The Top 8 Startup Events You Can’t Afford To Miss in 2024 Follow Jan 22, 2024 · 5 mins read
The Top 8 Startup Events You Can’t Afford To Miss in 2024
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If you’re part of the startup world, you know how invaluable conferences can be. They let you tap into new ideas, forge connections, and take the pulse of your industry.

That’s why every year, startups flock to these epicenters of knowledge sharing and networking. And 2024 promises to bring an impressive lineup of can’t-miss conferences.

Here are the top 8 events to have on your radar.

SXSW (March 8-16)

With its vibrant creative atmosphere and forward-thinking sessions, South by Southwest (SXSW) has secured its spot as a longtime startup favorite.

The 2024 edition in Austin spans tracks on everything from blockchain to space tech. It brings together over 28,000 attendees from across the global startup ecosystem.

SXSW lets you immerse yourself at the intersection of tech, film, music, and culture. Expect inspiration everywhere from main stage talks to casual collisions at sponsored happy hours.

If you’re an early-stage startup, the event offers a launchpad for exposure. And the conference consistently attracts tech titans and A-list investors on the hunt for the next big thing.

Collision (June 19-22)

Billed as “America’s fastest growing tech conference”, Collision keeps upping the ante each year.

In 2024, Collision heads to Nashville’s vibrant tech and music scene. The event expects over 40,000 attendees from across 125 countries.

True to its name, Collision creates that coveted mix of connections and ideas that spark innovation. It attracts global leaders across industries while keeping the focus squarely on startups.

Over 1,500 startups will showcase bleeding-edge tech innovations. Meanwhile, renowned speakers and A-list musical acts promise to inspire.

If you attend one startup conference in 2024, make it Collision. This high-energy event check all the boxes.

Web Summit (November 11-14)

With recent attendee numbers topping 70,000, Web Summit has entered the big leagues.

2024 will mark Web Summit’s eighth year in Lisbon. It has evolved into “the world’s premier startup and tech conference.”

But it retains its focus on early-stage startups. Half of the attendees represent startups and 70% of those startups are early-stage.

It brings together founders, investors, policymakers and startup accelerators. Meanwhile, exhibitors get prime opportunities to demo innovations.

If exposure is what you’re after, Web Summit brings unparalleled opportunity. It offers supreme networking, media attention, beta testers, hiring prospects and connections with key influencers.

TechCrunch Disrupt (September)

TechCrunch Disrupt captures the imagination of founders and investors worldwide.

Its 2024 edition (details TBA) promises to highlight bleeding-edge technologies and tomorrow’s industry giants.

This conference gives early-stage founders a platform to launch their ideas to the world. Past launches have included household names like Dropbox and Airbnb.

Meanwhile, the Startup Battlefield epitomizes high-stakes exposure. Applicants pitch to serial entrepreneurs and VC investors, competing to win the Disrupt Cup.

If you attend Disrupt, expect a raw, unfiltered glimpse of the future. Iconic speakers and intensive sessions make this event a startup essential.

Consumer Electronics Show (January 5-8)

The iconic Consumer Electronics Show (CES) offers a coveted stage for startups rolling out new hardware and consumer tech.

Nearly 200,000 attendees flock to Las Vegas each year for this visual feast of bleeding-edge innovation.

CES 2024 will feature juggernaut brands alongside scrappy young hardware startups. Attending means access to key media, manufacturers, investors and distribution channels.

This event lets startups put their latest wares into the hands of potential customers and partners. That kind of organic user feedback is priceless during product development.

For consumer hardware startups, CES 2024 promises invaluable exposure in front of industry influencers.

South Summit (October)

In seven short years, South Summit has become Europe’s largest startup & tech gathering.

The 2024 edition expects over 12,000 attendees flocking to Madrid.

This highly curated event focuses on Series A and B startups searching for that elusive product-market fit. It’s also a key destination for global investors scouting their next big investment.

Organizers vet each startup application and built the conference around high-potential companies. Needless to say, competition for the 600 final spots is fierce.

The event culminates in Startup Competition finals with a €100,000 cash prize. But the real value is three days of nonstop networking with qualified founders and investors.

Slush (November)

Braving below-freezing temps, over 25,000 tech lovers will flock to Helsinki in November 2024.

They’ll be attending Slush, a leading startup and tech event that brings together the world’s most promising startups.

Slush began as a grassroots student-organized event in 2008. Since then, it has blossomed into one of Europe’s premiere startup conferences.

The event has helped propel over 10 unicorn startups, including Uber and Canva. In 2022, investor attendance shattered records with nearly 3,000 VCs in attendance.

Slush offers startups a launchpad to debut new ideas and put their business to the test. Meanwhile, the legendary after-parties foster organic networking opportunities.

Tech Open Air (June)

Tech Open Air (TOA) stands out with its arts and culture spin on technology.

In 2024, TOA returns to Berlin promising “24 hours of inspiration” through ground-breaking ideas and provocative themes.

TOA’s progressive approach appeals to startups focused on social impact and sustainability.

The conference expects 8,000+ attendees across industries like climate tech, AI, blockchain, health and mobility. It brings together a conscious community of startup founders, investors and C-level executives.

Days filled with demonstrations, art installations and intimate campfire sessions facilitate organic networking. When night falls, music, DJs and celebrations tap into Berlin’s legendary culture scene.

The Takeaway

Attending the right conferences pays dividends for startups seeking exposure, user feedback, media attention and strategic connections.

It comes down to choosing events aligned with your startup’s offerings and target audience.

The eight conferences highlighted above promise to be 2024’s premier gathering spots for the startup community. Each one offers founders unparalleled opportunities to launch bold ideas, pitch investors and rub shoulders with influencers.

See you in Austin, Madrid, Las Vegas, Berlin, Helsinki, Nashville, Lisbon or Silicon Valley!

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