The snow has gone, the evenings are lighter, Berliners are gratefully taking to the tables outside the city’s endless cafes and restaurants – albeit still wrapped up well in coat and scarf. It’s April, folks, and Berlin’s best season, the summer, is just around the corner. But that also means that the busiest conference time of the year is also almost upon us.
May usually passes by in a blur of meet ups, events, talks, panel discussions, networking and all the food and drink you can handle. And this year is set to be as busy as ever, with Berlin Web Week at the centre of it all.
The seventh running of BWW takes place from May 5-10 and is jam-packed with events. It will attract thousands of attendees from around the world – organisers are expecting upwards of 15,000 in total.
A joint project from the Berlin Senate’s Department for Economics, Technology and Research and Berlin Partner for Business and Technology, BWW is a week-long festival looking at current trends in digital industry and society, taking in themes including the Internet, digital industries, technologies and digital media.
So here’s Silicon Allee’s guide to our pick of the 19 events making up Berlin Web Week 2014:
APIDays, May 5-6
BWW kicks off with APIDays at betahaus, which is part of a global conference tour spreading the word on APIs. It will focus on topics including the APIs themselves, the API economy, cloud computing, big data and, of course, the Internet of Things. Get your 20 percent discount on tickets here by using the code APIFriends.
IICO 2014, May 5-7
This German-language event features over 50 presentations and workshops from experts revealing the trends and solutions in digital disciplines including digital marketing, mobile strategy and big data and analysis.
Investment Lab, May 5
Sitting down at the negotiating table as a rookie entrepreneur with veteran investors looking back at you is a scary prospect. This, then, is a great chance to see how it should be done – a VC, a lawyer and a startup will negotiate a Series A term sheet live on stage. You can also learn the basics of fundraising and discover the newest market trends.
NEXT Berlin, May 5-6
The motto for this year’s NEXT is ‘The New Normal’ and speakers include Brad Templeton, who was recently involved in the development of Google’s self-driving car, and Fairphone founder Bas van Abel. With a focus on marketing and business development, NEXT is a more formal affair – you’ll see more suits here than normal – but it’s still held in a relaxed atmosphere and is a great networking opportunity for those sectors. A highlight of last year was a speech by politician Peer Steinbrück.
European Venture Market, May 6-7
The EVM conference, which is held twice a year in Berlin and Liechtenstein, is designed for active investors who are in ‘deal mode,’ innovative entrepreneurs in the startup scene, and industry partners and influences from across Europe and the world. This time around, the opening keynote will come from Philipp Mißfelder, foreign policy spokesman of the centre-right CDU/CSU parliamentary group.
Heureka, May 6
This startup-focused event is into its third year, and is aimed at founders who want to take their business to the next level. There will be plenty of useful content like workshops and speed pitching with top investors.
re:publica 14, May 6-8
Probably the highlight of BWW, re:publica takes place at Station Berlin with the motto INTO THE WILD. It’s a digital festival like no other, and this year is set to be more international than ever, with more than 5,000 people expected to attend. There is always a great mix of participants which creates a unique atmosphere, with activists, coders, artists, business experts and many others rubbing shoulders. Check out more info about re:publica here and here, and get your tickets here.
Lange Nacht der Startups, May 6-8
Two other events will take place at Station Berlin at the same time as re:publica. First up is an accompanying exhibition to last year’s first Lange Nacht der Startups, with some of its best startups on display. It will serve as a taster for the next LNdS on September 5.
Media Convention, May 6-7
The other partner event is the new format of the Media Convention. It aims to provide a platform for the world’s media industry with experts in TV, film, print and politics meeting decision makers from social media, technology and digital society.
droidcon, May 8-10
Following on from re:publica at Station Berlin will be droidcon, a roving global android developer event. It will feature talks and workshops covering issues to do with the android ecosystem including development, mobile devices, mobile business solutions, smart home and mobile games.
FridayatSix, May 9
It started out as a pre-recorded radio show with six people sat around a table, but now FridayatSix is a live TV show broadcast online and an important staple of the Berlin event scene. This edition, led as always by journalist Derk Marseille, takes place at the Olswang offices at Potsdamer Platz and will focus on money and politics in the Berlin startup scene.
Berlin Web Week LOUNGE, May 5-8
Don’t forget that on most nights of BWW, you can do some more relaxed networking over a beer at the Gretchen nightclub from 10pm.