Europe's Biggest Music Festival Adds Tech Startups to the Mix

The 10th Reeperbahn Festival is almost here, and will be bringing a new focus on tech and innovation alongside Europe’s hottest musical acts.

Music, startups and technology: quite popular words nowadays. We all listen to music – while commuting, while relaxing, or sometimes at live performances. This week in Hamburg, you can explore not just music, but the technology behind it, at the Startups@Reeperbahn Pitch.

As Sanja Stankovic, Co-Founder of Hamburg Startups and organiser of the Startups@Reeperbahn Pitch at Reeperbahn festival, says, “We had an idea to combine music and startups, the activities which both require energy, concentration and 24/7 involvement.”

Startups in the mix
Photo: Giovanni Mafrici, Cover Photo: Heiko Sehrsam

This year, the focus is not just startups, but Finland – Finnish bands and startups will take over the festival with panels and showcases, dubbed “Aus Finnland”. Alongside enjoying authentic Finnish music, representatives from the Finnish music industry and will provide valuable insights about the business behind the music.

At the startup pitch itself, 300 hand-picked VIP guests from the digital and media industry, alongside over 80 investors and investment managers, will hear five innovative new startups from around Europe pitch their businesses in the hope of winning a grand prize of f €100,000.

One of the most prominent startups pitching is Funzi, a Finnish mobile education platform aimed at countries with high number of mobile phones but limited access to good public education. “I was fascinated about this initiative and voted for this startup at the second round of preselection, where 30 participants were chosen to participate,” says Sanja Stankovic.

A tet-a-tet meeting with investors, journalists and other influencers is another key opportunity granted to participants, who can meet with industry experts, journalists and investors in the “love mobile”.

StartUp pitch participants can also join the prestigious NEXT conference on Thursday and Friday evenings, as well as participate in workshops focusing on startups on Saturday.

The Nordics are well-represented this year at both the festival and the conferences. Will Page from Spotify will be talking about user demographics and Konsta Klemetti from Rovio (the mother company of Angry Birds) will be talking about how the catchy Angry Birds tune was developed and chosen, and how the company chooses music for their other games.

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