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TOA 2015 — celebrating life

In mid-July Berlin is sweating and everybody is desperate to finde a cool place, a cool beer and cool people — well, these are basically the three reasons to attend Tech Open Air, short TOA. While NOAH, Heureka or Entrepreneurship Summit are clear startup conferences, TOA is a festival fueled by an unconference with exciting speakers and more than 100 satellite events organized by Berlins startup community. At TOA “open” is the magic word….


Dive in — tell your story, the startup community will listen!

While you have to get a ticket for the unconference, many satellite events are for free — first come, first serve! If you want to meet investors and showcase your storytelling and pitching skills, there are four events international startups have to add to their clearly packed agenda:


Unsure if TOA is for you?

13 reasons to NOT attend this year’s TOA provided by the organizers….(LOL)

1) Your hate the Sun
We take tech outside. Tech Open Air (TOA) is a collection of inspirational people, storytelling, knowshops, art installations and live music in the Berlin summer air. The Unconference (July 15 & 16) is centered at Alte Teppichfabrik, a converted factory located in Berlin Treptow with open halls, sprawling courtyards and even an abandoned villa. Further, dozens of our more than 100 (!) Satellite events (July 17) take over rooftops and courtyards throughout Berlin.

2) You think engineers and artists are a different breed

Au contraire mon frere! It’s no coincidence that some of history’s greatest engineers like Da Vinci and Galileo were also talented artists. We’re inspired by tech and it’s interdisciplinary potential. That’s why we bring together entrepreneurs, developers, artists, and scientists to discuss how they are utilizing technology to transform their discipline.

3) You collect conference lanyards

Sorry, no badges here, we’re all wristbands and high fives. At TOA attendees do not constantly scan each other based on title and position but are open for serendipity.

4) festivals are for techno

We’ll talk tech over techno. But we do embrace the nomadic, creative and collective environment that all great festivals all embody. And yes, our Closing Party, which we cohost with TechCrunch to make it their official 10 year anniversary party, will be very Berlin style and include Open Air and yes, some good ol’ Techno, too.

5) PowerPoints are the only acceptable visuals at a tech event

We disagree strongly and every year have a resident art curator to help create an oasis for art. This year Jan Kage aka Yaneq will be mixing beauty and function at the event with pieces that combine tech, sound, sculpture and art.

6) Pennyfarthing is your preferred method of transport

Berlin loves to bike and we do too. But we’re hoping most participants attend TOA15 via Hyperloop. Our man Dirk Ahlborn is making it happen in CA and bringing his brilliance to the TOA15 stage to talk about making Elon Musk’s vision a reality before even Elon could.

7) You are annoyed by kids always playing with technology

Yes, it is annoying, but there may be evidence supporting it. We’re bringing two of Forbes’ 30 under 30 who are shaping our digital habits. Rand Hindi, has not only founded Snips at age 27 but began coding at the age of 10, founded his first startup at 14 and created a web development agency at 15 before starting his PhD at the age of 21. Kids these days!

8) Your credo is “every man for himself!”

We’re especially excited to have Yancey Strickler, founder of Kickstarter, the world’s largest crowdfunding platform for creative projects, on our TOA15 stage. We embrace the power of collaboration. Our inaugural event was the first crowdfunded tech festival in Europe. Our logo was crowdsourced. And our content and events are designed with every attendee in mind. We strive to bring the best formats for learning and connecting with one another. If you like unidirectional interaction, giant conditioned air conference halls, and eating alone, better stay at home.

9) You prefer leaning back to being active

We consider TOA to be a platform for others to build upon and have tons of ways people can take an active role. This is especially reflected in our satellite events which transform the German capital into an inclusive and interactive hub for tech. We encourage all formats to foster networking, making, learning and good old fashioned fun. Past and current organizers include visionary companies such as Apple, Google, SoundCloud, Spotify, 6Wunderkinder or Axel Springer but also smaller startups, universities and even an embassy. If you want to create your own inspirational experience, you can bring it to life at TOA15 event submissions and registrations are open now via the festival website. We further have such classics at the unconference like our MINI hardware pitch, our VC/Startup Pitchnic as well as our “Back to the Future : Enterprise meets Startup Speed Dating”.

10) You thought “the dress” was blue and black

No it’s not, it’s clearly white and gold, moron. We’re bringing in Dr. Annette Werner and the original dress that the world talked about to settle this once and for all! Seriously.

11) You think TOA is only about Berlin based innovation

TOA brings together experts from 20+ countries and last year we had attendees from 30 different nations. We like to represent and harness the wonders of a connected world by mixing as many disparate minds as possible. This year we’re hosting speakers from Australia to Germany. From local champions such as the founder of Zalando, Robert Gentz, to emerging innovators like GazaSkyGeeks, the first ever startup accelerator in Gaza.

12) You will have left C3PO with the sand people

We ❤ robots. We would save any robot life. Particularly because they’re saving ours. We’re excited to bring Max Planck robotics experts to TOA15 who rescue victims of natural disasters with smart hardware. Help us R2, you’re our only hope!

13) Your are still hungover from TOA14

We’re not too shy to revel in our celebratory nature. The Unconference includes enough delicious food and drink for all to have their fill. Our Satellites partners also serve some of the finest cocktails you can find. And yes, our Closing party with TechCrunch is likely to get wild. So, cheers to you.

+++++ You have to love them! +++++

CU @ TOA15!



… a blog providing advice for early-stage #startups, telling startup stories from European #entrepreneurs and smart minds. Powered by Maren Lesche, storyteller & Startup Specialist from Berlin.

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