There remains competition for the pan-European conference location, and latterly Vienna has had a good crack at it last week. But Kiev is now making its play to be the place to bring Central Europe, Russian and Western players together with IDCEE. The advantage over Russia is obvious: no visa required.
Scheduled for the 25-26th of October 2011, the conference Investor Day CEE aims to bring central and eastern European entrepreneurs to the Ukrainian capital. Last year over a thousand participants arrived in Kiev mainly from the Russian-speaking region, hence both Russian and English are the official languages at the event.
Even if you have already heard Esther Dyson, Stefan Glaenzer and Alexander Galitsky speak at the Startup Week Vienna, do not miss a chance to listen to dozens of Russian and eastern European entrepreneurs and investors discussing the opportunities and challenges of the technology entrepreneurship in Russia and eastern Europe.
I am personally looking forward to meeting Vlad Voskresensky, the CEO of InvisibleCRM, Yegor Anchishkin, the co-founder of Viewdle, Steve Keil, an Australian entrepreneur from Bulgaria and a founder of Xentio, (stealth mode), Anatoly Gaverdovsky, the founder of yaM Labs, Elena Masolova, who is cloning Zynga with her new venture Pixonic, and Andrej Nabergoj, the founder of Outfit7, the maker of the Talking Tom amongst others.
Entrepreneurs can still apply to the startup competition. The winner will get a chance to pitch at one of the Seedcamp events. Last year the winner was Zingaya, the click-to-call technology startup from Russia. Zingaya then proceeded to present at TechCrunch Disrupt.
Another finalist from Ukraine called ThickButtons developed a tool to facilitate data entry on mobile phones and tablets. During the typing process the tool offers most likely letters to press. It has been localised for 26 languages including Korean. The company has already secured a licensing deal with a tablet manufacturer Fly.
The deadline to apply for the competition is the 18th of October. We hope to be able to cover the winner of the startup competition.