Follow-up: TechFest Bucharest 2018 (2018.09.20-24, Bucharest)

TechFest Bucharest 2018 took place between 20-24th September 2018 in Bucharest. There were 3 days of conferences, on 20-21st September and 24th September 2018, which took place at Palatul Universul. On 22-23rd September there was a technology exposition (XPO Tech), a hackathon (MegaHack), a gaming day, a junior coding club. A Science Club took place at the National Theatre Bucharest on 24th September.

Below, photos from the event, and my notes. Photos are from the first two days of the event and the hackathon / technology exposition.

See Google Photos album »

See Facebook album »

DAY 1

Sorin Zaicovici, Vice-President GreenTech Capital Advisors – Financing Innovation

What is the problem you try to solve?
– Is it urgent?
– Is it important?
– Is it nice-to-have?

You need to know the market well.

Scalability – you need to grow your customers at a rate about 10% per week. You also need to be vertically integrated.

You need to have a great team.

Tips:
1. You need to be honest. Don’t be aggressive/arrogant.
2. You need to grow your network.
3. Be authentic. You need to be able to tell a good story.
4. You should be able to receive a no.
5. Don’t hold back into your product launch.
6. Be a lean growth business.
7. Solve a real problem. You need to understand your user base very well.
8. Have a mentor.
9. Have a plan B.
10. You need to be greedy.

Enjoy the ride!

Irina Scarlat, Country Manager, Romania at Revolut – Disrupting Banking

There are high fees for payments outside the country. With Revolut, you can transfer money without fees anywhere in the world.

They have 500 employees.

Revolut is a Unicorn business.

They are present only in Europe, currently.

They’ve reached 2.5+ M users, with zero paid marketing.

Actual users – daily: 350.000, monthly: 1.8 M.

They are a challenger bank.

It takes 60 seconds to create an account. 24 currencies. Their card is multi-currency.

Gen Ashley, Director, Women Who Code – Women in the tech space

Most people in tech are men, not women. It’s ostly a sea of men.

There is a lot of work to be done concerning the proportion of women in tech.

Radu Tudorache, Chief Digital Officer, Vodafone Romania – Humans in the Digital Age. The Time of Opportunity

AlphaZero beat Stockfish 16-0.

At Vodafone:
– Paperless office.
– Seat mobility.
– All mobile work – offices are mobile.
– Agile project management.

Marius Coman, IoT Country Sales Manager, Vodafone Romania – Narrowband-IoT (NB-IoT) connects the dots

Internet of Things (IoT) is about:
– Connecting multiple devices.
– Giving a wider coverage in zones in which access to the Internet would be typically impossible.

On 19th of September, it was launched IoT on a national level – it covers the whole of Romania.

Ralph Simon, Chief Executive & Founder, Mobilium – What’s coming next?

eQuoo is a one-of-a-kind emotional fitness game. Playing the game will have you taking away life hacks that will make you a master of relationships.

There is a game to improve emotional intelligence.

Brien Nicolas, Executive Director, France Digitale – The state of the European AI ecosystem

Venture Capital companies invest more in the US / Asia than Europe.

European companies receive far less later stage funding than USA / Asia.

More data = better algorithms.

We need to speak more about augmented intelligence, rather than artificial intelligence.

If we train our people, automation is able to keep the jobs.

It took 3 centuries between the invention of the printing press and mandatory schooling.

GDPR – there are 30 regulations added.

You will be good at IF if you access to an ocean of data.

Freya Oehle, CEO & Founder, spottster – Stupidity & Innovation – The limits of renewing existing markets

You can scan a product and find cheaper products in other stores.

They have reached “Top 5 apps” in both the AppStore and Play Store.

It only took them 2.5 years for break even.

DAY 2

Stephanie Locke, Principal Consultant, Locke Data – Ethical Data Science: Tools and Practice

See the presentation online »

Based on human subjects research – ethics might be related to:
– You need to have respect for persons.
– Beneficence – do no harm / maximize benefits and minimize possible harms;
– Justice – risks and benefits of research should be distributed equally.

Mathew Wilson, CEO, Centrys – The current and future potential of Blockchain

There is a perfect match between GDPR and blockchain.

Interoperability is the biggest current issue with blockchain.

You shouldn’t analyze blockchain in today’s economy. Instead, think for future technology.

Hackathon:

Event description:

After two days of talks and presentations of digital trends between September 20th and 21st, TechFest connected by Vodafone, the most complex technology festival, awaits participants at XPO Tech, Gaming, the satellite event Science Summit, plus at a new series of discussions for IT and digital marketing specialists. These are complemented by Mega Hack, Junior Coding Club and special concerts.

The first 3 days are dedicated to business communities interested in the latest technology and digitization solutions, IT developers communities and entrepreneurs or start-ups ecosystems. Several types of events are organized for this specific audience:  the Digital Transformers conference, the Innovation Camp, Digital Venture LAB with Vodafone Romania – BCR – Innoenergy, but also Tech JAM sessions on verticals such as Blockchain, AI / Data, respectively Java / JavaScript and a Google Digital Workshop.

MegaHack consists of a 24-hour programming marathon in which participants will test their skills to solve business challenges by developing tech solutions for companies.

Promenada Mall will host XPO Tech, an experimental area for hardware or software technology innovations, smart home and IoT solutions, urban eco-mobility, as well as gadgets. There will also be special interactions which mix technology with body movements, digital interactions as well as virtual reality.

XPO Tech will also host a mini-museum with over 30 systems and components for locally produced computers such as DAF, CIP, TIMs, PRAE, HC, Junior, as well as computers from international companies that have changed the history of computers such as Apple Macintosh 128, Osbourne 1, Kaypro etc. The oldest piece was produced almost 30 years ago.

The most complex technology festival in Romania, developed in collaboration with the IT community, becomes, for 5 consecutive days, the meeting place of programming experts from the most innovative IT companies and start-ups, in an informal atmosphere, generating an unique experience to which is added a special infotainment component for the mass public. TechFest connected by Vodafone is also an open invitation to any technology enthusiast, whether are games, gadgets, or innovative tech solutions.

Thursday:
Transformers Stage

10.00 – 10.20 – Sorin Zaicovici – Financing Innovation

10.20 – 10.40 – Irina Scarlat – Disrupting Banking

10.40 – 11.00 – Gen Ashley – Women in the tech space

10.40 – 11.00 – Mihai Dragan – CEO & Founder @ OVE.it

11.00 – 11.20 – Radu Tudorache – Humans in the Digital Age. The Time of Opportunity

11.00 – 11.20 – Ralph Simon – What’s coming next?

12.00 – 12.20 – Marius Coman – Narrowband-IoT (NB-IoT) connects the dots

12:40 – 13.00 – Cosmin Ochisor – What Makes a good start-up?

13:00 – 13:55 – LUNCH BREAK

13:55 – 14:15 – Brien Nicolas – The state of the European AI ecosystem

14:15 – 14:35 – Freya Oehle – Stupidity & Innovation – The limits of renewing existing markets

14:35 – 14:55 – Johanna Green – Crash course in Exponential Technologies – Opportunities and Risks

14:55 – 15:15 – Zaedo Musa – Digitalisation of restaurant booking industry

15:15 – 15:35 – Radu Ionicioiu – The Future is Quantum

15:35 – 15:55 – Stiven Kerestegian – Building the LEGO Open Innovation Capability

15:55 – 16:15 – Break

16:15 – 16:35 – Nansi Lungu – Transformari Digitale si Transformari Cognitive

16:35 – 16:55 – Matei Nedef – Start-ups and entrepreneurship in Romania

16:55 – 17:15 – Aghahuseyn Ahmadov – How to impact a billion lives with technology, entrepreneurship and education!

17:15 – Oana Maria Pop – Ecosystem thinking

16:00 – 18.00 – Digital VENTURE LAB with Vodafone – Innoenergy – BCR

18:00 – 20:00 – Investors Meet-up by Techcelerator

FRIDAY:
BLOCKCHAIN

9.30 – 10.00 – ARRIVAL AND REGISTRATION

10.00 – 11.00 – Dinis Guarda – How Business & Governments can prosper with Blockchain, Fintech & AI

11.00 – 12.00 – Andrei Nagy

12.00 – 13.00 – Andrei Mihai Costescu – What’s next?

13.00 – 14.00 – LUNCH

14.00 – 15.00 – Alexandra Frincu

15.00 – 16.00 – Matthew Wilson – The current and future potential of Blockchain

16.00 – 16.30 – COFFEE BREAK

16.30 – 17.30 – Vlad Suteu – “Building communities in the crypto world”

17.30 – 18.30 – Luc Desroisers – DLT and Digital identities… a match made in heaven?

18.30 – 22.00 – TECHFEST GARDEN PARTY @ Promenada
DEEPDATA

9.30 – 10.00 – ARRIVAL AND REGISTRATION

10.00 – 11.00 – Alexandra Petruș

11.00 – 12.00 – Valérie Touraine

12.00 – 13.00 – Stephanie Locke – Ethical Data Science: Tools and Practice

13.00 – 14.00 – LUNCH

14.00 – 15.00 – Tereza Iofciu – Deploying ML solutions in production

15.00 – 16.00 – Raul Popa – From Research to Start-Up

16.00 – 16.30 – COFFEE BREAK

16.30 – 17.30 – Gabriel Puiu – Data Security

18.30 – 22.00 – TECHFEST GARDEN PARTY @ Promenada
JAVA

9.30 – 10.00 – ARRIVAL AND REGISTRATION

10.00 – 11.00 – Steve Poole – All Change how the economics of Cloud will make you think differently about Java

11.00 -12.00 – Jamie Coleman – The new Java Developer’s kit

12.00 – 13.00 – Steve Poole & Jamie Coleman – Are you ready for Cloud native Java?

13.00 – 14.00 – LUNCH

14.00 – 15.00 – Diana Gergeanu – DOs and DON’Ts with Microservices

15.00 – 16.00 – Victor Rentea – Functional Programming Patterns with Java8

16.00 – 16.30 – COFFEE BREAK

16.30 – 17.30 – Silviu Matei – ‘Building conversational agents for industry problems’

17.30 – 18.30 – Harald Wendel – Transaction Cascades

18.30 – 22.00 – TECHFEST GARDEN PARTY @ Promenada

MONDAY
JAVASCRIPT

9.30 – 10.00 – ARRIVAL AND REGISTRATION

10.00 – 11.00 – Mike Rynart – Progressive Web Apps and the future of Mobile Web development

11.00 – 12.00 – Christian Grail – “Live Coding: Augmented Reality Game with WebXR”

12.00 – 13.00 – Max Gallo – You don’t know MobX State Tree

13.00 – 14.00 – LUNCH

14.00 – 15.00 – Paul Brie – Think-to-code & design-to-code

15.00 – 16.00 – Adrian Oprea – Stop Learning useless thing

16.00 – 16.20 – COFFEE BREAK

.NET

9.30 – 10.00 – ARRIVAL AND REGISTRATION

10.00 – 11.00 – Dennis van der Steelt – NED Autonomous microservices don’t share data. Period.

11.00 – 12.00 – Raffaele Rialdi – Writing IoT applications with NetCore 2.1 on the Raspberry PI

12.00 – 13.00 – Andrea Saltarello – Upgrading to ASP .NET Core: this session would be targeted at ASP .NET

13.00 – 14.00 – LUNCH

14.00 – 15.00 – Irina Scurtu – Communication in a microservice architecture

15.00 – 16.00 – Daniel Costea – ASP.NET Core takes over the IoT

16.00 – 16.20 – COFFEE BREAK
MOBILE

9.30 – 10.00 – ARRIVAL AND REGISTRATION

10.00 – 10.50 – Aygul Zagidulina – Zero to App: Introduction to Building Apps for the Google Assistant

10.50 – 11.40 – Kaan Mamikoglu – Improve the Experience, Instantl

11.40 – 12.30 – Paul Hudson – Building a server-side Swift app

12.30 – 13.00 – Ostap Andrusiv – You’ve Built your app. Now what?

13.00 – 14.00 – LUNCH

14.00 – 15.00 – Diego Gonzalez – Effective Mobile VR

15.00 – 16.00 – Esteban Torres – “Pedal to the Metal”

16.00 – 16.20 – COFFEE BREAK

16.20 – 17.00 – Maria Magdalena Miu – Roweb Development Room: An SQLite Object Mapping Library

17.00 – 17.40 – Bartosz Kraszewski – Your phone is learning

17.40 – 18.20 – Stephanie Walter – Secret Super powers of Mobile Browsers

18.20 – 19.00 – Paul Ardeleanu – Test Driven Development

hackathon:

POWERED BY VODAFONE

1. Pe baza unei liste a stocurilor de telefoane din managazinele Vodafone si coordonatelor Vodafone din Bucuresti, sa se dezvolte o functionalitate peste shoping cart-ul website-ului Vodafone care sa permita identificarea celui mai apropiat magazin care are in stoc telefonul respectiv, precum si o functionalitate care sa ofere indicatii de orientare pentru a ajunge la magazinul respectiv.

2. Creați o aplicatie care să permita la semnarea la distanță a contractelor cu certificarea identității clientului. Functionalitatile trebuie sa includa identificarea facial, scanarea ocr a buletinului si, pe baza acestora, certificarea identitatii.

3. Construiți o aplicație de augmented reality prin care clientul să-și poată compara (virtual) telefonul propriu cu orice alt telefon disponibil pe piata (functionalitatea trebuie demonstrate prin compararea cu minim 5 telefoane). Comparatia trebuie sa permita vizualizarea dimensiunilor 360º, a marimii ecranului si a pozitionarii butoanelor / camerei. Culorile si materialul trebuie reprezentate realist.

4. Sa se construiasca o aplicatie care sa permita unei persoane aflate in orice punct de vanzare retail sa identifice un produs (telefon mobil) aflat pe raft si sa returneze pagina din magazinul Vodafane care contine respectivul produs. Identificarea trebuie sa fie posibila atat prin intermediul procesarii imaginii respectivului telefon cat si prin procesarea codului de bare.

POWERED BY INNOENERGY

1. How to tackle smog in the cities with new technologies.

2. How to empower Public Authorities to support innovation ecosystem in order to promote entrepreneurship.

TechFest vision is to create a global marketplace for companies, innovative start-ups and technology fans. The technology festival aims to bring together the needs of the business community and the energy and start-ups’ energy and capability to generate innovation, providing access to the common vision of professionals and educating the general public on technology.

I am a Digital Marketing freelancer. My expertise is in SEO (Search Engine Optimization) / UX (user experience) / WordPress. Co-founder of lumeaseoppc.ro (series of events on SEO & PPC) and cetd.ro (Book on branding for MDs). On a personal level, I like self-development - events, sports, healthy living, volunteering, reading, watching movies, listening to music.

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