The last post I wrote featured seven, which later became nine, South African events worth attending to grow your startup. If you have started building a product or platform that you deem worthy of international exposure, which I’m sure it is, then you may want to attract the attention of investors, mentors and innovators worldwide.
Here is a list of 14 events and a startup exchange programme you may want to consider:
1. South by Southwest (SXSW)
One of the most talked about conferences is SXSW, whose focus is in music, independent films and emerging technologies. It is renowned for being one of the most viable launching pads for content that spreads and presents invaluable learning opportunities for startups.
It was held this year from March 9-18 in Austin, Texas. Register for the next one and stay informed.
2. The Next Web (TNW) Conference
The Next Web Conference brings together startups, investors, speakers, developers and even a hack battle to create an environment that puts you on an international playing field. Speakers this year include:
The Next Web has 20 pre-selected startups that will launch at TNW2012: this could be you. The conference also has two Startup Rally presentation sessions, where startups get five minutes each to present.
It will be held in Amsterdam from 25-27 April and the organisers are offering discounted tickets if you book online.
3. Startup Conference
The Startup Conference provides a launching pad for startups and the first outdoor startup festival that will have a crowd of more than 2 000 entrepreneurs, investors and software developers. What could be better than launching in Silicon Valley?
If you are launching your startup, this conference also hosts a Demo Pit at its outdoor festival called Startup Village, which will have over 1 000 investors, entrepreneurs and journalists. If you are still working on your product and need to raise money, then you can enter the Elevator Pitch Competition where you stand a chance to pitch to a panel of investors.
The conference will be held on 2 May at Mountain View, California.
4. The Guardian Activate Summit
Some of the world’s most influential minds will convene in New York City on 3 May to discuss and examine the influence of web technologies. Their speakers include Executive Chairman of LinkedIn, Reid Hoffman and Arianna Huffington, President and editor-in-chief at The Huffington Post.
This event kicks off with its popular Hackathon on Saturday 19 May running through to Sunday 20 May. May 21-23 sees this year’s first TechCrunch Disrupt New York, where the organisers also crowns the winner of the Startup Battlefield Competition.
DISRUPT San Francisco takes off from 8 to 12 September, where they host the Startup Battlefield and once again bring 500 coders to build something new.
6. Mashable Connect
Mashable connects its online community offline for the second year with its signature conference aptly called Mashable Connect. It has a wide array of speakers ranging from the Founder and CEO of Klout, Joe Fernandez to Hilary Mason the Chief Scientist of the URL shortening service Bit.ly and Mashable’s CEO & Founder, Pete Cashmore.
It will be held on May 3, 2012 – Saturday, May 5, 2012 at Contemporary Resort, Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
7. TED Global
This year’s TED Global is titled “Radical Openness” and will address topics of increased openness ranging from open source to open science. TED conferences present learning and networking opportunities like none other.
The conference kicks off in Edinburgh, Scotland and runs from 25-29 June 2012.
8. 500 Startups
500 Startups is a fund for early-stage companies that provides funding from $10k to $250k through seed investment. It also has conferences throughout the year that bring together VCs, startups and advisers.
Its Demo Days stand out the most, from a startup’s perspective, and are invitation-only events. It has two coming up in July; the first in California on 17-18 July and the second in New York City on 23 July, 2012.
Are you looking for a place to launch your product? DEMO is the conference you should attend, where you can also meet people who are likely to transform the tech scene as we know it. The popular CRM software Salesforce was also launched at DEMO. Will yours be next?
Apart from being an early stage mentoring and investment program, Seedcamp also hosts events that bring together prominent entrepreneurs, investors and startups. Its events are held in New York, Berlin and Paris.
Have a look at the Seedcamp calendar. Or apply to attend one by clicking on the event.
11. Wired Business Conference
Wired brings together some of the leading minds in business and tech to discuss some of the most disruptive business practices. Speakers range from Yancey Strickler, the Co-founder and CEO of Kickstarter — the world’s largest funding platform for creative projects; the New York Times bestselling author of The Lean Startup, Eric Ries and Shantanu Nayarean, the CEO of Adobe.
This conference kicks off on 1 May, 2012 and offers discounted tickets until April 27. Have a look at the rest of their speakers and book your tickets.
12. Techweek Conference
The Techweek Conference takes entrepreneurs from Idea to Scale in a five day event that connects startups, VC’s, Angel Investors and has talks by some of the world’s most successful tech entrepreneurs. This conference takes place from 22-26 June in Chicago.
Within five days, you will learn how companies like Groupon, 37Signals and Threadless emerged from idea to scale. The CEO and founder of 37Signals, Jason Fried will give a keynote on new business and lean startup methods.
Does it sound like a conference you would want to attend? Take a look here.
13. TechCity UK Entrepreneurs Festival
2011 saw the launch of the Entrepreneurs Festival in London, which was hosted during the Global Entrepreneurship week in November. It included mentorship, pitching and connected entrepreneurs with both VC’s and established business minds.
They haven’t updated their website with details for the next one yet, but keep an eye on the site and be the first to know.
14. The BarCamp Tour
BarCamps are community organised events where people post what they want to do a session about and attendees check what sessions they would like to participate in. The BarCamp Tour kicks off on 14 April in Florida.
If you would like to attend one, or host your own, go to this website for details and guidelines.
The Startup Exchange provides you with opportunities to test your ideas and concepts within an incubator, and gives you access to international mentors. The Startup Exchange doesn’t take any equity from your business, while giving you 2–3 months of incubation and mentorship in a foreign European country.
Visit the site for details and to apply.
What are your favourite tech conferences? Add them in the comments.