Following the annual theme "What the World Needs Now," Burda's innovation conference is launching a new online format in February with prominent speakers.
From a small desert conference to Israel's biggest tech spectacle: Last week, for the eighth time, the DLD Tel Aviv Festival attracted over 17,000 participants from all over the world to the Israeli coastal city to discuss topics such as cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, robotics or entrepreneurship. Burda board members Martin Weiss and Stefan Winners as well as DLD founder Steffi Czerny also took the opportunity to travel to Tel Aviv for the conference.
From the desert to the coast
The connection to Israel of Hubert Burda Media, the organiser behind DLD, is not a young love, but a close relationship that has grown over many years. Publisher Hubert Burda has been committed to the German-Jewish relationship for decades within the framework of various initiatives and projects. Already in 1999 Hubert Burda founded the "Center for Innovative Communication" at the Ben Gurion University in Beer Sheva, which was to facilitate the European-Israeli exchange on new media and high-tech, DLD founder Steffi Czerny explained to the participants. But that was not all: Hubert Burda wanted to actively promote intercultural exchange and, in addition to Steffi Czerny, brought the Israeli investor Yossi Vardi (now DLD Chairman) to the side to bring the most exciting entrepreneurs and thought leaders from Germany and the USA to Israel for the desert conference "Cool People in the Hot Desert". Nobody would have thought that this small desert conference would one day become the international conference platform DLD and Israel's biggest tech spectacle, Czerny continued.
Important address book
In the meantime, DLD not only organizes conferences all over the world, but has also grown into an international network of the who-is-who of the internet economy. Board member Martin Weiss made it clear how important this network is directly for Burda. He has not yet experienced a DLD event that he has left without new contacts and a smile on his face.
"Quite a few of the international investments we have made at Burda in recent times have come about through contacts via the DLD network."
Martin Weiss, Burda Board Member
Bayreuth in Israel
This year, a team of students from the University of Bayreuth mingled with the 600 or so German participants in Tel Aviv. Dominik Protschky and Timo Rückel from the regional branch DLD Campus in Bayreuth had convinced with their app "Cobee", which is intended to encourage students to use ceramic cups instead of plastic cups. They were able to win the start-up pitch at the conference and were therefore able to travel to Tel Aviv with their entire team. At the meeting with Steffi Czerny on site there were only beaming faces. With this in mind: See you next year!