News

Spark.me: Blaze the train

2019-05-02 News

Spark.me is one of the most carefully curated business/internet conferences in Southeast Europe. The conference has been organized annually since 2013, in the European country of Montenegro, as a part of the Corporate Social Responsibility program of Domain.ME, a private company which is in charge of Montenegro's national internet domain - .ME.

Spark.me 2019 is set for May 25-26, 2019 in Porto Montenegro in Tivat. Located in the central part of the Bay of Kotor, Tivat is at the heart of Montenegro’s coastal tourism industry. The vibrant town caters to a bustling nautical community, offering a wealth of restaurants, bars and numerous nearby coves, ideal for summer cruises of the Tivat Riviera. Previously a historic naval base, Porto Montenegro’s reincarnated as the Mediterranean’s leading luxury yacht homeport and marina village. The village attracts a vibrant year-round international crowd, with an events scene that extends to conferences, exhibitions, and cultural events.

Spark.me has come a long way from a meeting point for a couple of dozen of tech enthusiasts and geeks to a must-visit tech and marketing event for the Balkan region and beyond. The mission of Spark.me from the very beginning was to improve the quality of life for people in Southeast Europe by raising awareness about the possibilities Internet and new technologies offer, through education, competition and networking opportunities. Spark.me 2018 attracted 580 attendees from 28 countries.

All Spark.me 2019 speakers have been confirmed, and the organising team has already announced:

  • Anab Jain - TED speaker, designer, filmmaker, and co-founder of Superflux, a critically acclaimed foresight, design, and technology innovation company;
  • Jeremiah Owyang - Founding partner at Kaleido Insights and disruptive technology expert, considered the definitive authority on corporate innovation programs, who has worked with clients such as Adobe, Electrolux, Wells Fargo, Nestle, Cisco, Western Union, Visa, Colgate, Yum, and Pepsi;
  • Peter Shankman - Five-time bestselling author, customer service expert, and serial entrepreneur. The New York Times has called him “a rockstar who knows everything about social media and then some.”;
  • Tom Goodwin - Executive Vice President and Head of Innovation for Zenith Media. The author of Digital Darwinism. Twice voted as the #1 Voice in Marketing and Social Media on LinkedIn;
  • Cate Murden - Founder of PUSH, a business consultancy grounded in human behaviour, which has worked with clients such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, Saatchi & Saatchi, Havas, IMG, HSBC, Sainsbury's, and Vice, among others.

More speakers will be announced in the weeks to come.

In previous years the Spark.me stage has welcomed some of the world’s most renowned thinkers and influencers:

  • Pankaj Ghemawat - One of the world's leading authorities on global strategy, and a TED speaker;
  • Rory Sutherland - Vice Chairman of Ogilvy & Mather UK, and a TED speaker;
  • Christopher Fabian - Co-founder and co-lead of UNICEF’s Innovation Unit, and one of 2013 TIME Magazine’s 100 most influential people;
  • Brian Solis - A principal analyst at research firm Altimeter Group, and a bestselling author;
  • Mark W. Schaefer - One of the world’s foremost social media marketing strategists, and a business consultant who blogs at {grow} - one of the top five marketing blogs of the world;
  • Alf Rehn - Internationally recognized business thinker, an author and a speaker;
  • Mike Massimino - Former NASA astronaut, professor at Columbia University, TV personality who appeared on CBS hit comedy The Big Bang Theory six times, and a bestselling author;
  • Itay Talgam - The first Israeli orchestral conductor to perform with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, leadership coach, and a TED speaker;
  • Neil Harbisson - Contemporary artist and cyborg activist best known for having an antenna implanted in his skull and for being officially recognised as a cyborg by a (UK) government, and a TED speaker;
  • Dr. Max Mckeown - Multiple best-selling author, strategic coach, and behavioural psychologist;
  • Scott Berkun - The bestselling author, and a speaker;
  • Denise Lee Yohn - The expert on brand leadership, an in-demand consultant, and a bestselling author;
  • David Armano - Global Strategy Director: Key Accounts at Edelman Digital;
  • Tony Conrad - Co-founder and CEO of about.me, and Founding Venture Partner at True Ventures;
  • Aza Raskin - Serial entrepreneur, one of the most influential interface designers in the world, and a TED speaker;
  • Sara Rosso - Director of Marketing at Automattic, provider of online services such as WordPress.com, Akismet, Gravatar, and many more;
  • Heather B. Armstrong - The most popular “mommy blogger” in the world, and a New York Times bestselling author;
  • Veronica Belmont - An online media personality, a startup advisor, speaker, and podcaster;
  • Peter Sunde Kolmisoppi - Hacker/artist who deals with questions of intellectual property rights, best known for being a co-founder of The Pirate Bay;
  • Xenia Tchoumi - High-fashion digital influencer with 7+ million followers on social media, online entrepreneur, and 3-time TEDx speaker, and
  • Boyd Multerer - Former engineering leader for Xbox video game console, who founded Xbox Live and XNA.

When it comes to startup-related speakers, Spark.me stage, in previous years, welcomed:

  • Tony Conrad - Co-founder and CEO of about.me, and Founding Venture Partner at True Ventures,
  • Marvin Liao - A partner at global seed VC firm and startup accelerator, 500 Startups,
  • Jon Bradford - The cofounder of F6S and Tech.eu, and the former Managing Director of Techstars in London,
  • Kamran Elahian - An innovation catalyst, philanthropist, entrepreneur without borders, and a global venture capitalist,
  • Dave Haynes - A part of the investment team at Seedcamp, the leading First Round Fund based in London,
  • David Raskino - Former Director of Microsoft Ventures,
  • John Biggs - Former East Coast Editor of TechCrunch,
  • Frank Gruber (co-founder and CEO of Tech.Co, new media journalist, and angel investor),
  • Rob Fitzpatrick - Tech entrepreneur. The author of "The Mom Test" book...

Additional Spark.me speakers came from companies like Microsoft, Facebook, LEGO, Edelman Digital, Microsoft Ventures, Automattic, UNICEF’s Innovation Unit, Skype, Serviceplan Group, TechCrunch, DropBox, Altimeter Group, about.me, Prezi, Rushmore.fm, 500 Startups, Seedcamp, hub:raum, Eleven Accelerator Venture Fund, LAUNCHub, Tech.Co, Bellabeat…

An integral part of the conference is Spark.me Startup Competition, which brings together successful startups from all over Europe to Montenegro. The competition is focused on innovation, the power of ideas, the startup’s potential to grow and team diversity. Participating in the competition enables startup founders to have access to advisers, mentors, workshops, and a network of investors, industry experts, and serial entrepreneurs. The winning team will get a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to present and discuss its project with the “tech elite” on October 2-4, 2019 in San Francisco - it will receive two round-trip tickets to San Francisco, hotel accommodation for three days (for two people), two tickets for the three-day TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco 2019 conference, and a Startup Alley booth.

This article has been published on behalf of .me. For more information about the event, visit the spark.me website.