I went to Europe’s coolest startup conference. It’s called European Pirate Summit and happens to be in Cologne, Germany

I just came back from Cologne, Germany where I spent two amazing days with Europe’s top Internet entrepreneurs and investors at European Pirate Summit, an invite-only startup conference like no other, held in Odonien, a unique artistic place on open air, held just opposite Germany’s biggest multi-store whorehouse.

With Piotr Biegun (left) and Uldis Leiters (middle), photo by Christoph Heinrich

These two days were exciting and inspiring. I listened to the crazy stories of people who “ate their teeth” on entrepreneurship, I met old friends and met new ones. I also went on stage to pitch an idea that seems more ridiculous than it really is.

Cool quotes
I noted down some of the coolest quotes from keynote speakers and panelists, so here they are, for future generations:

“Most successful Silicon Valley CEOs are hideous fucking psychopaths”
“Nice people tend not to create value.”
Milo Yiannopoulos on assholes

“Only if you make the same mistake twice, it’s a failure”
Lars Hinichs on the true meaning of failure

“Berlin has more angels than startups right now”
— also Lars, on the fact we need more post-seed money and fewer angels in Berlin and Europe in general

True meaning of being a pirate
EPS is doing great work in redefining the meaning of the word “pirate”. Sure pirates are known to rob ships and share movies illegally over the Internet, but they are also the bravest and craziest people on the planet, those who choose to explore the unknown and go to the places others are too scared of visiting.

Startup founders are the pirates of XXI century and I’m proud to be one of them!


Myself pitching Asshole List, photo by Jenny E. Jung, probably the craziest thing I’ve done in a while.

Startup Stay and White Rabbit Mansion
I would be an asshole myself if I haven’t mentioned this. We stayed in Cologne for 2 days (but 4 nights) at White Rabbit Mansion, a new co-working space for startups built by Dirk van Haag, one of the coolest pirates I’ve met so far. We’ve found out about the place thanks to Startup Stay (kudos to this fantastic project!). Dirk was an awesome host, enough to say we welcomed us with a fridge full of finest Colonge’s beer ­čÖé We also had some exciting chats about the future of democracy, the end of the world as we see it and why pirates should and will take over. Meeting people like him shows the big value of projects like Startup Stay, the CouchSurfing for startupers.

Summing up, 
just as I expected, European Startup Summit turned out to be the coolest startup event I attended this year. It’s like our #OpenReaktor but on the European scale. There is no doubt I’m coming back next year and I’ll be convincing fellow startup pirates to do the same.

To the organizers and all the attendees, here’s my huge ARRR!



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