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Adding 3 new speakers, welcoming 2 new sponsors

I'm absolutely delighted to announce we have received additional support from two European companies I personally admire tremendously: Hi-Media Group and Opera Software.

More details about both companies are available on the pages linked above, but in short: Hi-Media is a giant online media group and one of the top Internet publishers and digital advertising players in Europe, while Opera has revolutionized the way people are able to browse the Web on their desktops and mobile phones.

I'm also extremely happy to announce that we have added three new speakers to the line-up, with more on the way:

- Jon S. von Tetzchner (Co-founder, long-time CEO and now Chairman of Opera Software)

- Cyril Zimmermann (Founder & CEO of Hi-Media Group)

- Peter Arvai (entrepreneur extra-ordinaire, currently CEO of TED-backed Prezi)

Watch this space for more updates on speakers, sponsors and the imminent opening of the Start-Ups Rally competition registration!

Kicking off Plugg 2010

Greetings, earthlings!

As you can see, we've just launched the new site of Plugg 2010, and we're ready to rumble!

Thanks to our initial sponsors who've been tremendously helpful in getting the third edition of Plugg on the rails.

Big kudos to Netlash and Oxynade, who took care of the information architecture, design and the registration system! Now that we've made the domain switch - you should still be able to visit the Plugg 2009 website here - we're getting ready to spread the word so people can find out more about the date, the venue, the currently confirmed speakers, etc.

A couple of things:

1. We're kicking off with a limited early-bird registration fee of €250 - you'll be able to buy your tickets at that dirt cheap price until the end of this month.

2. European startups will be able to apply for this year's Start-ups Rally before the end of January - we'll keep you informed

3. We'll regularly update this blog about new confirmed speakers, the professional jury we've assembled for this year's startup pitching competition, new sponsors, etc. so check back often.

4. There are still some sponsor slots available, if you're interested please do contact us asap as we're finalizing things at this point.

5. The finalized schedule for the day will be available mid-February

If you have any question or comments at this point, feel free to get in touch asap.

The Next Web Is Near! (20% discount)

The Next Web Conference 2009 is just around the corner, and the Plugg team (Robin & Veronique) will be there to watch keynotes from people like Jeff Jarvis (author), Bradley Horowitz (Google), Matt Mullenweg (Automattic / WordPress), Chris Sacca (investor), Andrew Keen (author) and many more.

If you wanna attend the conference too, register here with a 20% discount especially for Plugg followers.

See you there!

Innovate!Europe coming up, deadline approaching

Innovate!Europe, one of our event partners, is (also) looking for Europe’s top startup, and the deadline to apply is March 23rd.

Innovate!Europe will be hosting Going Global workshops and networking meetups in Europe and Israel from March 30th - April 8th (see below or check the calendar).

Start-ups will receive mentoring and feedback from Guidewire Group’s renowned analyst team on how to improve your pitch and hone the skills you need to compete in fast-paced markets like Silicon Valley.

Best of all, there is no cost to apply or to participate in the Going Global workshops.

If you want to participate in the competition but can't attend one of the workshops, fill out the form anyway. If you're selected, Guidewire Group's analysts will conduct a phone interview with you.

30 MARCH

Bern, Switzerland

Going Global workshop from 9:30 to 17:30: apply now

Networking Meet-up at 18:00 (co-hosted by Orrick Swiss Innovation Promotion Agency CTI)

RSVP required

1 APRIL

Tel Aviv, Israel

Going Global workshop from 9:30 to 17:30: apply now

Networking Meet-up at 18:30 (co-hosted by Orrick)

RSVP required

3 APRIL

Berlin, Germany

Going Global workshop from 9:30 to 17:30: apply now

Networking Meet-up at 18:00 (co-hosted by Orrick and SAP)

RSVP required

6 APRIL

Paris, France

Going Global workshop from 9:30: to 17:30: apply now

Networking Meet-up at 18:00 (co-hosted by Orrick)

RSVP required

8 APRIL

London, UK

Going Global workshop from 9:30 to 17:30: apply now

Networking Meet-up at 18:00 (co-hosted by Orrick)

RSVP required

Note: You don’t need to be a workshop participant to join one of the networking meetups. The meetups are also open to investors, journalists and other members of the entrepreneurial community. However, an RSVP is required as space is limited. If you want to follow the competition, learn about the competitors and connect with other members of the ecosystem, subscribe to the blog or join the Innovate!Europe's Facebook and LinkedIn groups.

Videos, pictures and presentations are online!

So, Plugg 2009 is a wrap.

To all who have attended, thank you for being there and for all the feedback that was sent our way. Nearly all of it was positive but we can always learn from the negative as well so kudos to everyone, and don't be afraid to get in touch with us by e-mail or simply in comments to let us know your thoughts as well. Whether you've attended or not, we want to share all the material from the conference with you.

If you would like to watch the videos recorded at the event, you can check our Vimeo channel or go to this page for an embeddable widget containing all videos. The pictures are up on Flickr as well, and you can find an embedded slideshow on a special page as well.

We've even put all the presentations on a virtual fileserver powered by NomaDesk, so if you're interested in downloading that material to your computer, you can install their free software suite and it will enable you to synch a folder on your desktop that contains all the slidedecks in the format that it was delivered in. The fileserver also contains the videos for the 10-minute pitches delivered by the 3 finalists: Jinni, Mendeley (the winner) and Myngle (winner of the audience's choice award).

You need to sign up for an invitation to the fileserver, and if you do this before the end of the month you can also win one of the NomaDesk USB modems that will be distributed to 10 randomly selected winners.

Here's how:

- Go to this sign-up page

- leave your details and click on the link in your invitation e-mail

- Create a NomaDesk account, download and install NomaDesk

- Select "I was invited to join this Fileserver"

- NomaDesk will then create a Plugg2009-Public drive on your local computer

- Allow NomaDesk to sync and access the files on the Plugg2009-Public drive

If there's anything, let us know asap!

Winners for Plugg Start-Ups Rally 2009 announced

Plugg, the Internet conference where Europe's finest entrepreneurs, investors, startups, trade press and bloggers gather annually to look at the 'new web' and its outlook for the future from a European perspective, has announced the two winners of the second edition of its Start-Ups Rally.

This pitching competition has brought 20 startups from all over Europe to Brussels to present their business to a highly relevant audience and a professional jury of industry pundits and investors, and moments ago the winners of the competition have been announced.

The overall winner was Mendeley (http://www.mendeley.com), based in London. They describe themselves as the "Last.fm for research". the startup essentially aims to enable academics to manage and sharing their research paper inventory and at the same time discover like- minded people and papers thanks to a recommendation and matching algorithm.

The audience also cast their votes in the morning session and awarded Myngle (http://www.myngle.com) with the People's Choice Award. This startup, based in The Netherlands, pitches itself as a 'new way to learn languages'. Myngle was founded by ex-eBay employees and operates a platform for online language education where teachers and students can virtually connect and determine if there’s a match for an online course to start between the parties (from both sides).

For any questions about the Plugg conference and the concept behind it, please contact the organizers:

Robin Wauters - robin@plugg.eu

Veronique Pochet - veronique@plugg.eu

Counting down to Plugg 2009

We're ready to go here for the second edition of Plugg, which is now merely 37 hours away from being kicked off at the time of publication of this blog post. The event is shaping up to be very exciting, with a promising bunch of knowledgeable keynote speakers and panelists from all over Europe and from a variety of industries, which is one of the goals we set for ourselves in terms of programming the content. We're also delighted with the quality of the startups that will participate in our annual pitching competition and judging by the content of their presentation slidedecks, things are bound to be getting very interesting.

We can't thank our sponsors, and also our many media & event partners enough for making the event possible in the first place, but evidently we would like to extend this gratitude to all attendees who've registered to participate (we published the participant list on the Amiando subsite so you can see who else is going to be there).

Plugg is not the largest web conference in Europe any way you look at it, but we're proud of the fact that we've managed to make it relevant enough to attract a decent amount of visitors (the same as last year, which is great considering the economic downturn which unfortunately forces some Web 2.0 events to cancel altogether). We'll do our best to make the event memorable and continue to stubbornly focus on celebrating European entrepreneurship and showing the world what we can accomplish here!

Hope to see you soon!

Robin Wauters & Véronique Pochet

PS: if you haven't yet registered, you can still do so until midnight tomorrow (11 March 23:59 PM CET). If you're unable to attend, we would like to inform you that we won't be live-streaming the event, but you can keep track of the chatter on Twitter and we will record a boat load of videos and make them available along with the presentation slidedecks right after the conference. Stay tuned!

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