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14 Must-Attend Startup Conferences in the US, Europe and Asia for 2017 and 2018

With the level of digital connection we are accustomed to in 2017, it has become incredibly easy to connect with other entrepreneurs and stay up to date on the latest developments in tech. But, there is something really special that happens when you step out and actually connect with industry experts and entrepreneurs in real face-to-face interactions. When you bring a lot of creative people into a giant hall, there is a special kind of energy in the air, an energy that fosters deeper connections, and a kind of collaborative creativity, that is impossible to find in the virtual networking space.

If you’re a budding entrepreneur, you might feel overwhelmed by the crazy amount of conferences out there. It doesn’t take much to start a conference, and not all of them are worth the financial investment and time investment to attend. However, some conferences are just  THAT GOOD that you shouldn’t miss them under any circumstances. If you’re currently growing your business and want to get exposure, you’ve come to the right place!

We’ve collected a list of 14 amazing conferences, that will get you lots of exposure and that are coming up soon. All of the conferences on the list take place between late in 2017 and the summer of 2018. Make sure to sign up for tickets in time!


#1 Summit in Los Angeles / November 3rd-6th, 2017

Summit in LA is an invite-only conference for 3500 attendees, frequented by conscious leaders in technology, startups, arts and culture. If you’re not part of their network yet, get your online profiles up to date, apply on their site and keep your fingers crossed. It’s well worth going.

#2 Web Summit in Lisbon – November 6th-9th, 2017

Web Summit is the largest technology conference in the world! If you’re looking to reach a broad audience, go to Web Summit. This conference presents incredible networking opportunities, due to its sheer scale. The list of speakers at Web Summit includes political heavyweights like Al Gore, the president of Microsoft, the CEO of Reddit and many others.

#3 Slush in Finland – November 30th – December 1st, 2017

Slush is an interesting conference, in an unusual setting. It has often been described as “Burning Man meets TED.” Run by a committee of students, their setup changes yearly. It takes place in extreme weather conditions (Finland in the winter) and is extremely popular with the Silicon Valley crowd as an amazing getaway + networking event. Sign up early and pack your warmest clothing for an unforgettable experience at Slush!

#4 TechCrunch Disrupt Berlin / December 4th-5th , 2017

TechCrunch Disrupt is an authority in debuting startups, introducing new technologies and introducing new topics into the worldwide startup ecosystem. It features a Startup Battlefield competition, a 24-hour Hackathon, Startup Alley, Hardware Alley, and After Parties. As an added bonus, this year’s Disrupt is taking place in Berlin, one of the biggest, thriving startup cities in Europe.

#5 Startup Grind Global in Redwood City, Feb 12-14 2018

Startup Grind Global is a great meeting place for startups and Silicon Valley. Held in Redwood city, Startup Grind Global has featured speakers from Lyft, Google, YC, Instagram… With 5000 founders and investors, more than 40 keynote and fireside sessions, and over 50 exhibiting startups, this is Startup Grind’s largest event ever.

#6 SXSW / South by Southwest, March 9-March 18 2018

The South by Southwest festival, usually abbreviated to SXSW combines, or shall I say, converges technology, arts and humanity during a 10-day long 72000+ people event. It provides an opportunity for professionals at every level to participate, learn and network.  SXSW is a unified conference that provides 24 tracks, plus an Eco Cities Summit and has features past speakers like Barack Obama, and many others.

#7 Launch Festival in San Francisco, April (dates TBD)

Launch is an incredible festival in the heart of tech-country (San Francisco). It was founded by renowned angel investor Jason Calacanis and celebrates innovation and product launches. During the conference, 50 startups reveal their concepts and “launch” right at the event. They all compete for 100000$ in price money. Aside from the startup competition, Launch has featured past headliners like Mark Cuban, or Paul Graham.

#8 Collision New Orleans April 30th-May 3rd, 2018

From the organisers of Web Summit, Collision prides itself on its status as the “world’s fastest growing tech conference.” It attracts a high profile crowd and takes place right before JazzFest in New Orleans. Lots of Collision attendees stay for JazzFest, which might explain, in part, why it’s such a popular conference. Collision has about 20 000 attendees of which over 3000 are CEOs.

#9 StarUp in Bangalore, India May 6th to 7th, 2018

StarUp is India’s biggest and best startup summit. It’s held place in Bangalore, which is often described as the “Silicon Valley” of India. It’s a relatively small conference (2000+ attendees) which is growing rapidly every year and brings together the Indian, Asian, Israeli and European startup ecosystem. If you are interested in the Indian startup ecosystem, StarUp is THE conference to attend.

#10 Future of Fintech in New York, June 19th – 21st, 2018 

The Future of Fintech conference is an exclusive gathering of the world’s largest financial institutions, best fintech startups and most active venture investors. Topics covered range from the blockchain, to emerging markets, regtech, algorithmic hedge funds and trends to watch over in the next year. Even if you are not specifically in Fintech, Fintech is nearly everywhere around us, and at this conference, you will be able to see a lot of current trends and developments in the industry that might have a major impact on the future of your startup, no matter what field you are in.

# 11 World Domination Summit in Portland, June 26nd to July 2nd, 2018

World Domination Summit in Portland explores one central question: “How do we live a remarkable life, in a conventional world?” Consider attending this 10000 person conference if you’re looking for a sense of disruption and possibilities. World Domination Summit is a great conference to attend if you are looking for inspiration and want to meet like-minded people who want to build the future.

#12 RISE in Hong Kong, July 8th – 11th, 2018

Rightfully dubbed “the new hot ticket on the tech conference scene” by Forbes, RISE is yet another growing conference produced by the Web Summit team. It is packed with tech startups from Asia, and all other markets, features VC heavyweights and speakers from the world’s biggest brands. RISE has become very successful, because it launched in a market that had a deep-seated need for a conference of this type. Connect with Hong Kong and the rest of the world at Rise.

#13 Startup+Fest in Montreal, July 11th-14th, 2018

The Mission of StartupFest is, “to inspire the global startup community through the unforgettable + unconventional.” It’s a global gathering dedicated to the growth of startups and brings together founders, innovators and entrepreneurs. It features speakers from Reddit, Paypal, Shopify and many more, and over 500K in prize money. It also has many premium high value premium “fests” that require separate registration. The list includes an Angel Fest, Hacker Fest, Scaleup Fest, Accelerator Fest and more.

#14 Tech Open Air Berlin, 11th-14th July, 2018

Tech Open Air, usually abbreviated to TOA Berlin is a leading interdisciplinary tech festival, held annually in Berlin. Their mission is to “connect, grow and inspire the human spirit through in interdisciplinary knowledge exchange and collaboration.” TOA is a super popular festival with founders, VCs and CEOs around Europe and the US. It has been called “Berlin’s answer to SXSW” by Venture Village and got its’ start in 2012 through crowdfunding. TOA is cool, edgy and should not be missed by any aspiring or successful startup founder.

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