A Visit to the Future

Pioneers Festival, Vienna, Austria, 29 October 2014. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media – www.heisenbergmedia.com

Last week we visited Vienna for Pioneers Festival. The program was packed with future technology, startup pitches and experience sharing. Limited to 2,500 people the festival was just the right size. For two full days the Hofburg Imperial Palace was buzzing and served as a great venue for housing both great speaker sessions and a tech salon showcasing tech startups. It was a truly great couple of days, catching up with old friends and connecting with new ones. Here is a recap of the things that took place.

Flying cars

The festival was showcasing a number of impressive technologies. Intelligent robotics toys, virtual reality headsets, smart pianos and space technology, just to mention a few. The highlight for many was without a doubt the unveiling of an advanced prototype of the flying roadster AeroMobil 3.0.

The AeroMobil 3.0 prototype was designed and manufactured by engineers led by chief designer and CTO Stefan Klein and CEO Juraj Vaculik, co-founders of the company, in just 10 months after the release of the previous and much more basic pre-prototype of the flying car, the AeroMobil 2.5.

“I’m very happy with what we were able to achieve in such a short time with the team of only 12 people. AeroMobil 3.0 is not the end of a challenging project, it’s the beginning of a whole new adventure which may change the way how we look at the personal transport in the future.” – says Stefan Klein, Co-Founder and CTO of the AeroMobil company


Pioneers Festival challenge

For the annual tech startup competition the Top 8 startups was Mimi, Robo, Crate, BRCK, Oradian, Tag & Find, OptoForce, and Owlin. They battled it out on the main stage as the final part of the program.  In the end Oradian was  announced the winner of the Pioneers Challenge. The startup is the financial inclusion ecosystem delivering a disruptive, Cloud-based service that radically improves performance of financial institutions serving the base of the economic pyramid. As the winner Oradian will receive a 50.000 Dollar seed investment of Pioneers partner Speedinvest as well as partner meetings with globally renowned accelerators Y Combinator, Tech Stars and Lemnos Labs.


Move fast and break Things

With speakers best in their field, it was an inspiration to listen to some of the talks. In the Academy they were mostly aimed at helping startups to the next level.  We learned about Growth hacking from the one and only Neil Patel from Kissmetrics, and Steli Efti spoke about Hustling to get your sales game to the next level.

It was not all nice, but still educational though. During Roasted! with Gil Dibner (DFJ Esprit), Jason Ball (Qualcomm) and Marvin Liao (500Startups), three startups pitched and got roasted. One of the startups, developing insect farms for home use, made sure to give the panelists a taste of something roasted too. Things went down on the main stage as well, as TechChrunch’s Mike Butcher tried to move fast and break things during the Investors feud, resulting in damages to the on stage Pioneers festival logo.


Work hard, Play Hard

After a long and interesting day at Hofburg Imperial Palace, the after parties provided no excuse to go home and call it a night. There were opportunities for partying till sunrise, and so we did. The Wednesday evening was a great afterparty hosted by Braintribe, in the museumsquartier. Thursday was the “Back to the future, Pioneers Festival After party”, and time to dress up. The after parties are often the best networking opportunities of any conference, this one was no exception.

Pioneers Festival, Vienna, Austria, 29 October 2014. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media - www.heisenbergmedia.com/
Pioneers Festival, Vienna, Austria, 29 October 2014. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media – www.heisenbergmedia.com/


Highly recommended, we’ll definitely be back

Thank you Pioneers for a memorable few days in Vienna. We will make sure to be back May 28 & 29 for the next edition. Then we hope to bring startups, investor and other people from our startup community along.

You can already sign up to join the fun here.

Photo credit: Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media – www.heisenbergmedia.com/

Dan Taylor is the extremely talented artist who make any event stand out. You can view the full selection of Dan’s photos from the festival at flicker.com/heisenbergmedia