Gidsy and DailyDeal CEOs to Speak at TOA Berlin

By Claire Adamson |

Edial Dekker of Gidsy and Fabian and Ferdinand Heilemann of Daily Deal are amongst the first speakers announced for Tech Open Air Berlin, a crowd-funded, grass roots-style festival scheduled for August 23-24 at Kreuzberg venue and party spot Kater Holzig.

TOA Berlin is a festival founded on the ideas of collaboration and creativity, and aims to bring together the Berlin communities of art, music and technology in a relaxed, open air setting.

The first day of the festival will feature talks from the founders and CEOs of some of Berlin’s most well known startups. Felix Petersen of Amen and Marcel Düe of Tweek will speak, along with Ijad Madisch of ResearchGate and Fabian Siegel from Delivery Hero.

Investors will be represented by Ciaran O’Leary of Earlybird Venture Capital, and there will be music by Berlin based DJ Daddy Hemingway. Ansgar Oberholz of Sankt Oberholz will also speak at the festival.

The second day of TOA will see a host of satellite events all over Berlin, with the idea being that anyone choosing to be involved can do so in their own way. Gidsy, Startupbootcamp and EyeEm are all planning events.

The idea for the festival came about as a result of February’s TWiST event which showed TOA Berlin’s organisers, Niko Woischnik and Lutz Villalba, that there was a lot of untapped enthusiasm and innovation in Berlin’s fledgling startups. Niko also saw the importance of people connecting with others as a means of inspiration: “We were motivated to create a place where people from different backgrounds, different disciplines can come together, exchange knowledge, learn from each other and celebrate their creativity.”

This peer support spirit was the inspiration for crowd-funding the event. French crowd funding site KissKissBankBank is playing host to the €20,000 campaign, which is already 30 percent funded with 18 days to go. Rewards range from €5 to €10,000 and include basic tickets, space at the event to show off projects and ideas and the chance to sponsor a documentary about the event.

Niko is confident that the crowd-funding campaign will be a success, but revealed that they are also open to sponsorship as long as the sponsors share their vision. Either way, he is looking forward to the event: “It is essential for us to check whether we are just romantic dreamers – or if there is an appetite for a Burning Man-like gathering of the tech startup community at large.”