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StartupBus goes TOA.berlin

0 Tech Open Air (TOA) Berlin 2015

Back when Keit Kollo and I became Directors of StartupBus Europe 2016 last year, right after Pirate Summit 2015, we had to choose a destination for our favorite competition called StartupBus. All year round there are awesome tech conferences to go to in Europe, but only a few of them fit with our StartupBus view on tech startups.

After a few weeks we nailed down a shortlist:

We visited Pioneers in 2013 and 2014 but in the last two years they seemed to have outgrown us. Nevertheless, Pioneers is an awesome forward-looking festival.

Neither Keit nor I had visited Tech Open Air (TOA) but from the looks of it it seemed like an awesome interdisciplinary tech conference. They bring together people from the worlds of technology and arts, which aligns well with our vision of bringing tech & entrepreneurial talent together to disrupt the status quo. Only caveat: it’s in the middle of summer holidays!

Tech Open Air (TOA) Berlin 2015

Our 2015 competition ended at Pirate Summit in Cologne. We just loved the atmosphere at the festival: great talks, awesome attendees and let’s not forget the great food and drinks (and the impromptu party we threw after burning the man). One of our American friends said Pirate Summit is like a cross-over between SXSWi and Burning Man!

We were also considering Bits & Pretzels, a festival focused on founders which flows into the world famous Oktoberfest in Munich (pun not intended). However, we would have had lots of logistical problems (mostly regarding providing accommodation for our participants).

So, that’s why we’ve chosen to visit Pirate Summit once again with our StartupBus. But, a few of our organizing crew will visit Tech Open Air this week in Berlin anyway!  We’re also participating actively in a few of the satellite events!

Satellite events affiliated with StartupBus crew:

A selection of TOA talks we’ll definitely be attending:

  • (Day 1) Are we cyborgs yet – future of fashion tech
  • (Day 1) Bots: fun, mischief and whimsy
  • (Day 1) Scaling Innovation Velocity inside Kayak
  • (Day 1) A Design Sprint
  • (Day 1) Fireside chat with Albert Wenger (moderated by Robin Wauters of Tech.eu!)
  • (Day 1) Don’t Arrest Me with Susan Danziger
  • (Day 1) Modern Design & Classic Aesthetics
  • (Day 2) Working with Data: design?
  • (Day 2) Adaptive music – a new era in music with Lars Rasmussen (co-founder of Weav, founder of Google Maps!)
  • (Day 2) Why The Next Big Thing In Tech Is Disrupting Sex by Cindy Gallop!
  • (Day 2) Order & Chaos in UX
  • (Day 2) Mission to the Moon
  • (Day 2) Designing Interfaces at Spotify

If you want to meet with us while we’re in Berlin, tweet us at @TheStartupBus on Twitter.


StartupBus is a global network of tested entrepreneurial talent. Our alumni have gone through a resource constrained 72 hour road trip crossing the continent during which they had to conceive, build and launch new startups together with and against teams of strangers.

Our next competition in Europe will depart on 2 September from seven countries and ride to the Corda INCubator in Hasselt for Demo Day on 5 September and arrive at Pirate Summit in Cologne for our final event where the 10 best startups will pitch in front of investors. Want to ride with us?

Apply now at http://europe.startupbus.com!

From Munich to Cologne via StartupBus DE, Lucas Wagner, Conductor Germany

0 Munich
Lucas Wagner

Lucas Wagner, Conductor from Germany

Meet Lucas Wagner, conductor for  StartupBus Germany 2015. Applications are open!

Do you have what it takes to ride StartupBus Germany?

Apply today


Tell us about yourself

I’m the Product Manager of a young SaaS startup founded by Project A Ventures in Berlin.

Last year I participated for the first time in StartupBus Europe. Actually I just came in last-minute on the German bus after a friend told me about his life-changing experience with being both a buspreneur and conductor (thanks Ben!). We built Never Eat Alone, an app to connect employees with which we placed 2nd in the competition.

In Germany we have many talented people and there is lots of money. On the other hand, we have strict laws and many Germans are quite risk-averse. I really like Fuck Up Nights where people talk about their failures.

I gained a network full of incredibly smart and motivated people. I learned to recognize and focus on what’s important. And I learned that everything is possible, if you just push yourself to the limit.

What made you decide to become a conductor/producer?

That was an easy decision. Right after StartupBus 2014, I knew I would want to conduct a bus and teach the next generation of buspreneurs to help them make the same experiences that I had on the bus.

In Germany we have many talented people and there is lots of money. On the other hand, we have strict laws and many Germans are quite risk-averse. I really like Fuck Up Nights where people talk about their failures.

What does Germany bring to the global StartupBus community?

Maybe another 2nd place this time? 😉 And of course, 30 kick-ass buspreneurs hungry for success!