Enter the new age of pioneering with Pioneers Festival, celebrating European Innovation and Technology this October


The Pioneers Festival is scheduled to take place Oct 30-31, 2013 in the Hofburg Imperial Palace in Vienna, Austria. This is one of the biggest technology events in Europe, and brings together more than 2,500 digital warriors who are part of the tech scene, from startups and founders to VCs, hackers, bloggers and just about everyone who is in some way a “pioneering” innovator.

Pioneers Festival has over 60 speakers

The star-studded Pioneers Festival lineup this year includes more than 60 speakers, including Dave McClure (500startups), Eric Migicovsky (Pebble), Adam Cheyer (Siri), Phil Libin (Evernote), Pete Worden (Ames Research Center, NASA), Charles Adler (Kickstarter) and many more.


For startups, this is one of the few opportunities available to get priceless exposure in front of the entire tech world, including a Who’s Who list of VC funds and European tech investors, and all the major tech and international media including TechCrunch, Wired and Forbes. Not to mention executives from heavyweights such as Google and Paypal, and hundreds of interested prospective customers.

As a startup, you have quite a few opportunities to grab some limelight. There’s the Pioneers Showroom if you want to exhibit your startup for a full day at the festival. At the other end of the spectrum, you have the Pioneers 90-second pitches for a quick-fire pitch to the festival audience.

Pioneers-Challenge Pioneers-Showroom Pioneers-90-Pitch

Are you ready for the Pioneers Challenge?

But the unquestionable highlight of the event is the Pioneers Challenge that whittles down hundreds of the hottest tech startups on the planet to a bare 50, and then crowns the best of the lot with the Pioneers Award.

“The Pioneers Challenge offers both software and hardware startups the chance to prove themselves internationally and to present their project to a high-caliber public, media representatives, investors and possible clients,” says Andreas Tschas, co-founder and CEO of Pioneers.

Last year, more than 850 startups from 58 countries from all five continents applied for the Startup Challenge. The ultimate winner of the Startup Challenge in 2012 was Eleanor “Nell” Watson of Poikos, which facilitates 3D body measurement with a webcam, tablet or smartphone.

Nell Watson has this to say now on the Poikos website – “On behalf of everyone in our international team, let me say a massive THANK YOU for the terrific response that we’ve received. It’s great to have so many people from across the world backing our business and technology strategy….We’d also like to thank the congresses that have given us the stage in the last few months. We’ve been humbled by the awards and attention our technology has gathered. It makes us even more determined to succeed.”

That’s what a good showing in the Pioneers Challenge can do for you. Here’s how it works :-

Eligibility – Tech startups not more than three years old that have raised less than € 1 million in funding.

“We are interested in future-rich ideas and projects that go far beyond the web/mobile area. This includes, for example, artificial intelligence and robotics,” says Pioneers Co-Founder Jürgen Furian.


To be specific, they are primarily interested in startups that are focused on web/mobile, software, hardware, AI, energy, robotics, space or health.

Applications – Apply before the Sept 5 deadline to get your startup selected and invited. Startups from 39 countries have already applied to secure a berth in the top 50.

What You Get – Selected startups will get two free tickets for the Festival, meant to be used for their team of two to present their startup to investors, attendees and the Startup Challenge judges. You also get a full day of mentoring and training on Oct 28 to help you prepare your pitch.

Lastly, you get direct contact with some of the most renowned investors in the world at Investors Day, which is a whole pre-festival event day on Oct 29 exclusively meant for investors. It’s a delicious thought for any startup – making your pitch to a hall filled with investors all raptly listening to what you have to say! Oh, and lest we forget, the pitch you make on Investors Day is what gets you through to the finals.

Eight startup finalists get to pitch on the festival day!

The surviving eight finalists then get to make their pitch to all 2,500 festival attendees on Oct 31. The ultimate winning prize is still kept as a surprise but we are sure it’s going to be something big and different.

You can still attend the event even if you don’t get invited for the Startup Challenge. As mentioned above, you can get the Startup Showcase Ticket or the 90-Second Pitching Ticket. You could also just get a Startup Pass and simply attend the event. You’ll still have full access to everything and everyone on both festival days, including all speeches, after parties and food and drinks.

Investors can get a Patron Pass that includes access to Investors Day as well as complete access to all events and after parties on both festival days. Your purchase of this Patron Pass will support and enable one startup to attend the festival.

What are you waiting for? Register for the Pioneers Challenge today!


About Debby

Cofounder and Editorial Head at The Startup Channel. I am on my journey to draft the best stories from the startup world, hunt down inspiration from ecosystem enablers and more! Reach out to me if you want us to cover your story/journey. yoda (at) startups (dot) fm.
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