Introducing the first PIRATE Ambassadors

Discussing the state of Eastern European tech ecosystems at PIRATE Summit 2015 — Photo by Dan Taylor, Heisenberg Media

We’re proud to call many of our past PIRATE Summit participants our family. There are many loyal friends all around the world who have supported us with their connections and by spreading the PIRATE spirit in their home countries. To make this a little more official, we’ve decided to create a new role: PIRATE Ambassadors. This is not just a title, the role of the PIRATE Ambassadors is very significant for us as they will be the only people with direct access to the registration for PIRATE Summit 2018. As we’ve previously announced, we switched to a waitlist structure for this year’s event. We’re granting access to participants in batches and are taking an even closer look at every application — all to ensure the high quality and diversity of our participants.

The registration will thus only open a few times until July to the public. The Ambassadors however will have the option to grant access directly. In a way they are our international gatekeepers, helping us to select the best and brightest around the world.

We’re announcing the first eleven today, already covering 15 countries (i.e. South Africa, Ukraine, USA, France, Kosovo…) — more following. You can see the full list here. You can get in touch with them and if they deem you worthy of coming aboard our PIRATE ship, they will give you a personal access & discount code!

At this point we say thank you to all who have decided to be PIRATE Ambassadors that spread the word in their local communities & stand for our core PIRATE values. And we want to introduce you to a few of them in this post:

Stina Liland — Partnership Manager @ SUP46

Stina moderating a panel at PIRATE Summit 2016 - Photo by Dan Taylor, Heisenberg Media

Stina — originally from Norway, now based in Stockholm — has already been with us for years. She brought dozen of Nordic founders and investors to the PIRATE Summit, helped us with our PIRATE Summit Global events in Oslo & Stockholm and has proven to be one of the best connected players in the Nordics. Naturally, Stina will cover the Nordics — together with her colleague Lukas Gräf — as a PIRATE Ambassador.

We can’t wait to strengthen our bonds with the Nordic startup scene!

We asked Stina why she decided to come aboard:

PIRATE Summit is the best conference for meeting interesting people from European tech and build meaningful relationships in an informal setting. So many great conversations and new friends every time. You’ll just want to go back for more! It’s ARRRsome!

Chris Kobylecki — COO @ Innovation Nest

Chris at our PIRATE Summit Global Ljubljana pitch event back in 2015 (sorry for the bad quality)

I first met Chris in spring 2015, when he jumped on board the PIRATE Summit Global tour in Eastern Europe and joined a as judge for the local pitch competitions. He’s not only one of the most down-to-earth guys I know in VC (and a lot of fun to hang-out with), but also an experienced, honest and “rolling the sleeves up” person. Taking care of the community at one of the most active funds in Eastern Europe makes him the perfect PIRATE Ambassador for Poland (& beyond).

What Chris has to say about PIRATE Summit:

ARRR! The Pirate Summit managed to create not an event or a conference but they create an experience that brings together not companies, corporates, investors & media but brings together people that for two days change into Pirates and help each other to create great ventures. Highly recommended to attend! (I don’t say that a lot).

Igor Ovcharenko — Regional Manager For CEE @ Seedstars

Regina Makhotina & Igor Ovcharenko (both Seedstars) at PIRATE Summit 2017

I have been in touch with Igor since his time at IDCEE, the largest tech conference in Ukraine back then. While IDCEE got cancelled due to the unstable political and economic situation in the Ukraine, I followed Igors next steps closely. Over the years he built himself an unparalleled network with his work at Seedstars, covering all countries between Germany and China. His emails usually end with “Cheers from Astana/Riyadh/Moscow etc.” 😄, since last year he is based in Ukraine again and I can’t think of a better person representing PIRATE there!

Why he joined as a PIRATE Ambassador:

PIRATE Summit is a high-energy cliche breaking and super fun event, that gathers the go-getters, shapers and doers from all around the world, which I highly admire and happy to support in Ukraine and beyond.

Ieva Upeniece — Community Manager @TechChill & Chapter Lead @Startup SAFARI Riga

Stephane Gantchev, Samer Karam, myself, Martin Villig & Ieva Upeniece at TechChill 2017

Ieva is an incredible community player from Latvia and PIRATE supporter with a strong network in the Baltics. If you want to learn about her PIRATE experience and why she decided to become a PIRATE Ambassador, please read the following quote and, if you have a minute, this facebook post.

PIRATE Summit for me was a life-changing event, after my first summit I understood that startup community is where I belong and that I was searching for. PIRATE Summit makes me feel at home, for few days to be among like-minded pirates with who I share common values and mindset. This is also one of the most powerful networks that are built on a huge amount of trust between fellow pirates. I decided to join as Ambassador to spread PIRATE values and mindset to a broader audience and also to bring more participants from the region to the summit and who knows, it might become a turning point in someone’s life.

Full list of ambassadors

Find the full list and contact information of the Ambassadors here and check out our social media channels, especially the facebook event & twitter for more announcements, including new PIRATE Ambassadors.