Voogle Conference 2016
By: Andrijana Jarnjak
Last week we were co-organizers of the 2016 Voogle conference. The conference consisted of great talks, startup battle, a fantastic after party and amazing people. So what’s the Voogle conference? It’s an initiative started 2 years ago, when first conference was held, by few enthusiasts from Tech park Varaždin, Croatia. It’s an event committed to the IT industry, in areas such as: back-end, front-end, design, IOT, startups, etc. Where does the „Voogle“ name comes from? Long story short…. One of the initiators went to work one morning and passed by small caffe bar called „Vogel“, which means corner in Croatian slang. So he thought well, we could name the conference like that – a corner where people meet to share their ideas and experiences.
This year’s conference was amazing. We had guests from Chicago, Devz meetup as part of the conference, startup battle, blind dates/business meetings and a great after party! So let’s start from the beginning and tell you all about it. The conference was held in two tracks; one for business and one for developers with joined intro presentations.
Panel discussion Voogle Conference 2016
At the beginning we had the opportunity to hangout with great speakers: Peggy Parfenoff (USA), Keith Bradley (USA) and Kristina Detelj (Croatia). It was a 40 minute panel discussion moderated by Peter Hopwood (UK). It was an interesting panel about business practices in other countries, envolving students in business companies in earliest phases of their education, startup culture and many other interesting subjects. After a general introduction we dove into two interesting topics about startups.
Pal Rikter structured approach to startups
The first speaker, Pal Rikter (Denmark), talked about a structured approach to startups – from initial idea to a successful startup. It was a very inspiring and interesting talk.
Terra Winston (USA) – differences and similarities of startups and corporations
The second speaker, Terra Winston (USA), introduced differences and similarities of startups and corporations. Terra is a leadership consultant and executive coach in inTerract Consulting with over 13 years of internal and external business consulting experience. This was also a great and inspiring talk!
DEVZ Stage – Voogle Conference 2016
After that we divided into two stages – business and Devz. As we were co-organizers of Devz stage, we’ll cover what was happening on Devz stage in this article.
On the Devz stage we had three great speakers. The first speaker, Josip Bišćan (Croatia), spoke about Hybrid apps, both on the tech side and business side. Josip works in Croatian company called Infinum and he talked about hybrid applications – how the applications are being developed in his company and what are some good and bad sides of hybrid apps in opposite to native applications. What we learned is that hybrid apps are much simpler to develop, but also doesn’t feel like a native app. The approach you choose – hybrid or native- should depend on what your target audience is and what the app should do, or better termed as what is the functionality this app has.
The second speaker was Goran Hacek from Rimac automobili Croatia. You probably heard of Concept One, the fastest electric car in the world. Goran talked about Internet of Things in companies sports car, how the electric car works and how they got to where they are now. This was really an inspiring and intriguing speech.
The third speaker, Berislav Skupnjak from Mobilisis, talked about Internet of things – Smart city. He talked about how his company uses sensors for wide areas of applications, like smart parking lots. It was very interesting to see all kinds of IOT in real life. Yet another great speech to listen to!
Startup Battle Voogle Conference 2016
After the talks and breaks we had a startup-battle. One of the most interesting parts of the conference. There was 9 startups presenting their ideas as an 3 minute pitch. There were some really creative ideas. All startups were rated by the jury and, at the end of the conference, they picked the winner.
The Varaždin based team, Mybeeline, took the third place with their creative idea for managing a bee business. You can find more information about them here – http://www.mybeeline.co/. Second place was given to MakeApp mobile app, where users can get automated suggestions on makeup for their face according to skin type, color, occasion etc. First place and the title of the Voogle Startup of 2016 went to „Nanodiy“ for creating color for personalized print on any fabric. They are currently developing special color for printing on dark fabrics. The most interesting thing about their idea is that you can print high quality designs on any fabric using regular office printer. What a great idea!
After the startup battle we had blind business meetings. Everyone of us was appointed to three meetings by random choice. It was great way to meet new people and share experiences with them. Every meeting lasted for 8 minutes so you had to share your business and company info with the person you met in 8 minutes, as well as having the opportunity to hear about their business. These blind business meetings sometime even end up in you find a business partner.
At the end of course there was an after-party in a caffe bar called „Rogoz“, which is placed in the basement of National theater Varaždin. And as to be expected it was great, as every after party is, right? So, sum it up, the conference was great. A lot of interesting people, presentations, speakers and great opportunities to meet new people, business partners and of course have fun! We can’t wait for the next one!
Want to see what a great time we had? Check the gallery!
Image credits: Voogle2016 VA::TechPark Varaždin