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How To Web: why this conference is unstoppable 🚀
Drawing top tier investors from across Europe, How To Web showed once again that they're one of year's events you cannot miss.
The Marquee CEE Tech event is over and I’m headed back from Bucharest to my beloved outskirts haven in Denmark flying fittingly in the contrails of Staffan Helgasson, founding partner of CREANDUM and keynote speaker at the conference.
Yet again, How To Web cements their position and Bogdan and his crew can rest for a bit, knowing they’ve succeeded above all expectations.
So why am I in love with How To Web? They’re coming up close to being 10 years in with their investor event “Venture in CEE” and they’re just killing it.
Staffan Helgasson gave us not only the story behind CREANDUM but also his biggest learnings from growing the firm to be amongst the best disclosing what to do and what NOT to do. I won’t go deeper here as I want you on the edge of your seat ahead of our upcoming pod episode with him. Honestly, you should be at the edge of your seat for this one.
Irina Haivas, Partner and co-lead on AI at Atomico took us through her thinking about AI in Europe, dishing out insights for founders as well as investors. Especially her data cementing Europe’s great position to compete and win in AI stuck with me:
4 of the top 10 universities for computer science in Europe
18% of world AI research talent based in Europe
+30% more AI/ML employee base in Europe vs. US
This is clearly feeding into an acceleration of AI startup formation.
Company formation is in Europe on par with US.
Europe captures 28% of global funding for rounds under $5M (vs 34% for US)
Claude Ritter from Cavalry proved once again the strength of being at eye-level with founders, making it almost hard to have an undisturbed chat with him as founders kept dropping in to give their thanks for his honest and no-bullshit-answers in the founder sparring sessions organized the HTW team. All of it done in the usual hair-slightly-ruffled style we’ve all come to expect from the Cavalry team.
But just as the proof of the pudding is in the eating, you can measure the success of a tech conference by its side events. And with Credo partnering up with CREANDUM to put on an evening to remember at one of Bucharest’s finest restaurants Kaiamo with the who’s who of the conference, How To Web once again excels as few others.
But I can’t go on from this section without giving more love to Ondrej Bartos. What a mensch. The 30-minute Q&A session turned into a 50-minute mentor session for emerging managers and founders alike. From what’s up with those orange shoes and where can I get them? to how emerging managers should think about getting started and established investors should think about funding founders on more friendly terms than all too often the case, especially when the going gets tough. Underplaying it as ever, Ondrej chucked their success at Credo up to luck, but having seen their track and trajectory, that’s the last thing I’d say.
Having missed Apostolos from VentureFriends when we were in Athens the week before, meeting him here was an absolute delight. Few live up to their firm name as well as Apostolos being one of the truly friendlies people you can meet.
And Gloria, the fireball solo GP behind Puzzle Ventures, though we made it talk far to little, it was a joy to see her in her element being a great example of why emerging managers are the life blood of venture.
Dan Mihaescu from Gapminder who has dropped his fighting career in favor of breakneck navy seal style workouts looked big and mighty as ever gave me a welcome look into the latest VC fascination of longevity and peptides. For a former gym jock, it’s always interesting to hear hormone therapy be discussed with others than shady dudes with small testicles.
From having breakfast with Robin and bumming multiple cab rides from Ertan to seeing the eu.vc website casually open at a co-passengers seat in the airplane this was one of the trips worth making again and again.
Bogdan, see you again next year 🔥You’re the bomb 💣
📺 Virtual events we’re hosting
The Impact of AI on VC | 📆 Sep 26, 2023, 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM CEST
Winning in The Secondaries Boom | 📆 Oct 31, 2023, 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM CEST
🤝 In-person events we’re attending
If you’re thinking of attending, hit us up, we’d love to connect.
Expand North Star in Dubai | 📆 15 - 18 October | 🌍 Dubai
Web Summit | 📆 13 - 15 November | 🌍 Lisbon
GoWest | 📆 6 - 8 February | 🌍 Gothenburg
Super Venture | 📆 4 - 6 Juni | 🌍 Berlin
Nordic LP Forum & TechBBQ | 📆 September | 🌍 Copenhagen