The Pioneers Festival 2013

Pioneers Festival: Two founders, a palace and startups galore

  • Hofburg, Imperial Palace combined history and future technologies
  • Babywatch won this year’s Pioneers challenge
  • The Pioneers Festival provides a significant contribution to the Austrian business location”, Brigitte Jank, President of the Chamber oCommerce Vienna

Vienna, 31 October 2013 Gathering together 2,500 international guests and speakers, including Charles Adler (Kickstarter co founder), Adam Cheyer (Siri founder) and Chris Barton (Shazam co founder), Pioneers successfully pulled off another Pioneers Festival, the second event of its kind. Pioneers Festival kicked off at the House of Industry on Tuesday with its infamous Investors Day, while the actual Festival combined history and technology at the Imperial Palace the following two days.

The Investors Day The Investors Day on Tuesday, 29 October 2013 in the House of Industry was devoted to the Top 50 startups of the Pioneers Challenge and key investors including Sequoia Capital, Earlybird, and Accel Partners. Each startup was given three minutes to pitch their company to high class a jury. More than 670 startups from around the globe had applied to take part. At the end of the day, only 16 were chosen to present their ideas on the conference days.

History and technology come together in the Imperial Palace On Wednesday morning the Imperial Palace opened its doors for more than 2,500 tech enthusiasts in an environment combined with history and future technologies. After the official welcome by the two founders Andreas Tschas and Juergen Furian, the program was officially kicked off. “It’s nice to get to know new people, find new stories, learn things from lots of people with lots of experience. It’s great for me to absorb their information and their know–‐how,” said festival attendee Nadim El Gawhary of Egypt. It was up to the participants to decide what their individual Pioneers Experience should be. While inspiring talks and technology demonstrations by speakers like Phil Libin (Evernote) or Charles Adler (Kickstarter) captured the audience in the Arena, the Academy provided the school lessons for entrepreneurs they were asking for. Supported by Konica Minolta, high caliber mentors such as Dave McClure (500startups) and Chris Barton (Shazam) taught attendees what daily business really looks like.

Nobody can beat Babywatch, the finest of the Top 50 Startups The Startup Challenge Finale topped off the last day as the Top 8 startups took the stage and presented their companies. The young entrepreneurs battled it out in the Pioneers Challenge – in the end Babywatch, the home ultrasound device startup from Croatia took home the victory prize, winning the Pioneers World Tour sponsored by Coca Cola with stops in Shenzhen, Singapore, Atlanta, New York and San Francisco, and the Pioneers Award 2013.

Some impressions:

Brigitte Jank explains the constant growth of the startup scene in Vienna and acknowledges the Pioneers Festival as one of its reasons:

“The Pioneers Festival provides a significant contribution here, being a platform bridging the contact between startups and potential investors, and turning Vienna into Europe’s creative capital city,”, explains Brigitte Jank, President of the Chamber of Commerce Vienna.

Christoph Leitl, WKO President was impressed by this year’s event and pointed out the importance of the entrepreneurial spirit for Austria’s economy regarding the valuable contribution of domestic founders to Austrian business location: “Even in challenging times Austria remains an attractive business location. This is clearly proven by recent numbers on newly created companies: 114 start ups per day contribute significantly to the employment record in Austria. That brings great dynamism to our country!”

Andreas Tschas reflects on this year’s Festival: “I am extremely happy about our results after one year of hard work and would like to express my sincere thanks to everyone who supported us. There are too many people to name, however I would like to point out Konica Minolta and Pro7Sat1Puls4 as our Global Partners and their support of young entrepreneurs as a part of their corporate responsibility, as well as the Federal Ministry of Economy, Family and Youth, the Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology, the Austria Wirtschaftsservice, the Chamber of Commerce as well as the Vienna Business Agency.”

More information on Babywatch can be found at:

All information on the Pioneers Festival:

Press photos from Pioneers Festival can be found here:

About Pioneers Festival: Pioneers Festival brings together national and international founders, startups, pioneers, investors, tech enthusiasts and media representatives once per year in Vienna to celebrate entrepreneurship and future technologies, to inspire and to educate. During the two day festival in the Vienna Hofburg, quality content by renowned speakers is discussed, the winners of the Pioneers Challenge are crowned, and a framework for a positive festival atmosphere is provided. Pioneers Festival was founded in the year 2012, making 30–‐31 October 2013 the second event.


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