Pioneers Festival 2016 did it once more. 2500 Entrepreneurs, innovators, investors and techies gathered at one of the greatest tech festivals in Europe.

Attendees from all continents gathered around in Vienna, Austria at the Hofburg Imperial Palace on May 24-25 to celebrate technology and entrepreneurship. Some of the brightest of Silicon Valley and Europe were present which made the event rich in networking and experience sharing. With 5 stages and a well organized agenda, participants could choose the speak/program they wanted and still didn’t miss out from other stuff. Keynote speeches and startup competition were held in the massive Arena stage, the Academy Stage were focused on more educational speeches for entrepreneurs and investors. The Forum was there for open discussion on major topics like Life Science, Financial Services and Business & Productivity, workshops at the Masterclass room and more pitches at the Spotlight room.

Startups and tech are all about innovation, however we usually don’t see innovation in startup and tech conferences. Pioneers brought innovation to tech conferences. Networking is key and it’s usually the number one purpose for attending tech conferences. With Pioneers app, attendees could easily find each other in the app whether they are an investor, startup or even speakers and message each other and set meetings. The dedicated meetings rooms were there for this very purpose to reserve a table and chat. If you want to invite innovators you got to be innovative yourself, and Pioneers just did that.

New technologies such as the next-gem artificial intelligence Viv and the new AR Glass Meta had their Europe debut at the pioneers festival. The expo ground on the first and second floor of the conference was also a place to meet and try new gadgets and technologies.

Speeches were a mix of famous names, like the VC legend Tim Draper, Wikipedia founder Jimmey Wales and Billionaire Manoj Bhargava on how he’s bringing electricity to remote places in India to lesser exposed speakers with speeches that took the attendees feet of the ground.

Pioneers Festival’s Startup Challenge started two days before the event. 7 teams were selected to pitch at the end of the event to the audience. The winner took home a whooping 500,000 Euros from a Vienna and Silicon Valley based VC SpeedInvest. Pleo was announced the winner and named the Pioneer of the year from the world of Financial Services. They also get to fly to California and Silicon Valley as a gift from Lufthansa & Austrian airlines for the Red Bull High Performance Center Experience.

“It’s a great feeling to have our idea validated by some of the smartest minds in Europe. Nobody likes expense reports so that’s why we built a company card that works for everyone, from everyday employees to thrifty Financial Directors and frustrated accounts departments. We’re currently in private beta and are inviting companies across the UK and Denmark to join the list to be the first to trial our technology,” said CEO and Co-Founder of Pleo, Jeppe Rindom.

Thanks to the Pioneers team, TechRasa also got the chance to speak and interview some of the speakers on Do’s and Dont’s of entrepreneurship and investment and their take on Iran. We sat down with the VC Tim Draper, Robin Wauters founder and editor of, Marvin Liao of 500 Startups, Erik Bovee of SpeedInvest and Keyvan Peymani of Touchdown Ventures. Stay tuned for the interviews in the next couple of days.


Tim Draper Interview TechRasa Iran
Tim Draper Talking About Opportunities in Iran


Pioneers Festival has successfully brought Vienna one step closer in becoming a startup hub in Europe. In the past years the Austrian government has given more spotlight attention to the startup scene. Austria’s newly elected Chancellor Christian Kern also spoke at Pioneers Festival along side the Austrian Secretary of State Herald Mahrer on the importance of entrepreneurship and technology and the support they are willing to give to startups in Austria. Herald Mahrer is also giving one on one mentorship session to Pleo the wining team of the Pioneers Challenge.

“Pioneers Festival 2016 exceeded our expectations on many levels – from the successful launch of our newly introduced match & meet feature to pioneering startups from all over the world and a thrilling closing show with maggie grace,” said Pioneers co-founder Juergen Florian. Pioneers also plans to become more international and provide more value for startups, corporates, medias and investors.


Pioneers Festival 2016


Pioneers Festival is becoming the portal for the future technology and a Mecca for entrepreneurs and innovators. Pioneers is not limited to Vienna, check our the on their events all over the world. For photos and videos of the event, check out TechRasa’s Instagram page.

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