Brought to you by the Tomorrow Street Innovation Center, Arch Summit 2018 is the event connecting startups, investors and business executives from across the globe. Taking place on 3rd and 4th May at Luxexpo, over 5000 people are expected attend the first international tech summit in Luxembourg. Silicon met with Warrick Cramer, CEO of Tomorrow Street, to find out more.
(Featured Image: Warrick Cramer aims to help startups get the opportunity to meet face-to-face with C-level executives from big organizations, and vice versa / Image Credit © Olivier Minaire)
Why did Tomorrow Street decide to organize a tech summit?
We really want to show the world the philosophy behind Tomorrow Street and its ultimate mission: to bridge the gap between startups and corporates. We want to give startups a platform where they can directly connect with C-level executives. And vice versa. I’ve had a lot of C-level executives telling me: “Sometimes we just don’t get told what’s out there”. My immediate reaction? I’ll just bring them all to Luxembourg! And get the startups here too. Within Vodafone we have 16,000 suppliers, 58 partner markets, around 26 operating companies, and all of our enterprise customers. With big organizations including Huawei, Accenture, Ericsson, Kathrein and Amdocs on the guest list, it is a unique opportunity for startups to grow their business through networking and get in front of the right people. We’ve incorporated the annual Vodafone Supplier Awards into the Arch Summit so everyone will be there!
How do you think the summit will impact the local ecosystem?
It’s brilliant for Luxembourg as it will showcase how diverse we are in terms of our own ecosystem. Leveraging Vodafone’s global influence puts the ecosystem on the map and benefits everyone in the community. I hope this event will help all the other incubators in Luxembourg to expand their networks as well. Furthermore, many guests will be visiting Luxembourg for the very first time, so that’s great news for tourism and showing off the country as a whole. We’re also very excited to have the prime minister and deputy prime minister attending. Arch 2018 is a springboard for us to keep hosting these summits and collaborating with our partners around the world. We want it to be in everyone’s calendar each year.
“We want the summit to feel like a “destination.” To this end, we have asked our suppliers and vendors to make their stands as interactive as possible. It’s all about being hands-on.”
Who are the main speakers?
We have a very diverse line-up of speakers including Anton Kathrein (CEO of antenna manufacturer Kathrein), Gene Reznik (Senior Managing Director of Technology Ecosystem & Ventures at Accenture), Jonathan Nelson (from US startup incubator Hackers/Founders) and Georgia Paphiti (CFO of UBS). Sonia Hernandez, Director at Vodafone Procurement Company, as well as other Vodafone C-level executives will be taking the stage.
Tell us more about the two-day program as well as the competitions.
We want the summit to feel like a “destination.” To this end, we have asked our suppliers and vendors to make their stands as interactive as possible. It’s all about being hands-on. There will be a VIP area (sponsored by Veuve Clicquot), food trucks and even a band playing outside…a real festival feel. Three competitions with cash prizes (no strings attached) will take place over the course of the two days. The Disruptive Startup Challenge with the chance to win €150,000. What we are looking for is scalability because to be disruptive, you need to be scalable. We then have Women in Tech, this prize of €50,000 is not necessarily for women entrepreneurs; it’s any business that is trying to empower the lives of women and girls through technology. The third cash prize is another €50,000 around the theme of Human Impact. We want to see startups that are dedicated to finding ways to enrich people’s lives across the world.
“Startups rarely get the opportunity to meet face-to-face with C-level executives from big organizations. Just one conversation can be life-changing.”
What does the “arch” symbolize?
It’s all about bridging the gap. We’ve got two opposing worlds that speak two different languages and we need to bring these two worlds together. And what better place than Luxembourg with all its bridges!
What sets this summit apart from others?
This summit is about opportunity, interaction and personalized connection. Startups rarely get the opportunity to meet face-to-face with C-level executives from big organizations. Just one conversation can be life-changing. When you miss an opportunity, it can really extend that time to market for a business. And executives often don’t have the time or the bandwidth to talk to startups. At the event itself, we’re not putting startups on one side and corporates on the other; we’re blending everyone together to enable them to fully interact and engage. Our staff will be taking VIPs on “tours” around the summit, introducing them to all the startups. That doesn’t happen anywhere! It is a place where people can interact physically and not just digitally. We’re living in a society where everything’s digital and even though it makes our lives easier, you lose that ability to truly connect with people. This summit brings the human element back into the mix.