Introducing The Connected Conference – Europe’s response to CES

Feb 20, 2014
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The Connected Conference

It’s an exciting week here at Rude Baguette, as we’ve formally kicked off the Connected Conference, Europe’s first conference exploring the future of the Connected Hardware, the Internet of Things, and 3D Printing. The conference will take place at La Halle Freyssinet in the heart of Paris, and we’re excited to announce our first speakers, including Archos CEO Loic Poirier, Apple’s VP EMEIA (2000-2012) Pascal Cagni, Qualcomm Europe’s Senior Director of Business Development Laurent Fournier & Evernote’s VP of Augmented Intelligence Zeesha Currimbhoy – more speakers available on our official site.

Why “Connected”?

Before I encourage you to buy tickets today (and save 200€), I want to tell you why we chose to organize this conference – the theme, the timing, and the location:

The theme – “Connected” – was simple. Since 2010 I’ve been sporadically asking people what technology will arrive to make the Internet look like the telegraph – Oliver Samwer told me “I don’t care, I just want to own the Internet while it’s on the rise,” but my favorite answer came from a good friend of mine, who told me that all technological advancements – the wheel, the locomotive, the plane, the car, the radio & the Internet – have been about getting something/someone from point A to point B more quickly. In short, “Connecting.” The inevitable future is teleportation – getting us from point A to point B more quickly – telepathy, communicating between two people without having to use eyes or hands – and space travel – traversing extraordinary distances in relatively miniscule amounts of time. I wanted a conference that would be relevant in 50 years, and I knew that the past, the present, and the future are “Connectivity,” so we decided to create the Connected Confrence.

In 2014, there are three big topics that I think sum up the conference. Connected Hardware is not just about your home and your car, it’s a term that gave new meaning to ‘quantified self’ with the rise of wearable tech and apparel tech. We can’t explore connected hardware without exploring the mediums which have made the hardware revolution possible – Crowdfunding & Open-Source Hardware – so we will be talking about how hardware companies will become as easy to build as software companies in the next 10 years.

We’ll also be exploring 3D Imaging/Printing – the connection between the digital and physical world – looking at how it will go from being a trend for makers to being a disrupter in the manufacturing & distribution industry. In essence, any technology that has both Amazon and Walmart worried about the defensibility of their business is worth exploring.

Lastly, we’ll be exploring the Internet of Things. Technologies & companies – hardware & software alike – that are enabling your car to talk to your phone and your house to know what you want. There are many players vying for the right to be the platform on which the Internet of Things sits – one of the leaders is our Official Sponsor, Sigfox, who is enabling objects around the world to communicate the simplest of messages in order to connect parking lots, cities, cars, farms & more. Sigfox recently launched in Spain, and has been growing as an IoT Telecommunications company for the past few years, though they certainly aren’t the only one.

Not just Announcements

We teamed up with Sigfox to put on this conference because we agreed on two things. First, that France was the right place to do a hardware conference, and that June was the right time, given that it’s 6 months after CES. And second, we agreed that there are no conferences where connected hardware & Internet of Things companies can make huge announcements today. You’ll see some happening at Mobile World Congress next week, but they will be intermingled and muffled by mobile announcements or new smartphones. CES certainly had its fair share of announcements, but they were also intermingled with guitar & car announcements.

We want Connected Conference to be a platform where companies come to make great announcements, and we promise you’ll not only get to hear announcements first, but you’ll get to touch and play with them in our Exhibition Hall, too.

We also want to return to a time when conferences were about thought leadership, which is why we’ve meticulously picked our speakers based on what we think they can contribute to three key questions:

  1. What does the Connected World look like?
  2. What are the barriers to having a Connected World Today?
  3. What are the opportunities for companies today to enable the Connected World tomorrow?

You’ll hear from actors in various positions in the Connected space, whether it’s Lima co-founder Séverin Marcombes sharing his experience launching one of the top crowdfunding campaigns in history, or Qualcomm’s Laurent Fournier talking about the place of traditional semiconductor companies in the hardware revolution.

If you’re interested in partnering or speaking at The Connected Conference, connect with us at connect@connectedconference.co

A Startup Competition where you vote with your wallets

In addition to a great line-up of speakers who will be available to speak with at the conference, and an exhibition hall of innovations in hardware, 3D Printing & the Internet of Things, the Connected Conference is not without its competition. However, as someone who’s sat on and written about his fair share of startup competitions, I realize that hearing a VC tell you why his portfolio company is a competitor to yours gets a bit tired, and that VCs today hardly know a thing about connected hardware.

This is why we’re teaming up with Indiegogo to launch a Crowdfunding Competition. We’re going to launch 10 Connected crowdfunding campaigns at the same time in coordination with the conference, with the most successful campaigns getting to pitch on stage at the end of the 2nd day of the conference. Journalsts and conference attendees will get a hands-on look at the campaigns who will be demo-ing in our Exhibition Hall, and campaigns will get visibility in front of their sector, creating deals while they’re raising money.

If you’re planning a crowdfunding campaign today, reach out to us at crowdfunding@connectedconference.co and we’ll send you the application form.

Now’s the part where I get to tell you why you should by our Very Early Bird tickets today. First of all, they won’t last long – we’re only making a handful of them available to our early adopters. Second of all, Rude Baguette has a terrible history of over-delivering: our blog breaks great stories, our events bring great speakers, and for anyone who attends The Connected Conference, you’re sure to get more bang for your buck than anywhere else, because this conference’s success means more to us than anything else we’ve ever organized.

In the coming months we’re going to announce more speakers, more treats, more exhibitors, and more partners – every time we give you a little more of a taste for the conference, ticket prices are going to go up.

I look forward to seeing you all at the conference, and, of course, for anyone who’d like to submit a talk or ask me questions about the conference, my email is liam@rudebaguette.com, and I pride myself on answering emails as quickly as I can.