Cure Your Conference Confusion with Silicon Allee’s Big Guide

By Simone ODonovan |


NEXT13 may be over, but as most people in the Berlin startup scene will know, the crazy conference season is only just beginning. Berlin Web Week – a misnomer of a name if there ever was one – is just around the corner. It can be a confusing time – what’s on when, what’s a must and what should you avoid? Fear not, as Silicon Allee brings you its annual guide to the packed summer conference schedule.


What: This is an intimate and independent conference for iOS developers. The event is spread out over three days beginning with pre-registration, lightening talks and drinks at Supermarkt, the main conference day at Heimathafen, followed by a hackathon at the Readmill office.

When: May 1-3

Where: Heimathafen Neukolln

Tickets: €300

Verdict: This one is for the serious iOS developers only – but if that description fits you, then you shouldn’t miss it.



What: This year’s theme is in/side/out, one of re:publica’s founding motivations, which will define what connects digital and analogue societies and will focus on the upending of the digital society. It is the conference for blogs, social media and digital society.

When: May 6-8

Where: Station Berlin

Tickets: Start from €150

Verdict: Last year, re:publica was a week before NEXT and in the same venue, leading to obvious comparisons between the two But in truth, re:pubica is a more startup-friendly event – and although it is more Germany-focused, the organisers are trying to open it up to more international attendees. Most of the content will be in German, though.



What: Very much focused around startups, organisers say Heureka is ‘Berlin’s central networking event for the digital economy’. It includes keynote speeches, panels and networking. It provides networking opportunities for entrepreneurs, startups and investors. This year’s theme is ‘Elements of a Startup’ and looks at monetisation, funding, finding talent, sales and marketing, and product.

When: May 14

Where: Alte Munze

Tickets: Start from €149 plus VAT

Verdict: Now into its second running, let’s see if the organisers, Vertical Media, can build on its rookie year. Heureka has a lot of potential to be a great event on the Berlin calendar and could well prove a big draw to startups from around Europe.


The Hive

What: The Hive is an event for bloggers – big, small, for fun or for business – and marketing professionals. It will focus on protecting your work and how you can gain support from your blog, and will include discussions, workshops and minigroups.

When: May 25-26

Where: Betahaus

Tickets: The last 10 tickets are on sale on May 1 at €110 plus VAT

Verdict: The place to go for anything and everything blog-related. The list of speakers looks nice and varied, but if you might find talking about blogging boring after not very long, this might not be the event for you.


European Venture Market

What: The EVM is a two-day biannual networking conference with 200-300 investors, service providers and early/expansion stage companies. The programme includes pitches from the entrepreneurs, speeches, presentations, one-to-one meetings and of course a party.

When: May 29-30

Where: KPMG AG Wirtschaftsprufungsgesellschaft

Tickets: Start from €399 for company presentations and €499 for investors

Verdict: Some interesting content on offer – the closing speech by Morten Lund should be a blast – but can you bet your bottom dollar that most of the startups attending will be there to meet and network with investors. A lot of business could be done here.


Berlin Buzzwords

What: This event is for developers and users of open source software products with a focus on scalable search, data analysis in the cloud and NoSQL databases. There will be over 30 international guest speakers all dealing with the three tags – “search, store and scale”.

When: June 3-4

Where: Kulturbrauerei, Prenzlauer Berg

Tickets: Start from €150

Verdict: Another one for the real techies. There’s an awful lot on offer at a variety of venues in the Kulturbrauerei and this is a must for open source fans.


Startup Weekend

What: The fourth Startup Weekend promises a wide range of all people tech to form teams and pitch their ideas; the best team wins. This is the ideal chance to network and possibly launch a startup.

When: June 7-9

Where: TBA

Tickets: TBA

Verdict: A hands-on event to help teach potential entrepreneurs what it really takes to have a successful startup. Keep an eye out for more details.


Uber B2b Conference

What: This event aims to provide a platform where talented minds from startups, mid-size and multinational companies from all over Europe can network. The day will be filled with panel discussions, pitches and workshops with many guest speakers involved.

When: June 17

Where: The Kalkscheune

Tickets: Start from €19.99

Verdict: This promises to be a real Berlin-style opportunity to learn more about doing business with all sizes of companies. The event has been a long time in the planning by a team of dedicated people and could be a well-worthwhile use of your time.


Tech Open Air Berlin

What: TOA Berlin is set to return for the second time to Katerholzig. The event brings together technology, art and music and has a new focus this year on science and education. With open talks, panels, workshops, concerts and discussions, the who’s who of the Berlin startup scene will be there.

When: August 1-2

Where: Katerholzig

Tickets: Start from €50 plus VAT

Verdict: A big hit in its first year in 2012, TOA is archetypal Berlin. Last year, many abandoned the content early on and moved outside to do some serious networking with a (morning) beer in the hand, enjoying the sun by the river. But there’s also plenty to see, and the following day’s variety of events offer a different take on conferences.

Did we miss something? Let us know if you think your event should be included.

Text by Simone O’Donovan, verdicts by David Knight.