Webit Congress, the only global event for the new and emerging digital markets, hosted the Leaders of the Future and Entrepreneurs Conference to open the way for start-ups to turn their ideas into successful businesses.
Istanbul -12.10.12 - Leaders of the Future and Entrepreneurs Conference at Webit Congress was all about bridging the gap between innovation and funding. Apart from the exciting keynotes, the conference also featured and a Startup Challenge with 21 participants, who received free expo booths and the chance to pich live on stage in front of major investors, business angels and media reps.
Attracting the leading startup companies and a VC/angel investors portfolio worth 30 billion Euros, the conference was also a great opportunity for those who dream to turn up their ideas into profitable businesses.
Accompanied by moderators such as Robin Wauters, European Editor of The Next Web; Mike Butcher, European Editor of TechCrunch and Ben Rooney, Technology Editor at The Wall Street Journal, comprehensive interviews, action-provoking keynotes, and rewarding discussion panels kept the delegates engaged for two days. Alexander Galitsky, Managing Partner of Almaz Capital Partners; Eugene Mizin, Principal at Mangrove Capital Partners; Jon Bradford, Managing Director at Springboard; Isabel Maxwell, Director Israel Venture Network; Tony Conrad, Founder & CEO of about.me and many more world-renown speakers shared their insights on entrepreneurship, innovation, inspiration and marketing. The conference did not only unveil the secret lying behind the fascinating success of brands, but also offered tips on how to successfully launch startups and grow them abroad, the advantages of emerging markets alongside with a SWOT analysis on opportunities and challenges to guide entrepreneurs along the way. Gamification, a notion that took the world by storm was also discussed at the conference.
The interview made by Elias Ghanem, General Manager Middle East and North Africa at PayPal, gave young entrepreneurs tangible clues about monetizing their ideas. He summarized Paypal’s vision of shopping as “anytime, anywhere, anyway” and added: “Mobile is rising; people are using their phone as their payment solution.” The other interview leaving a lasting impression during the first day of the conference was about Business Opportunities in Online Political Campaigning, brought to the agenda by Lucian Despoiu, Managing Partner and Founder of KODIMENT Group. The interview offered an opportunity to find out what are the key elements of the political campaigns in the 21st century, revealing an important paradigm shift in this domain - from services to products.
As for the second day of the conference, the speech of Tony Conrad, Founder and CEO of about.me attracted participants’ attention with a focus on how to think outside the box when launching a product. The top of mind message of this interview was that today’s competitive environment requires entrepreneurs to create their own exposure through interesting new tactics. The speech, entitled “Hello, world? Isn’t it the time to sell your footprint?”, defined digital data as the bread or at least the butter for most of the advertisers and publishers. In the second day of the conference, the discussion panel formed by prominent Turkish digital entrepreneurs such as Alper Akcan, Founder and CEO at Mikro Ödeme Sistemleri; Altuğ İnci, CEO and Co-founder of euro.message; Arda Kertmelioğlu, Co-founder and VP of Marketing at Mobilera B.V. and Rina Onur, Co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Peak Games, served as model for the entrepreneurs who need the courage to take the next step.
The conference ended with the 21 StartUp Challenge Finalists (out of 503 aplicants), who, apart from the free expo booth provided by the founder of Webit Congress, Mr. Plamen Russev, also had 5 minutes to pitch in front of the StartUp Jury, potential investors, clients, partners and media reps. The Jury evaluated the winners by 4 criteria - uniqueness of the concept/technology, market approach, scalability and presentation skills.
The winner of Webit StartUp Challenge 2012 is mySugr (www.mysugr.com, @mysugr) - a company, founded by 2 people diagnosed with diabetes, that aims to save lives using smartphones, games and user experience. The second place went to InfoDif Co. Ltd (www.infodif.com/en, @InfoDif) and the third, to Sellbox s.c. (www.sellboxhq.com, @SellboxHQ). Nevahold (www.nevahold.com, @neva_hold) deserved the Jury's honourable mention.
Webit Congress logo: http://www.webitexpo.com/en/webit/2012/webit_logo.html
Webit Congress pictures: http://www.webitexpo.com/en/webit/2012/webit_gallery.html
Webit Congress video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJE9QUSwPRs
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