduction to his speech by noting he has 5.5 million Twitter folowers and over nine million Facebook fans). His speech was inspiring and romantic, focusing on the future of publishing and the importance of always sharing.
“Greed is destruction. What I say today is that the more you share, the more you receive. You share because you need to share. I could be in front of Brandenburg Gate watching the sunset and if I’m alone it’s devastating, but if I’m at a train station sitting with the person I’m in love with its incredible.”
We’re looking forward to the rest of the week at this jam-packed conference, particularly the speech by the world’s first cyborg “seeing through sounds”, the robogames.