Instead of recounting the numbers and naming all the events that took place in these two days that went too quickly, let's just recall a few highlights from the conference and try to remember its spirit. This year's conference at a new, centrally located venue saw thousands of participants, hundreds of startups and dozens of speakers, who constantly interacted and mingled, pitched ideas, shared the news, laughed and cried, and were sincerely glad to meet each other. Instead of recounting the numbers and naming all the events that took place in these two days that went too quickly, let's just recall a few highlights from the conference and try to remember its spirit.
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…Thursday morning. While the conference's team and volunteers are running back and forth, first participants flock to the stadium as photos of the entrance are mushrooming around Instagram.
Starting from this point, the pace of time seemed to be increasing constantly. The conference was unfolding with first opening talks from Viktoriya Tigipko and Alan Patricof, after which the three stages started their work.
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…Startup Alley, one of the most crowded places of the conference, was in a bustle from the early morning as well. Startups were here since about 7am to put everything in order, and by 9am when people started to come they were already eager to pitch and demonstrate their products.
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A few hours later, first startups from those chosen by the jury as the best ones started their pitches on the main stage. This part of the conference seemed quite exciting not only for the projects, but for the audience as well, as the Main Stage was always packed during the sessions.
I know that after this competition I have 12 more statrups to watch closely, as I do believe that all these teams have what it takes to go global and find the success.
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…Around 17:00, the relatively small Tech Stage was checked for strength by the crowd curious to see who's to get a $30K grant from the Global Technology Foundation.
The lasers were cutting the darkness above the audience sitting in front of the stage, as myTips, Jeapie, and Hashtago were awarded the prizes. Their founders looked quite surprised at the stage, to be honest, but I believe thay know what to do with extra money.
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…A new day brings new music: after Katya Chilli who performed on Thursday, came Brazilian singer and an amazing guitar player Philo Machado!
His performance in the morning had created the right sunny mood for the whole long day.
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…Three stages with a tight schedule of quite interesting talks and panels made it really difficult to decide where to go. Those who spent most of their time at the Main Stage should remember the panel on CEE vs. Western startup accelerators, which proved to be very informative.
If I had a startup, I'd definitely apply for a spot in one of them.
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…With all the panels, talks and networking the second day went even faster than the first, concluded with yet another award ceremonym. This time, members of the jury and representatives from major companies gave away prizes for the main competition and additional nominations.
Ubertesters, Backendless, KreditAja, Kabanchik, AstraFit, VitalFields — remember these names, I believe they will make the news quite soon.
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And now, to properly finish this patchwork review, let's give a round of applause for everyone at IDCEE — mentors and startups, networkers and volunteers, investors and moderators, the team and the venue staff — thanks for this one, and see you next year!