The Next Web is back and better than ever

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As a fan of TNW, I got super excited when Ben asked me to check out this year’s edition and write a short review for everyone who couldn’t be there. So, I said yes and got ready for two days of networking, great speakers, and innovative startups.

Working at Builders, a startup studio, my main goal was to find Future Founders for our Entrepreneur-in-Residence program but also, network as much as possible and learn more about the upcoming opportunities in the market.


The main stage, Vision, had talks by amazing speakers like Edward Snowden explaining why a crypto winter could prove beneficial to the sector’s long-term future, Mo Gawdat talking about the idea of ‘hyper frontality’, Maxine Williams focusing on DEI in the metaverse, and a special guest appearance from Volodymyr Zelensky. How cool is that?

Outside of tech stalwarts, notable individuals including Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky appeared live by hologram, talking about his newly launched initiative, United 24, aimed at bringing donations and digital infrastructure into Ukraine.

“Our goal is to make Ukraine the freest digital state in the world.” #investinukraine

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In the Growth Quarters, 16 finalist startups from the TNW Startup Program competed in front of a panel of judges. The judges evaluated pitches on investment readiness, innovative market opportunity, the strength of the business concept/model and the overall wow factor.

Growth Quarters
Growth Quarters

If not pitching, all the other startups were showcasing their products and services at all times in the startup playground. The one startup that definitely caught my attention was Sonomo, a platform where anyone can invest in artists and their songs, an asset class previously available only to industry insiders & institutional funds.

Big companies like Nike, Asana and ABN AMRO were on the playground too, looking for talent for their new programs and departments. After walking around with some #T500 students, I have to say that face-to-face conversations with employees, goodies and fun games are a great way to attract talent (and it works too!).

My team was also present at the event and I loved seeing how everyone was involved in different capacities but with the same goal in mind.

One of our founders, Michael Steinmann, CEO at Obeyoa platform for residential communities to enable operators and their residents to thrive – shared with us what a great time he had at TNW:

TNW is really the place to be if you do anything within the tech ecosystem. What I particularly love about it is that you run into the founders, the builders, the investors, and the tech nerds within the same event – and everyone is super approachable!

In conclusion, TNW rocks and it was great to attend another edition, and already looking forward to the next one!

Until then, enjoy some more photos from the event and this short video from the 1st day made by TNW:

Did you like the article? Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn and check out my other articles on Medium.

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