Lightning Labs and Lilium Founders Set to Speak at Pioneers’18

By March 19, 2018February 2nd, 2024No Comments

We’re excited to announce that Lighting Labs Co-Founder and CEO Elizabeth Stark and Lilium Co-Founder and Head of Calculation & Design Patrick Nathen will feature as speakers at Pioneers’18 on May 24th-25th. Lightning Labs, which aims to make cryptocurrency transfers faster and easier, just last week announced a $2.5m seed funding round. Meanwhile Lilium, the world’s first electric vertical take-off and landing jet, could also become the first on-demand air taxi.

With Lightning Labs has been impressing investors including none other than Twitter Co-Founder Jack Dorsey and a significant cryptocurrency player in the shape of Litecoin creator Charlie Lee, Elizabeth’s credentials in the field are also remarkable.

She has taught at Stanford and Yale, where her students studied peer-to-peer technology, privacy, open source software, and memes. She’s an active contributor to the Bitcoin community, advises startups in areas ranging from cryptocurrency to decentralized technology to AI, and is a fellow at Coin Center. She also has a law degree from Harvard!

Elizabeth will take part in a fireside chat Laura Grimmelmann, a Vice-President investor from Accel, as a part of the Changing Landscapes topic.

Turning to our Future of Mobility topic and Lilium, the company Nathen co-founded is a real pioneer in showing what’s possible in the mobility space – one of several key topics we’ll be covering at our flagship event this year.

Patrick Nathen is a self-declared technology maniac dedicated to changing the way individuals get around, particularly in sustainable and scalable ways. And while the Lilium Jet ticks both of those boxes, this mobility expert’s talk will cover more than just the fascinating and acclaimed machine from Munich.

Nathen’s broad talk will take a look at the future of personal transportation, and how innovation and technology can change lives in this area. Apart from founding one of the world’s most exciting technology companies, he has a Master’s Degree in Aerospace Engineering and a PhD in fluid dynamics, and has worked in both Oxford and Stanford.

One of the reasons he brought his skills to the Lilium project was the chance for him and his three co-founders to have a real social impact.

“I never wanted to be just a small gear in a big company, in which decisions are always made from a profit point of view and the context of social and political impact gets negligible,” says Nathen. “Lilium started as a crazy idea that would change the way everyone approaches transportation. For me, everybody really does mean everybody. It’s not only for the richest of the rich.

“For me as an entrepreneur, it’s extremely important to take the chance I have to improve everyone’s life in both a sustainable and scalable way.”


The Lilium Jet is not only proving an inspiration in the innovation space, but it’s also attracting some serious investor money. In an investment round led by Chinese investment giant Tencent, Lilium raise $90m in autumn last year. With an agile machine well-suited to crowded urban areas, the company is working towards its vision of an on-demand air taxi service.

The Lilium Jet pushes mobility boundaries in several ways. It has an impressive range of 300 kilometres, yet can also reach mighty speeds of 300km/h. And it does all of this with electric power, meaning limited noise and air pollution.

The ambitious machine’s first test flight last year attracted plenty of media attention. You can watch it here. Buy tickets to attend Pioneers’18 and meet a host of top speakers including Elizabeth Stark and Patrick Nathen, here.