Matt McFadyen, Amy Posey, and Matt Morrow made their way to Munich, Germany, to attend the Bits and Pretzels Founders conference September 24-26. As part of our partnership with Microsoft and the Global Internet of Things (IoT) team, we were joined by Tom O’Reilly, GM for Global Channel Sales, Global Marketing – IoT Device Experience and Tina Hitchen Thalmeier, IoT EMEA Marketing.
The Bits and Pretzels conference provides a platform for European founders and entrepreneurs to network, find new partners and investors for innovation, and enjoy the lively Oktoberfest setting. We collaborated on a 2-hour workshop to take the conference goers on a powerful journey to Africa, using it as a landscape for innovation and disruption.
With an opening keynote, Tom O’Reilly provided the context and the reason for the partnership, as well as an overview of how the digital transformation is happening through partnerships in the IoT ecosystem. Amy then shared tips and ideas for driving more innovative thinking from neuroscience, and Matt took the team on a journey through the Okavango Delta, sharing stories of how Peak Teams, as a small company has disrupted the leadership development market.
Bringing exciting content that creates a new context for thinking about partnership and innovation made the conference goers think very differently about innovation and Microsoft is providing the platform for innovation and collaboration. Conference attendees were both surprised and delighted—not expecting an interactive workshop taking them on a kayak paddle down the Okavango!
This effort is part of Microsoft’s move to provide a broader platform for collaboration—and we will be working with them over the next few months delivering similar experiences for the IoT In Action series around the world.
Bits and Pretzels also provided an opportunity for more formal and structured networking in a memorable setting—the Schottenhamel tent on the Oktoberfest grounds. The 5,000 attendees were able to choose a guided table conversation to network and discuss topics applicable to entrepreneurs. We acted as “Table Captains” fostering additional networking over beer steins and breakfast sausages in our traditional Bavarian attire.
No doubt, Bits and Pretzels 2017 goes down as one of our favorite collaborations and we’re looking forward to continued partnership and innovation opportunities with the Microsoft IoT team!