Flirting with startups and celebrating a night full of wonder in Lisbon

Porsche AG
Nov 9, 2019 · 7 min read

As Porsche, innovation lies deep in our roots. We are shaping the automotive industry for more than 70 years now — and had to prove ourselves more than once. Two times, we almost died. But the pioneering spirit is deeply rooted in our history and we never lost track of the words of our founder, Ferry Porsche: “In the beginning, I looked around and could not find quite the car I dreamed of, so I decided to build it myself.” By now, we are better than ever at building (electric) dream cars that customers from all over the world love. But at times of digital transformation, a globally connected world and technological disruption, innovation goes far beyond the car.

We understood that we can’t shape our digital future and smart mobility alone. This is why we are opening up as a company, enter new paths to the heart of the tech and look for new partners for a better tomorrow.

Porsche at the Web Summit in Lisbon

So last week, we had two reasons to travel to beautiful Lisbon in Portugal. While at the Web Summit, more than 70,000 tech people from all over the world came together for the largest tech conference in Europe, the House of Beautiful Business by Tim Leberecht and Till Grusche gathers a global community of business leaders, policymakers, scientists, tech enthusiasts, romantics and artists in the middle of the old town of Lisbon to humanize business in an age of machines. And right in the heart of it all: Porsche.

Always hungry for innovation: Web Summit in Lisbon

A mild breeze, the sound of breaking waves and the smell of fresh pastries in the air. Olá, beautiful Lisbon! With a view to the Atlantic Ocean, international thought leaders, CEOs of technology companies, fast-growing startups, and representatives from politics and society present their visions for the future at the Web Summit in Lisbon each year. Without question, the conference brings together the who’s who of the international technology and innovation industry. As an official partner, we worked with forward-thinkers, beautiful minds and pioneers to bring our visions for sporty mobility to Lisbon, always seeking for new collaborations and driven people to work with.

Web Summit in Lisbon

Put the focus on people

Because we believe that innovation is driven by people and their ideas, we want to get to know these people. As a partner of the Web Summit, we value open exchange and collaboration at eye-level. We want to open the dialogue and discuss topics together. This is why we brought our Porsche experts onto the booth and the Web Summit Auto/Tech stage, who work directly on future topics all over Porsche. Having project colleagues on-site enabled us to get in touch with startups or tech players on a whole different level — we were really able to real-talk collaboration. Above that, we didn’t only bring along our own topics and projects but invited partners and startups (High Mobility, Gapless, Rimac Automobili and Chargetrip) we already work with to join us.

Many visitors were probably surprised by the concept of the Porsche booth at Web Summit: Instead of different car models, they found a quiet, calm haven of peace inside our booth. Wait, what?

Yes, in the midst of the largest tech conference in Europe, we provided an opportunity to switch off, to calm down and to sort out your thoughts. We wanted to put the focus on real connections and exchange instead of car porn. Because our next visions are beyond that and beyond the hype. And it was really great to see how this attracted a new, different audience.

This peace and focus were also offered by the exclusive opportunity to experience the new Porsche Taycan on a trip through Lisbon. Visitors of the Web Summit were among the first to take a ride in the all-electric sports car, which was only launched in September this year. Among others, Dorothee Bär, Minister of State for Digitisation in the German Bundestag, and the German Ambassador to Portugal, Dr. Martin Ney, made use of this special opportunity. Hope you enjoyed riding and relaxing with us!

Beautiful people that are all about human future — surrounded by beautiful cars

Far apart the hustle and bustle of the Web Summit, a global community of 700 creative beautiful minds from all disciplines, backgrounds and countries came together in the House of Beautiful Business to envision and experience new models for a human future.

A night of wonder at the House of Beautiful Business

As part of the Lisbon Dinner Festival, we collaborated with the #House19 to invite 100 people to a night full of wonder. Set in the deconstructed space of a bank in the old town of Lisbon, we brought the emotion of Porsche (and of course beautiful (electric) cars) together with lost dreams, new aspirations, beautiful minds and next visions to life alongside a multi-sensory dining experience. Together with the team around Tim & Till, we transformed business-as-usual: through talks, debates, experiments, games, art installations, music and dance.

Stay curious— and dive deep into tech

We discussed a lot of different topics. Let me pick up two: First Mental Health. Our everyday challenge is the same. To maintain a creative and proactive mindset needed to be sharp and add true value to yourself, your team and product or to the people you are supporting. To understand others, you first need to understand yourself and in particular the influence of your mind on your view of others and their behaviour. Self-awareness is the basis for emotional intelligence. So what is a luxury in the 21st century? Having time and focusing on the very essential things.

And then there was Alissa Wilms (follow her!) from the Porsche Digital Lab in Berlin. Alissa believes in the power of quantum computing to accelerate humanity’s progress. Alissa is currently completing her Ph.D in quantum computing at the Technical University of Berlin while working at the Porsche Digital Lab together with Anja Hendel. Her expertise in the quantum world has contributed to significant developments and projects at Porsche while helping the teams to consider new possibilities outside the usual computer scientist perspective. A physicist at heart, and the possessor of a curious mind, she contributes her knowledge in the field of AI and her research on ethics and accountability in neural networks.

Alissa Wilms speaking at House of Beautiful Business

As a millennial, her wish for the first realized use case in quantum computing would be one in the field of sustainability. And I`m sure, there is a good opportunity right around the corner.

New ways of evoking emotion

The House and Porsche are combined by the value of emotion — we are a very emotional brand that customers love and are passionate about, and in times of automation and algorithms, we don’t want to lose this. This is why we’re always on the search for new ways of evoking emotion. At the House, we worked with extremely inspiring people. From the bottom of my heart, I am fascinated by the idea of the House of the Beautiful Business and can’t wait to continue dreaming together with these beautiful minds! Stay tuned.

More about Porsche, the #WebSummit, focus beyond the hype and Taycan relaxing rides? Please find insights via Porsche Newsroom.


Dr. Christian Knörle

Dr. Christian Knörle, Project Lead Strategy & Innovation at Porsche. Follow us on Twitter (Porsche Digital, Next Visions), Instagram (Porsche Digital Lab Berlin, Porsche Digital, Next Visions) and LinkedIn (Porsche Digital Lab Berlin, Porsche Digital) for more.

#NextLevelGermanEngineering

Next Level German Engineering: Where innovation meets tradition. The Porsche technology hub to #createtomorrow.

Porsche AG

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Official Medium Account of Porsche AG | #NextLevelGermanEngineering #createtomorrow | More: newsroom.porsche.com |

#NextLevelGermanEngineering

Next Level German Engineering: Where innovation meets tradition. The Porsche technology hub to #createtomorrow.

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