Learning from Startups - A trip to the Europas

The Europas is Europe’s premier startup conference and awards. I went along last week to learn more about Europe’s hot startups, accelerators and investors. Here at Chelsea Apps Factory we work both with Enterprises and with startups, and we use our position in both camps to help all our clients.

We connect the startups we work with, with our Enterprise clients, and we help the Enterprises we work with, by bringing a level of startup thinking and agility.

But what’s new from the world of startups from which the rest of the CAF community can learn?

AI - I’ve remarked before that AI (Artificial Intelligence) has just suddenly become the hot topic, but AI nowadays seems to mean Clever Data (and is often used to describe Marketing propositions rather than robots). If we think of Big Data and Analytics businesses as the forerunner, AI startups are the new kids on the block –  doing it better, with a cooler name.

AR & VR - It seems we’re onto the latest iteration of both Augmented and Virtual Reality. There were a few headsets about the place, and plenty of startups looking at overlaying data (AI or otherwise) on visual interfaces.

There were also startups hoping to encourage users to create our own 360 videos. Sure, the tech is there for us to ‘experience’ things in an enhanced way, but the only real use case I saw was one trialed by Unicef. Unicef Innovation VR enables viewers to experience what it is like in a refugee camp. Food for thought, certainly. This is using technology to solve a real human need.

Culture - Hearing Julia Hartz from Eventbrite speak about company culture was interesting. Any business needs to brush away the clichés about startup culture and tread their own path.

Cyber Security - Just how important Cyber is, nowadays, for anyone managing any data cannot be emphasised enough. It was great to hear about CyLon a Cyber focussed Startup accelerator.

Hacking & Hustling - I thoroughly enjoyed the panel’s take on startup marketing and will find Vincent Duignan’s tips especially useful I’m sure ;)

FinTech - London is the hotbed for FinTech. The ‘walled garden of banking’ seems ripe for disruption by the tech savvy startups.

IoT - IoT is still not on the to do list for many big businesses. But that’s ok. Because there are plenty of startups in this space who are making it understandable, easy, and in the short to medium term, a necessity.

Accelerators - There was representation from TechHub, 500 Startups, Level 39, and Startupbootcamp. It seems accelerators are the new must have thing for any startup seeking credibility. Good job, since CAF will also shortly be launching an accelerator-style service, helping to connect Enterprise focused startups with Enterprise expertise and clients.

You can read all about the Europas awards here - in which many notable startups were honoured.

My one last highlight of the day, however, was watching Musician and Technology Innovator Beatie Wolfe perform her set.  

Image: The Europas

Image: The Europas