The future of sex, work and death, product management and investment – EMERGE tech conference announces its agenda

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EMERGE tech conference in MInsk

In 2019, EMERGE tech conference with a vibe of a festival will take place on 4-5 June in Minsk, Belarus, and will once again gather promising startups from CEE and Central Asian region, leading VCs as well as keynote speakers from Google, Facebook, Nike, Microsoft, and EPAM. There will be 30 talks, fireside chats, and panel discussions on 3 stages with the focus on emerging technologies, building and scaling global products that are shaping our future.

This year EMERGE will host 3 themed stages: FUTURE, BUILD and GROWTH. FUTURE stage is a crash course into emerging technologies that are shaping the way we take care of ourselves, learn, work, eat, make love, and even die. Events on this stage are unparalleled with other keynotes so that one can pause for a while and have a sneak peek into the future from the ones who make it.

Keynotes on FUTURE stage are to be opened with the vibrant topic of sex. Bryony Cole, the founder of Future of Sex (podcasts, events, and hackathon on Sex Tech), will speak about prospects of technologies for human sexuality – the industry worth 30 billion dollars.

Another relatable topic will be covered by the fighter with aging and president of Science for life extension Fund Yuri Deigin. He will dig into the possibilities of fixing death – the bug that comes installed in every human being – with the help of cryonics, gene therapy, and other technologies.

Lev Manovich, the theorist of the digital culture and author of the book “The language of new media” which is referred to as the most profound work on media since Marshall McLuhan, will talk about ways to understand contemporary culture through Big Data. Dr. Manovich will also reveal who is going to be the next Michelangelo if it’s a human or AI.

Audience at EMERGE tech conference

The food can no longer be natural, believes Alexandra Genis, critical food-designer and the founder of tas2r – the studio that develops the food of the future. In her keynote Alexandra will speak on her findings: how can a single molecule add any taste and smell to any substance, why our obsession with everything organic is vicious and how to tackle the upcoming crisis of food.

On the second day of EMERGE Conference, FUTURE stage will host Lysandre Follet,  director of Nike Innovation Kitchen which is responsible for every design innovation in Nike’s shoes. From his keynote, we’ll learn how the data from hundreds of motion captures, pressure and temperature sensors translate into the design of the world’s favourite sneakers and why designers rather seek their inspiration in data.

global innovation products at EMERGE

Officeless future and disruption of engineering departments are the subjects of Dmitry Razorionov’s (Director of Delivery Management at EPAM) speech at FUTURE Stage. And Stewart Rogers (analyst-at-large and journalist at VentureBeat) will try to figure out what is wrong with mental health in tech industry.

Practice-oriented stages BUILD and GROWTH will work simultaneously. Technical BUILD stage is to host keynotes on building the products users love and mastering product processes. This stage will be of maximum use to those who create and transform products on a daily basis.

On the first day at BUILD stage, guests will  find out when VR and AR will look as sharp as reality and what it means for coders and artists (Ville Miettinen from Varjo); how do you implement agile leadership in remote teams (Molood Noori from Remote Forever); and why to think twice before implementing technology for technology’s sake (Michael Smuga and Danielle McClune, Microsoft). Anna Buldakova, product manager at Workplace by Facebook, will talk about three levels of better product decisions. The fireside chat with Eugene Fooksman (Founding Engineer and first employee at  WhatsApp) will offer an insider’s look and the ultimate scaling story of WhatsApp. Gennady Nissenbaum from Google will speak about creating top performing teams.

Startup award at EMERGE in Minsk

The next day on BUILD stage is reserved for case studies from PandaDoc (Tatyana Aulachynskaya) on how to grow user activation with onboarding optimization; Ilya Tregubov from Teachbase will share his findings on why the whole team should think product other than just product manager. Ex-Head of Strategy, Global Marketing at Wargaming Alex Drozdovsky will present a case of reducing time to market through design sprints. The day will wrap up with the panel discussion on how to build the corporate culture without team breakfasts.

The parallel GROWTH stage is focused on business scalability: growth hacking practices, marketing and business know-how, market expansion strategies, fundraising tips from leading VCs and accelerators, and ultimate exit plans.

Following the no-bullshit approach, the stage will kick off with the keynote on metrics that VCs are looking for at various stages (from MVP to bootstrapped and profitable business) by Daniel Hastik, partner of Nextech Ventures. Jack Hanratty and Danielle Petrelli from Asana will speak on whether collaboration enhances productivity. George Robinson from Revolut is to present the case on how to obtain millions of users through data, logic, and transparency. The day at GROWTH stage will  finish with the panel discussion on internal and external pressures the startups face in 2019.

This discussion will transition into the next day’s talk on how to constantly sustain growth-mindset and whether it worth doing altogether. Nikolay Oreshkin, managing partner at Elysium Venture Capital, will speak about main fundraising mistakes in the US vs. Europe and share insights on how to avoid them. From Grammarly‘s Product Manager Igor Sokolov we’ll learn about the main growth stoppers of the developing tech hubs and ways to overcome them. At panel discussions, one can learn about CEE startup scene (eat or get eaten) and expectations of emerging technologies (a major shift or the new dot-com bubble).  

Speakers at EMERGE conference

The second EMERGE conference dedicated to global innovation products and investment in tech will take place in the form of both festival and the conference. Besides traditional keynotes and pitching sessions, the attendees get access to an extensive program of side events: starting from Running Club finishing with Founders Stories Night. The conference will unfold on June 4-5, at Falcon Arena in Minsk, Belarus with the support of Flint Capital, EPAM, Workfusion, Bayer, Microsoft, Gurtam, and Gismart. But the first side event of the conference will start even earlier. On 1-2 June, EPAM hosts a hackathon EMERGE HACK. The best teams will win their way to pitching at EMERGE.

Tickets are available here.