Author: Svetlana Stotskaya
Image credit: Wolves Summit
Wolves Summit 2023 was a three-day festival that brought together venture, talent and innovation in the heart of Central and Eastern Europe. The event, which took place in Wrocław, Poland from May 23rd to 25th, attracted over 2200 attendees from 80 countries, including more than 1000 startups, 270 investors and executives.
Wolves Summit 2023 offered a variety of opportunities for networking, learning and collaboration among the tech community.
One of the highlights of the event was The Great Pitch Contest, where 56 selected startups pitched their projects live on the Main Stage in front of a international audience and a specialized jury of VCs and business leaders. The winner of the contest was Circuit Mess, a startup that work on software and hardware development and manufacture educational and fun electronic devices. The second place got Superface.ai with it core product offering as unified SDK and infrastructure for autonomous self-integrating applications, while the bronze award went to OroraTech, a spacetech startup. Kadar, a startup for talent development, received an audience award.
Image credit: Wolves Summit
Another highlight was the Partners Expo and Startup Avenue, where hundreds of startups and
partners showcased their products and services in branded booths. The expo was a great way to increase visibility and find potential clients and partners.
Wolves Summit 2023 also featured a series of side events that focused on building a resilient and inclusive tech ecosystem in CEE. These included selection days for deeptech startups, support for Ukrainian startups to scale overseas, and workshops on topics such as fundraising, product management, term sheets and hiring best practices. Some of the partners that participated in the Summit were Antler, Microsoft, and IPCom.
The event also offered a rich agenda of panel discussions, keynote speeches and interactive
workshops on various themes related to the future of work and innovation.
Here are a few takeaways from keynote sessions and panel discussions.
During “More than just ChatGPT - what's the future of AI?” four experts from different fields of AI research and development shared their insights and perspectives on the current state and future directions of artificial intelligence. Dan Andoni from selftalk.space, Stanisław Rogoziński from Satus Starter VC, Nimrod Ludescher from BDN Automotive, Kseniya Shurak from Digimans.ai talked about the challenges and opportunities of creating natural and engaging dialogues with machines, and how ChatGPT can be applied to various domains and scenarios.
Five participants of “Building ecosystem and the importance of a community to accelerate
innovation” explored how startups, investors, corporates and tech talent can collaborate to create a more resilient and inclusive tech ecosystem in Central and Eastern Europe. Alena Hloba from Wolves Summit, Monika Dawidowicz from DAC.digital, Paweł Zajączkowski from InQUBE, Paulina Muszyńska from ARAW, Domas (Dom) Urniezius from GrowTech covered topics such as fostering innovation and entrepreneurship, attracting and retaining talent and customers across borders, leveraging the post- pandemic world, accessing funding and partnerships from global players, and scaling up and competing internationally.
A panel about early-stage investment featured some of the most prominent investors and founders from the CEE region and beyond, who shared their insights and experiences on how to raise capital, evaluate startups, and build successful partnerships in the tech ecosystem.
Considering the current state of economy, discussions about financing captivated the audience's attention. Moderated by Alena Hloba, Wolves Summit, the panelists－Sergey Fedyushchenko from NVO Capital Michał Żółtowski from IGASI, Balázs Slezák from Wozify, Christoph Klink from Anlter－shared advice and tips for founders. For example, Christoph Klink said that startups should evaluate which investors can offer more value and support to their portfolio companies. Sometimes, boutique funds can be more helpful than larger ones. For investors, Christoph said, it’s also important to find synergies between the team and the startup.
In conclusion, Wolves Summit 2023 was a successful edition that demonstrated the potential of CEE as a technology hub. The event received positive feedback from attendees who appreciated its content and inspiring atmosphere.
About the Author
Svetlana Stotskaya is a consultant passionate about technology innovation.