14 Conferences Every Startup Should Attend in 2017

Startup ecosystem is a vibrant and ever-evolving community. Besides getting useful contacts and exchanging professional experiences, it offers a powerful means for growth and business development. Making connections with other founders and potential investors should be a part of the daily routine for anyone involved in it.

For those interested in growing their network, exchanging ideas and experiences with fellow startupers, or even getting funded, here is a list of must-visit startup events for 2017.

USA & Canada

1. LAUNCH Conference

Location: San Francisco, CA
Date: April 3–7
Cost: $295 — $3,000. Free access for founders (only 10,000 applicants).

Why attend?

Hosted by Jason Calacanis, serial entrepreneur, author and angel investor who invested in Uber and Wealthfront, the conference features a number of smaller events, such as Startup Summit, Angel Summit, Founder University as well as the main LAUNCH Festival. As a part of this event, you will be able to learn how to scale your startup and better understand the major investment strategies and what investors are looking for in 2017.

50 selected founders will get an opportunity to meet with 50 early-stage investors for a “Speed Dating” session. There is a startup competition and expo as well: 10 startups in 12 categories, including AI & Machine Learning, Education, Fintech, Drones, Robotics, VR/AR, etc. Participants will be able to present their products to investors and conference attendees.

Key Speakers/Participants: The festival will host 12,000 founders from around the world as well as various outstanding speakers, including representatives from Pinterest, Verizon Ventures, Stripe and Hotel Tonight.

More Info: Website / Twitter

2. Collision

Location: New Orleans, LA
Date: May 2–4
Cost: $227 — $4,680

Why attend?

Hosting attendees from over 110 countries, Collision conference is a major international event, dedicated to technology and startups. The event is considered to be the U.S. version of the popular Web Summit, held annually in Europe.

Collision is not a single conference, but rather a set of smaller independent conferences, focused on different topics such as SaaS business, Startups, Marketing, Data Science, Autotech, Design, and Engineering. A single ticket allows you to visit as many events as you want and network with the most important influencers in various fields and industries. This event is also a great opportunity to meet your customers and competitors in person.

  • Key Speakers/Participants: The conference will host over 20,000 attendees and 200 speakers, including founders of Reddit, WeWork, trivago, top management from Wells Fargo, Facebook, Cisco, The Coca-Cola Company, eBay, and AT&T. Over 120 of the world’s leading investors from such VC companies as GV, Y Combinator, 500 Startups, and Khosla Ventures will be attending the conference this year.
  • More Info: Website / FB / Twitter

3. Lean Startup Conference New York 2017

Location: New York City, NY
Date: May 10–11
Cost: $800 — $1,300

Why attend?

Lean Startup is a best-selling book by Eric Ries that inspired a widely adopted startup philosophy of the same name. Lean Startup Conference is dedicated to helping startups and large corporations reach continuous innovation and sustainable growth by adopting the Lean Startup methodology. Featuring seasoned experts and practitioners, the conference offers real-life cases, pitfalls and proven strategies for growing a business the Lean way.

Although, not yet announced, there is another major Lean Startup event taking place around October-November, Lean Startup Week. This 7-day conference is an “immersion into Lean Startup methodology”, featuring dozens of world-class speakers and mentors.

  • Key Speakers/Participants: Among the key speakers are leading professionals from Microsoft, Etsy, and The New York Times.
  • More Info: Website
  • Other locations/dates: London, United Kingdom — June 13–14.

4. TechCrunch Disrupt

Location: New York City, NY
Date: May 15–17
Cost: $1,995 — early bird tickets (expires on April 14)

Why attend?

TechCrunch Disrupt is the world’s most influential startup event, gathering entrepreneurs, investors, developers and designers from all over the world. It is held by a leading online technology magazine, which covers startups, innovations and the latest tech news.

The conference has a busy agenda, including on-stage interviews and talks, a Startup Battlefield competition, a 24-hour hackathon, as well as startup and hardware expos. Startups can enter the competition for the Disrupt Cup and win not only the $50,000 prize, but the media’s and investors’ attention as well.

The conference is usually covered by hundreds of reporters, bloggers and correspondents from around the world. Additionally, CrunchMatch’s algorithm is used to introduce entrepreneurs to investors with relevant portfolios, increasing their chances of receiving funding.

  • Key Speakers/Participants: Among the featured attendees and speakers are some of the world’s leading tech entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and angel investors, including Fabrice Grinda, Alex Iskold, Susan Lyne, and Yossi Vardi.
  • Other locations/dates: San Francisco, CA — September 18–20 (link); Berlin, Germany — December 4–5 (link).
  • More Info: Website / FB

5. The Startup Conference 2017

Location: Redwood City, CA
Date: May 17
Cost: $75 — $99.

Why attend?

One of the largest startup events is taking place in Silicon Valley. The conference covers a number of topics such as raising money from angels, getting acquired, AI and machine learning, augmented/virtual reality, and autonomous everything. Over 1,500 entrepreneurs are expected to join the conference this year.

The event offers great opportunities to learn how to pitch VCs, find co-founders, get press coverage, gain early adopters and connect with influencers. There is also a competition for the best startup and the International Startup Fair.

  • Key Speakers/Participants: This year’s lineup for speakers includes the founders and top management from Indiegogo, TaskRabbit, Desk.com, U.S. Venture Partners, and 500 Startups Mobile Collective.
  • More Info: Website / FB

6. Code Conference

Location: Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
Date: May 30 — June 1
Cost: Invitation only access (to apply for an invitation you should fill out a form)

Why attend?

Recode.net is another popular tech news website, covering businesses within Silicon Valley. Hosting one of the most prestigious tech and media event, it brings together a global community of prominent business leaders, top executives and promising startups to network and discuss the current state and growth outlooks of digital technology.

  • Key Speakers/Participants: Last year, the conference featured over 30 speakers, including such industry visionaries as Elon Musk, Sheryl Sandberg, Bill and Melinda Gates, Jeff Bezos and many others. Over 650 C-suite executives from 550 companies such as Alibaba, Facebook, Google Ventures, Nokia, Qualcomm Inc., Zappos as well as Microsoft, are expected to attend the conference.
  • More Info: Website

7. Startupfest

Location: Montreal, Canada
Date: July, 12–15
Cost: CA$499 ($369) — for startups, CA$699 ($517) — for investors and others. Demo tables for startups and service providers available.

Why attend?

Startupfest is the largest startup event held in Canada. The event welcomes over 3,500 attendees: founders, innovators, entrepreneurs as well as investors and mentors. Last year, in addition to the main festival, 5 premium events for angel investors, accelerators, growth stage startups and tech experts featured tailored content with a narrow focus. Additionally, there was a startup pitch competition with a $200,000 prize.

  • Key Speakers/Participants: While this year’s agenda is still waiting to be disclosed, some of the speakers have already been announced. Among them are Harley Finkelstein, COO at Shopify, Marty Weiner, CTO at Reddit, Harper Reed, and Head of Commerce at Braintree.
    The conference has previously featured a great number of prominent speakers, including top managers and tech experts from Microsoft, Dropbox, Re/code, Indiegogo, Netflix, VentureBeat, as well as some of the world’s leading investors and venture capital companies.
  • More Info: Website / FB / Twitter

Europe

8. TNW Conference

Location: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Date: May 18–19
Cost: € 415 — € 515 ($438 — $544); Special offer for startups — €299 ($316).

Why attend?

A major global event, held by a leading international tech & business news resource, thenextweb.com, TNW Conference was named the Best European Business Conference last year. The event offers multiple opportunities for startups to participate. There will be an exhibition in five business verticals, VR/AR/AI, Cloud solutions, Fintech & eCommerce, Design and Content, as well as Connected Devices.

Last year, the startups attending TNW Conference received over €14 million in funding. Therefore, this is a great opportunity to pitch your idea to over 150 VC firms and investors whom are already confirmed to attend the conference this year including Techstars, Rainmaker Investments, Seedinvest, 500 Startups, and AngelList.

  • Key Speakers/Participants: The lineup for those who will be speaking at the 2017 conference has already been announced: Snapchat, ProductHunt, Wired, HubSpot, Etsy, Trello, Behance, GitHub, Niantic, Nike, and Airbnb are only some of the companies that will be represented at the event. The event will host over 15,000 entrepreneurs, developers, marketing managers, CEOs, founders and investors.
  • More Info: Website / FB / Twitter
  • Other locations/dates: New York, November 2017 (to be announced)

9. Pioneers Festival 2017

Location: Vienna, Austria
Date: June 1–2
Cost: €1,290 — €1,490 ($1,373 — $1,581). Free tickets for startups that raised < €3M are available.

Why attend?

Pioneers Festival is a two-day international event focused on innovations, real-life startup stories, industry insights, building business contacts and a tech expo. Conference attendees can use a Match & Meet tool that matches startups with potential investors that have relevant portfolios. They can arrange one-on-one meetings and discuss possible collaboration opportunities.

50 startups will be selected to pitch their products to global investors, executives and journalists during the two-day festival. 100 startups will be selected to exhibit at the festival for free.

  • Key Speakers/Participants: The event hosts over 2,500 attendees from 70+ countries. This year’s lineup of 120 international speakers includes some of the most influential leaders from such companies as Uber, VIV, Zendesk, Google, Airbnb, Techstars, Transferwise, and Qualcomm Ventures.
  • More Info: Website / FB / Twitter

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