What happened June 17th and 18th was more than just a tech conference. To call Challengers a mere conference would be a slap in the face. Challengers brought about an experience like none other. Being referred to a closed door startup and tech lifestyle experience, Challengers aimed to bring together a group of intelligent people who dare to think differently. Taking place in Palau de Congressos de Catalunya, Challengers made Barcelona its home for the first time. With four main categories, Challengers gave the opportunity for some of the greatest minds in the Security, Entertainment, Transportation and Commerce industries the chance to showcase their brightest ideas and the future of their respective industries.
Big names graced the Challengers stage this year; CEO’s, Investors, Writers and even Comedians. One of the biggest highlights would have to be a video conference from Edward Snowden, known for leaking sensitive NSA documents a few years back. Other notable speakers included Kim Dotcom, of Megaupload, Peter Sunde of The Pirate Bay, Kike Sarasola of Room Mate hotels, and many, many more. Some of the partners for the event included F-Secure, La Nevera Roja, BBVA Open Talent, and AirBnB. The startup tournament was a huge draw for startup companies, not just from Barcelona, but worldwide. Challengers was the perfect platform for these startup companies to pitch their companies and ideas to potential investors in attendance.
Our TAG Interns had the chance to experience the event first hand. Demetri says “I loved it! I have never been to event like this before. I had a completely different idea of what a tech event would be like, but Challengers completely changed my perspective.” Remington recalls having to evacuate the conference room before Edward Snowden took the virtual stage. “I thought it was kind of crazy that they had to do a bomb check for a virtual interview, but other than that, Snowden was phenomenal.” On top of hearing awesome speakers, Challengers gave our Interns the chance to network and meet some important names in the Barcelona startup and tech community.
While we weren’t able to make the after party at Pacha, the TAG team definitely enjoyed themselves at Challengers 2015. The team is looking forward to Challengers next year, wherever it may be, and they hope to attend more events throughout the duration of their stay here in Barcelona.