About one year after the installment of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Burda's DLD innovation conference in Brussels staged by DLD founder Steffi Czerny started with a wake-up call.
“Welcome to our sixth DLD conference of the year!” Last week, DLD founder Steffi Czerny welcomed around 700 participants and 60 speakers to the first DLD Berlin event in the Bolle-Festsäle venue in Berlin’s Moabit district. The first day of the conference focused on topics such as the future of work, digital cars, artificial intelligence, fashion and recruiting Generation Y. “Don’t stick your head in the sand in the hope that the dramatic change driven by new technologies will pass you by”, said Czerny in her opening speech. “Leave your comfort zone, be curious and don’t forget your sense of humour! And I invite you to start now, at DLD Berlin!”
“I love Berlin, but the city still has a long way to go compared with its international counterparts when it comes to multi-million dollar start-up exits”, said Burda Board Member Stefan Winners in conversation with Huff Post publisher Cherno Jobatey at the start of the event.
“If I could give start-ups one tip, it would be to constantly ask yourselves whether you really have the best team on board to make the company a success. It’s not just about the product or the technology, but about the right people with the right vision and attitude!”
Stefan Winners, Burda Board Member
The office messenger is here!
Stewart Butterfield, founder of the start-up Slack, has taken the long journey from Silicon Valley to Berlin to raise awareness of his office messenger tool in Germany, Slack’s second most important European market. Stefan Winners, who interviewed Butterfield on the DLD stage, wanted to know one thing in particular: Is Butterfield planning to sell the company in the near future? “I am a passionate software developer and money isn’t my only focus, so selling isn’t on the cards right now”, said Butterfield. “We are working very hard to drive our product forward, and we are only just beginning.” Laughing, he pointed out that if he sold the company, he wouldn’t know what to do for the next 25 years.
Conveying emotions online
Berlin is known for its Fashion Week, young designers and trends, so DLD Berlin wouldn’t have been the same without a panel on design and changing customer needs in the e-commerce age. Participants included designer Marina Hoermanseder, Westwing founder Delia Fischer and Ben Fischman from M.Gemi, a direct-to-consumer platform for luxury shoes. “The luxury market needs direct contact with customers too”, said Fischman of the M.Gemi concept. “It’s no longer about dictating what customers have to wear, but about understanding what customers want to wear and designing products to meet these needs.” Delia Fischer added: “Emotions can be conveyed online too. Our new pop-up store in Munich is more of a marketing tool than anything else; we continue to sell online.”
Rise Brewing, colibri cosmetics, Hafervoll and Glov – the four start-ups to make it to the semi-final of the SevenVentures Pitch Day – fought it out for a ProSiebenSat1 advertising deal worth millions of euros. Moderated by Steven Gätjen and fitness blogger Sophia Thiel, the competition saw the start-ups vie for the affections of the audience and jury members Joko Winterscheidt and Florian Pauthner (SevenVentures). In the end, German start-up Hafervoll – whose healthy muesli bars are already sold in many drugstores and supermarkets – was named the winner, and can look forward to a media budget of 3 million euros.
See you in January!
Drones, a bar made from gingerbread and ordering drinks via biometric facial recognition: With so much to explore in the breaks between panels, it was almost hard to find time for networking. If need be, these discussions can simply be continued from January 20th to 22nd when Munich hosts its 14th DLD event!