BEHIND STARTUP SAFARI
Our story begins in 2011 in Germany when we started a startup-conference called PIRATE Summit that brings together selected startup founders from the European startup ecosystem to Cologne to celebrate entrepreneurship with us and just have a good time. Essentially — as we didn’t like the tech conferences at the time — we created an event we’d love to attend ourselves.
Over the years it has always been the idea to bring the PIRATE spirit to local startup ecosystems. It started with a road trip to six countries in Eastern Europe back in 2012, called PIRATES on Shore and later PIRATE Summit Global.
We did PIRATE Summit Global because we have always been fascinated by local startup ecosystems beyond the normal hotspots. That’s why we organized events in cities like Baku, Minsk, Poznan, Tehran and many others. What we experienced blew our minds. Not only did we meet great people there. We also found that there are lot of hungry entrepreneurs, tech talent and promising startups. However, the ecosystems are — at least from the outside — hard to access and didn’t have the exposure and recognition they deserved.
Throughout our travels our passion for local startup ecosystems grew even stronger. And the potential and need was clear. We knew that we were working on the right topic. However, the amount of work we put in these events was crazy.
We had to ask ourselves: Is this worth it? Over the course of five years we made so many meaningful connections around the globe it sure was valuable to us. However, was it valuable to the local startup ecosystem? We knew we could do better. Also, the model we used to organize these events was neither scalable nor efficient. We had to reimagine it.
At some point we decided to add Startup SAFARI to the PIRATE family. We evaluated whether it could help us scale our vision of a decentralized global network of startup ecosystems. And we found that Startup SAFARI has the potential to be just that
Startup SAFARI is focused on local but is at the same time a powerful global network. There are many more startups than just those in the hotspots like Silicon Valley, Tel Aviv or Berlin. Also, there are plenty of ambitions worth pursuing other than becoming the next unicorn. Or in general terms, whereas the Fortune 500 might be sexy and talked about in the media, the Fortune 5 million are the ones that fascinate us.
We want to celebrate the smaller startups. The bootstrapped entrepreneurs. Those that built profitable companies from scratch. And we don’t care whether you are making 50 million or 1 million in revenue. Are you building something valuable? Are you creating jobs? Are you changing the world for the better (at least a little bit)? Whether big or small, all entrepreneurs are going through an entrepreneurial rollercoaster.
Till and Maciek with the signed acquisition agreement in Berlin, June 2017
Entrepreneurs are our heroes. They deserve recognition. Especially the local ones. By building a global community of local ecosystem builders we want to give innovative ideas, creative entrepreneurs and startup ecosystems a stage.
Right now we are organizing plenty of Startup SAFARI Events in cooperation with our chapter leads around the world and we introduce the decision makers of the companies to the Startup Ecosystems with our Guided SAFARIs