The PIRATE Summit Experience

PIRATE Summit is Europe’s largest invitation-/application-only conference for early-stage startups, investors and corporate executives. Our aim is to represent true grassroots entrepreneurship: authentic, crazy, and real. But what exactly is it, that makes PIRATE Summit so special?

Back to the roots

PIRATE Summit started in 2011 as a true grassroots entrepreneurship conference with the focus on connecting startup founders. It has grown significantly, as has the number of startup events. Thus, we decided this year to refocus PIRATE Summit. Essentially, we return back to its roots (read about all the changes).

If you are looking to connect and learn from likeminded founders or are looking for capital/early stage startups, then PIRATE Summit is for you.

1,000 handpicked participants from 60+ countries

For the 8th time in a row, PIRATE Summit gathers movers and shakers of the digital sector from all over the world in Cologne (Germany). Every single participant is carefully picked and selected to ensure a perfect crowd to create meaningful connections.

The Experience

Our house rules

Our motivation, which is consistent to the vision that shaped the very first PIRATE Summit in 2011, was and is to always organize conferences that we as founders would love to participate in ourselves. Therefore, we have established some house rules which are indispensable to us for a successful conference.

The unique location

PIRATE Summit is not a “normal” conference – it is an event you never experienced before. And to ensure the extraordinary, it takes place in one of Cologne’s most unique locations: Odonien – a scrapyard turned into an outdoor art gallery. It is the perfect PIRATE location and offers enough space for fire, fun, networking and robots.

Movers & Shakers Summit by Startup SAFARI – July 3rd

Are you currently helping a local startup ecosystem grow? Are you organizing startup events and growing a community? Then you should apply to participate in our Movers & Shakers Summit to benefit from meeting other key players representing startup ecosystems from around the world to learn and connect. Read all about it here.

The PIRATE Summit – Day 1 – Opening – July 3rd

At 6pm on July 3rd we’ll officially open PIRATE Summit 2018. And we are going to do so with a huge PIRATE BBQ, drinks and plenty of opportunities to connect with all participants on the first evening.

The PIRATE Summit – Day 2 

At PIRATE Summit it’s all about meaningful connections. Through various formats and activities we’ll ensure your personal networking experience. Connecting the most bright people of the startup ecosystem has always been our goal – this time with more networking, more 1on1 meetings, zero panels & very few keynotes, but dozens of campfires, clinics and masterclasses for all kind of relevant founder topics.

The legendary Burn – “Ceremony” – Day 2

After an extraordinary day full of inspiration, motivation, and networking, you’ll be part of an unforgettable moment: the wooden statue, based on an old Cologne Carnival tradition called “Nubbelverbrennung”, will be lit on fire on the first night right before the infamous party. Grab a bottle of rum and rethink your past experiences as entrepreneur while watching the statue burn.

The Topic Journeys – Day 3

The day will be kicked off with a nice hangover breakfast at Odonien. Afterwards we’ll take you to visit Cologne’s most successful startups in their own offices for a look behind the scenes. There will be different topic journeys – industry-, stage- and/or technology-specific. Pick your favorite journey and get to know the top-players & their stories (told by the founders) in the Cologne tech ecosystem.