Last year Ecosummit chose Life Size Media as their official media sponsor for their suite of cleantech events across Europe. While Alisa spoke in London, and Thibault and Martin enjoyed Berlin, I’ve been focused on establishing our film department this year and have so far missed out on all things Ecosummit.
So I was very pleased when the team suggested I attend the next one. And this wasn’t just a first for me: this was the inaugural Ecosummit in Amsterdam.
Walking through a beautiful evening to the speakers dinner the night before the summit, I was reminded quite how beautiful this city is. Families place chairs outside their front doors to eat, drink and chat with neighbours. The park scattered with communal barbecues and free disposable (and hopefully biodegradable!) picnic blankets. Gulls and herons glided over the water with moor hens, coots and ducks below. The orange sunlight glinted off the canals. There were bicycles everywhere.
Scenery aside, we were there for the cleantech, and the question over dinner was: “Is Amsterdam really a hub for cleantech innovation?” The party had mixed views. The representative from Shell Ventures next to me said not yet, sadly. While he’d love to do a deal in his “own backyard” he still hasn’t seen enough strong propositions. Others were more enthusiastic for the Amsterdam ecosystem, especially when it came to start-ups. And our hosts Rockstart lead the way there.
The day itself certainly delivered on promising cleantech propositions: from intelligent parking to tyre recycling, foldable shipping containers to harnessing ocean thermal energy. It was great to see some friendly faces, with our client Adgero giving a shout-out to another client of ours Skeleton Technologies, while Kite Power Solutions gave a shout-out to us for their new promotional film.
I’m also pleased to say that my talk on Content Strategies for Cleantech Start-ups went down well, with no falling over, wetting myself or other mortifying pre-imaginings.
All in all, I must say that I was impressed again and again by how well this conference was run… and I’ve been to many. The location was relevant, the audio-visuals were seamless, the agenda ran to time (!), the food was superb and the drinks didn’t run dry. Importantly there was the perfect balance of content and networking opportunities. So kudos to Ecosummit CEO Jan Michael Hess, you’ve exceeded yourself yet again, Jan.
One final thought: it turns out that it’s currently impossible to network in Europe without the topic of Brexit coming up. Leaving aside my emotionally charged answers to “but what’s life like in the UK at the moment?”, I will say this: none of the businesses I met saw themselves as belonging to or being limited to one country and Ecosummit is a great example of the Europe I want to be a part of.
Ecosummit London is fast approaching and if Amsterdam is anything to go by I’d say don’t hesitate in booking your slot now.