Happy New Year: Pioneers Gets Set for a Bumper 2018

By January 10, 2018December 22nd, 2020No Comments

The Pioneers highlights over the next six months will be breaking frontiers in the automotive sector in Munich in February, introducing a new era in the European GovTech field and exploring the ever-fuzzier boundaries between deep tech and humanity across various industries at our flagship event in Vienna end of May.

With less than a month to go until the second edition of Mobility.Pioneers in Munich on February 8th, it’s our pleasure to confirm that amongst other key players in the industry like Mate Rimac, Founder & CEO of Rimac Automobili and Assaf Harel, Co-founder & CTO at Karamba Security, Facebook’s Head of Automotive Strategy Christoph Stadeler will also appear on stage to present a talk entitled Digitalisation.Acceleration. He’ll share insights from his many years of industry experience as well as his current role.

As we continue to drive startup-corporate collaboration in our events, Mobility.Pioneers will, besides the usual pitching competition, also be the setting for a hackathon run by our consultancy arm, Pioneers Discover. The rapid prototyping session will address innovation challenges from partners such as OEBB (the Austrian Federal Railways) and DB (the German Railways). The session will last two and a half days and address key topics such as blockchain identity management. The winning team will be announced at the main event during the overall award ceremony.

Moving onto the second of our full-day industry-focussed events, we are proud to introduce a new era of bringing startup-driven innovation into the public sector as we host the very first GovTech event in Europe. After showcasing our special interest in this topic with a two-hour session during Pioneers’17, GovTech.Pioneers will take place in Vienna’s Palais Wertheim on May 23rd – a day before our flagship event, Pioneers’18, kicks off in the Hofburg Imperial Palace. The first three high-quality speakers who’ll be joining and helping us look into how tech enablers foster the digital transformation of governments include Carrie Bishop, the first Chief Digital Services Officer of San Francisco, former Estonian Chief Information Officer & Plumbr VP of Sales Taavi Kotka and Jonathan Reichental, CIO of Palo Alto in California.

The event will bring together 400 decision-makers, including leading politicians and public CIO’s, together with corporations and VC’s, along with 100 selected Seed and Series A startups and key international media.

“GovTech will save the future,” says Reichental, who is leading the public sector change in the birthplace of Silicon Valley. “Our cities are at a critical point. Without change, the trajectory must concern us all. Whether it’s climate change, clean water, clean air, clean energy, waste management, transportation, and so much more; we have important choices ahead.

“If we want a quality future, we’ll need to reinvent how much of our cities operate. Without a doubt, new technologies and new providers will emerge to try to solve our challenges. As computer scientist, but also a person passionate about the future of our cities, I want to inspire and be inspired by new solutions in this space. GovTech.Pioneers provides both opportunities. I can’t wait,” concludes Jonathan, neatly reflecting the sentiments we at Pioneers have for the event.

Turning attention to our annual flagship event on May 24-25th at the Imperial Hofburg Palace, Pioneers’18 will again host 2500 leading tech innovators from over 100 nations. The 2017 edition of the event recently won the beaworld ‘Best Conference 2017’ Award.

Already on our list of the first 3 confirmed speakers is Ryan Holmes, CEO of SpaceVR, a company creating ‘virtual space tourism’ through a combination of virtual reality and satellite technology. He’ll speak around the topic of Exploration of New Spaces. Then there’s Jeff Burton, a co-founder at Electronic Arts, who is now at the helm of Holodeck VR, a startup which seeks to deliver truly emotional virtual reality experiences unlike anything that’s been done before. We’ll also welcome David Bishop to speak at Pioneers’18, former President of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment and MGM Home Entertainment.

We’re also pleased to announce that besides once again working with key media partner CNBC, we’re also extending our partnership with PwC into a fourth year with an even greater scope that focuses on connecting startups and corporations. Besides remaining the key partner to the early-stage startups focussed program, Pioneers500, PwC will this year, together with some of their key clients, join us in selecting the Top 50 who’ll get to pitch at the Hofburg. Furthermore, together with our consultancy services arm Pioneers Discover, they will release a report on the selected and attending 500 seed and Series A startups.

“I’m very happy to be extending our partnership! It’s now the fourth time we’re bringing together established companies, startups and founders at the Pioneers flagship event in the Hofburg, as we’re now more convinced than ever that both sides can benefit from each other. The creative exchange between the Old and New Economy provides valuable impetus, promotes innovation and creates new and intelligent solutions. This not only strengthens international companies in the long term, but also Austria as a business environment,” said Rudolf Krickl, Partner and Head of Middle Market at PwC Austria.

As usual, the winners of the startup pitching contests at both industry-focussed events will be fast-tracked into the Top 50 at Pioneers’18, which means the opportunity to pitch once more at our flagship event as part of the P500 program’s Pioneers Challenge Award.

For more details on all three events, as well as the upcoming series of “Office Hours in CEE” with our investment arm Pioneers Ventures and all other Pioneers Discover projects, please visit To get tickets or to apply as a startup, please visit our events page.