11. “can’t miss” startup conferences: 2019–2020 edition

Łukasz Foks
May 26 · 5 min read

Looking for a best events where you’ll meet your future customers, investors, or simply inspiration coming from disruptive founders and ventures from around the world? So, for sure you love to go to #StartupEvents. With almost 1 billion sites listed for “startups events” keyword asked via the search engines, it may be overwhelming (or even impossible) to pick best option(s).

Let’s face the true, there are dozens of events focused on innovation.

Credit: Do Something Great

Going somewhere always has a direct cost — its money invested into travel & expenses, time and the going further, it;s also the opportunity cost: your focus and energy (which can be spend on sth else). I attended more than 50+ events covering disruptive technologies, modern marketing, new dev frameworks, startup fairs, future of {XYZ; add any sexy buzzword here} and learnt by heart: you cannot be everywhere.

Obvious, cliché? It may be more difficult than you think: when you’ll sum-up events happening in your city/country, you’ll end up with a long list of considerations, which are not always best. Do not limit yourself to go only “nearby” — by having a 12. months plan, you can easily cut-down the cost of late bookings and late fares. Picking “flagship conferences” happening in different countries and continents has an ultimate value of thinking global and being surrounded by diverse bunch of People — what is a “price less” boost for you company, impacting culture, vision and mission.

So where to go? First, let’s have a look on “why” even bothering your busy calendars with “conferences” …

Photo by Austin Chan on Unsplash

7. questions to ask yourself before attending an event

Everyone has different goals, but if you’re coming from tech industry, for sure you would like to get inspiration, hone some skills, pitch or shadow startups ideas and networks with Folks who (like you!) are trying to change the world by building unique “intellectual property”, pushing cool ideas to the limits, and having fun.

There is “no one fits all” approach but have a look on 6. questions which you can use to assess “next startup” event popping up in your Facebook Events list or mailbox from latest newsletters.

· Why I’m going there? To attend and learn from sessions, meet people…

· Can I afford going there? Flight/train tickets, accommodation, food, transportation on site…

· What I’ll gain from going there? New contacts, inspiration, hard skills, leads…

· What’s the value of having a ticket? Matchmaking app, hotel discounts, access to dinners with speakers…

· Whom I’ll meet there? Investors, future customers, people who’re influential in yours field…

· Is it “flagship” one? Event organizers are hosting many “editions” around the world — is it “European” or “main US” one?

· Is it truly diverse event? People from around the world, representing wide skill set and expertise, organizers respecting diversity and having a code of conduct…

My 11. “can’t miss” — for late 2019 and 2020

In case you’re looking for options, here is the core part of my post. If you’re looking for top notch events, mainly across Europe, Asia, and North America, let me guide you through the list:

Microsoft Create Startups Tour:

Credit: Create

· April — June (2019)

· Location(s): New York, Toronto, Paris, Mumbai, Sydney, San Francisco, London, Tel Aviv, Cape Town

· Fee: Free

· Topics covered: Productivity, People Management, Security, Cloud and many more


Credit: RISE

· July 8–11 (2019)

· Location: Hongkong

· Fee: 690 USD (general attendee, regular)

· Topics covered: plenty! Automotive, corporate innovation, fintech, growth, saas…

TechCrunch Disrupt SF:

Credit: Tech Crunch

· October 2–4 (2019)

· Location: San Francisco, United States

· Fee: 995 USD (Innovator Pass, as for May 26, 2019)

· Topics covered: plenty, have a look directly

Launch Conf San Francisco:

Credit: Launch Scale

· October 7–8 (2019)

· Location: San Francisco, United States

· Fee: 595 USD (Summit Pass, as for May 26, 2019)

· Topics covered: how to scale, hiring, growth strategies

SaaStock, Dublin:

Credit: SaaSStock

· October 14–16 (2019)

· Location: Dublin, Ireland

· Fee: 499 EUR (Founder / Exec, as for May 26, 2019)

· Topics covered: SaaS — traction, grow, and scale

Web Summit:

Credit: Web Summit

· November, 4–7 (2019)

· Location: Lisbon, Portugal

· Fee: 495 EUR (General attendee | Super early bird, as for May 26, 2019)

· Topics covered: probably all, have a look into list of events inside Web Summit

Slush Helsinki:

Credit: Slush

· November 21–22 (2019)

· Location: Helsinki, Finland

· Fee: 895 EUR (Attendee, as for May 26, 2019)

· Topics covered: again, super wide!

Startup Grind, Silicon Valley:

Credit: Startup Grind

· February 11–12 (2020)

· Location: Redwood City, United States

· Fee: 795 USD (2018 edition)

· Topics covered: 6. stages, have a look on list of 2018 sessions

Slush Tokyo:

Credit: Slush Tokyo

· February 22–23 (2019; 2020 to be announced)

· Location: Tokyo, Japan

· Fee: ¥18,000 (2017 edition)

· Topics covered: loooong!


Credit: VivaTech

· May 16–18 (2019; 2020 to be announced)

· Location: Paris, France

· Fee: 2020 to be announced

· Topics covered: list all your favorite, those are covered!


Credit: CollisionConf

· June 22–25 (2019)

· Location: Toronto, Canada

· Fee: 2020 to be announced

· Topic covered: as that’s also “set of events combined into one”, there are many

Feel free to share your favorites in the comments.

Łukasz Foks

Written by

Cloud Geek ☁👨🏼‍💻 @Azure #Developer Lead @Microsoft #CEE | #ML aka #AI freak & Startup Mentor | love 🥑, 🍣 #OnlyLoveMatters😍 // Views are my own

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