I just came back from in Berlin, spending the weekend there and attending the hy! conference for the first time. I must say I’m very impressed in how they made it feel more like a ‘hip meetup’, rather than a traditional conference. Cool locations (yes, different locations for each day), vegan food, beers, parties and very artistic decorations of the event. The Berliners know how to do it!
The first day started out with a ‘talk show-inspired’ panel debate where Swede Carl Waldekranz, co-founder and CEO of Tictail, took part to discuss the future of commerce. Founder and CEO of Uber, Travis Kalanick, arrived all the way from Miami to attend the conference in a panel debate and discuss the situation of Uber in Milan.
As the conference was invite-only, and to even get an invite you needed to be either co-founder or CEO of an interesting startup, the event wasn’t too big which meant great opportunities to actually network. Also, no press was invited for the second day, which meant the day was more about interacting with each other – rather than being about focusing on press.
Instead of listening to keynotes, you got to choose which topic you wanted to discuss, and then you had the opportunity to sit down together with other bright minds in the field and have great conversations. I had some very interesting discussions with Francis (CEO of Everest), Johannes Reck (CEO of GetYourGuide) and Edial Dekker (CEO of Gidsy) among others – talking about the future of transportation and what to invest in. I think we all agreed on people being the key, as many of us strongly believe that execution is as important as an idea itself. I would say an idea isn’t worth much if you don’t have anyone executing it properly, which leads me into the conclusion of a brilliant team being way more valuable than just a brilliant idea. All in all a great weekend!