Techsylvania 2020 in Retrospective (Part II) — There Had Never Been a Day Like This
It’s hard to put into words how it felt for 4000+ people to get together and access the same experience simultaneously, yet we’re going to outline the key moments from the last day of this year’s edition. Yesterday we published a snapshot from the first day of the event, and the same applies: there had never been a day like this.
We started the day on a high note, on the main stage, with no one else but the iPod inventor, iPhone co-inventor, Nest founder, and Future Shape Principal, Tony Fadell! Kara Swisher, Recode co-founder, tried to uncover Tony Fadell’s secrets on how to build outstanding products.
Switching to the funding topic, we welcomed Hermann Hauser (Amadeus Capital Partners) to talk about how tech superpowers influence the future of nation, closely followed by in a conversation on software and the world after capital with Albert Wenger (Union Square Ventures), both discussion panels being moderated by Philipp Kandal.
Probably one of the most vivid conversations of the day was in a panel moderated by Amy Lewin, Sifted Deputy Editor. The Prince Constantijn of the Netherlands, (Techleap), Reshma Sononi (Seedcamp), Albert Wenger (Union Square Venture), and Irina Haivas (Atomico) shared their views on how to collaborate post-Covid in the context of tech ecosystems working together in the future.
The first tech talk of the day featured Bruno Kovacic, Superbet CTO on how engineers propelled Superbet on its journey towards becoming a tech company. It was a great way to prepare the audience for the upcoming moment of the day: the Startup Avalanche Finals moderated by Sergiu Biris (Eventmix). Our jury members Alexandru Bogdan (ROCA X) and Calin Vaduva (Fortech) asked the right questions that helped us select the winners.
In parallel, the Impact Stage welcomed more funding related themes, such as Internationalisation the Spotify Way and Learnings from the Playbook by
Axel Bard Bringéus (EQT Ventures) and BCR InnovX Alumni Stories with
Ana Cretu & Ionut Stanimir (BCR-InnovX Business Accelerator) introducing two highly promising startups—EmailTree AI and Cyscale.
Then, other two funding experts joined the Impact stage. Firstly, Mei Wen, Sino-European High-Tech Zone Offshore Innovation Center talked about how European companies can enter the Chinese market. Next, Charge Ventures’ Brett Martin tried to shed a light on why although VCs and entrepreneurs see the same things, they choose to make different decisions.
The first half of the day concluded with a technical talk from Thanasis Tsanas (University of Edinburgh) about how to capitalize on wearable sensors and smartphones to robustly assess longitudinal symptom severity trajectories.
Tech aficionados could also join a deep dive into a hands-on workshop on Enterprise Blockchain with Dan Popescu & Loredana Bourceanu (Modex), followed by another workshop on the Evolution of Open Source Software Culture at Microsoft with Alex Belotserkovskiy from Microsoft.
After the networking session across all stages, Mark Porter, MongoDB CTO awakened the main stage with his talk on building modern applications in the context of data evolution, followed by an extensive Q & A session.
How do you leverage the world’s fastest-growing brand? Jeannette Liendo, Senior Vice President Marketing and Communications at Mastercard offered her insights.
Closely following, Kent Graziano, Snowflake Chief Technical Evangelist presented his approach to changing the game with a Cloud data platform.
It’s challenging to launch new products in the COVID era, yet not impossible. In Conversation with Sam Lessin (Fin & Slow Ventures) and Samuel Burke (CNN) debate on the opportunities & challenges raised by the new normal, preparing the stage for Fred Turner, Curative CEO.
The Impact Stage welcomed Jenny Goldfarb (Unreal Deli) with a talk on how to grow a bustling business from the ground up, followed by two other strategic topics such as the key success behind e-commerce—it’s finding synergy through a global framework, optimizing teams and removing barriers to entry, according to Andy Muntean (C-Star Provisions)—and complexity of the Data Privacy law changing the US online marketplace presented by Michael Williams (Clym). Last but not least, Rija Javed’s views on leadership & culture was next.
The last two workshops of the day addressed two technical aspects of interest—AI and automation testing. In the first case, Backbone’s Andrei Petreanu talked about the challenge of linking the dots when building AI technologies. Coming up next, Raluca Vartic & Victor Ulinici from Macadamian hosted a workshop on digital Health automation testing.
As accustomed, we ended the edition on a high note with some of the juiciest conversations of this edition.
How do we stimulate creativity in a post-pandemic world? Christopher Leacock aka Jillionaire, world-acclaimed DJ, and music producer answered Ralph Echemendia’s (Mass) questions on this topic.
Driving Cloud Transformation in the Public Sector was another hot topic on our agenda, as we’re all curious to see it addressed in the upcoming future. Zac Bookman shared his insights from his experience as the CEO of OpenGov, in a panel discussion moderated by our co-founder and co-producer, Vlad Ciurca.
Building multiple successful companies, also known as parallel entrepreneurship is mostly considered a myth. However, some bright minds consider it achievable. More on the topic has been discussed by Jack Abraham (Atomic) and Alex Bangash (Trusted Insight).
The last talks of the day on the Impact stage brought to our attention the opportunities around us. The first 10 Premium ticket holders had the possibility to pitch their tech idea on stage and get feedback from Andreas Cser (Automat Ventures) and Christian Renner (Star Ventures), moderated by Trevor Lothrop (PressOne). We ended the activity on the Impact Stage for this edition with the intervention of our #techsylvanian friend, Dr. Newton Howard on his favorite topics—Human Brain Impact and Future.
Before passing the mic to the most-awaited speaker of this edition, we’ve announced the winners of Startup Avalanche 2020: AgUnity—an Australian startup that aims at changing the lives of the 2-billion unbanked last-mile communities worldwide, developing a simple mobile product restoring trust, and connecting smallholder farmers with the essential services they need. Although we initially started with a €75.000 cheque, our partners decided to raise the bar — a €150,000 investment offered by ROCA X, Fortech, Risky Business, and Arobs Transylvania. You can read more about the finalists here.
And, at last, the most awaited talk of this edition: Mark Cuban, the globally known investor, Dallas Mavericks & Shark Tank on Entrepreneurship as a Driving Force for Growing the Global Economy in a panel discussion with Kara Swisher, Recode founder.
60+ speakers, 4000+ attendees from 50 countries, 2 days, an infinite number of thought-provoking ideas, one statement we can all agree on: Shaping the Future From Home goes #BeyondBorders in 2020.
This edition of Techsylvania was possible with the help of our supportive event partners:
- Platinum Partners: BCR InnovX, Mastercard
- Gold Partners: OMV Petrom, Bosch, Fortech, Snowflake
- Legal Partner: Laurentiu, Laurentiu & Associates
- Innovation Partner: BMW
- Startup Alley Partner: Google for Startups
- Silver Partners: Macadamian, Telenav, Halcyon Mobile, Salt & Pepper, Fitbit, Accenture, Betfair Romania Development, Microsoft, Estee Lauder Companies
- Bronze Partners: Wolfpack Digital, Freshbyte, Cicada Technologies, adLemonade, Modex, Eurid
- Other Partners: Primaria si Consiliul Local Cluj-Napoca, Roca X, Superbet, EQT Ventures.