Progressive, dynamic and versatile: At the DLD conference on October 22nd, the city also paid tribute to its reputation as capital with its own rainforest.
Tel Aviv is a phenomenon: surrounded by political hot spots, the city is loud and chaotic while offering a relaxed beach culture, unique openness and an incomparable hunger for innovation. It’s this magical mixture that attracts tourists, but also founders and start-ups finding a perfect environment to transform their ideas into a successful business. The day after the historic elections in Israel, the DLD Tel Aviv Conference (18.-19.9.) was staged for the ninth time as part of the DLD Tel Aviv Innovation Festival.
The international tech elite - most of them arriving on e-scooters - gathered at the old train station Hatachana in Tel Aviv-Jaffa near the Mediterranean Sea. The heat could not stop the approximately 20,000 festival participants from testing the latest innovations, listening to panels on stage and networking extensively. Amongst the speakers were the German CEOs Michael Diederich (Unicredit Bank), Max Conze (ProSiebenSat.1), Philipp von Hagen (Porsche) and Alexander Gerfer (Würth) tackling topics such as the future of mobility, digital transformation and cybersecurity.
The place to be
As in previous years, the conference opened with a spectacular drum solo by the 13-year-old "Little Drummer". The traditional opening by DLD Chairman Yossi Vardi and DLD founder Steffi Czerny set the mood for the next two conference days.
"The idea of setting up a conference like DLD was born here in Israel. If you want to understand how digitalization is changing our world you must study the start-up scene in Israel. That's why I'm so happy to be here in Tel Aviv for the ninth time."
Steffi Czerny, DLD founder
Tel Aviv's mayor Ron Huldai emphasized how Tel Aviv stands out compared to other cities: "It is our citizens with their unique spirit that make Tel Aviv so very special. We welcome all minorities," he said proudly.
Innovation hub Israel
Many of the most important digital innovations originated at universities and start-ups in Israel. After Silicon Valley, the Tel Aviv metropolitan area is considered the most start-up-friendly region in the world. This special set-up was present throughout the two-day DLD conference: The latest tech innovations were presented to participants at various booths, young founders could prove themselves during start-up pitches and global companies such as Amazon and Google provided hands-on insights.