NEXT13: opening remarks

Matthias Schrader and Neelie Kroes kick off NEXT Berlin 2013 with a rallying call, a call to battle: Here Be Dragons

Matthias Schrader of SinnerSchrader kicked off the conference by reminding us that the world is divided between those who fear dragons, and those who would slay them. The dragons we seek are the ones that are stopping us making the world better. He challenged the audience, as digital innovators, to rise up and see “Here Be Dragons” as a rallying call, not a warning; a summons to battle, not a reason to run and hide. And the next two days are going to show us where the fiercest – and thus most interesting – battles are being fought.


Neelie Kroes of the European Commission joined us via video to add to the rallying call: at a time of economic gloom – she has no doubt where hope lies – with startups, innovators and entrepreneurs. There is so much relent here in Europe – but you need resources; funding, networks, talented staff. You need recognition from friends and family – and politicians.

She is determined to help us in any whys she can – and she’ll be going on tour to prove that. In the end, though, the inspiration has to come from us. We don’t just have to apply for other people’s jobs – we can create our own.

Let’s build a creative, competitive continent, so entrepreneurs can start in Europe – and stay in Europe.