Pirate Summit 2016

Europe's craziest startup conference

Meet founders, VCs and business angels at Odonien, a scrapyard in Cologne which, together with our selected participants and speakers, creates the very special atmosphere the Pirate Summit is known for. We aim at 1.200 passengers on our boat, all one by one to be chosen by our crew, to create an exciting, inspiring and motivating atmosphere!

Don't miss the boat. Grab this opportunity to meet founders, founders and more founders. Share a bottle of rum with some of our speakers. And snatch those doubloons you are looking for from investors (Pirate Summit 2016 will have approx. 200 investors). We hope to see you on board!

Better networking, more fire, more ARRR!

Now in its sixth year, the Pirate Summit is Europe’s biggest invitation-only gathering of early-stage startups and investors. The Pirate Summit represents true grassroots entrepreneurship: authentic, crazy & real. 

Our mission is to celebrate entrepreneurship. And that we do. You get to meet experienced as well as upcoming founders, high-profile investors and entrepreneurial rockstars. It’s all about top-class networking and having fun while listening to inspiring talks & panels.

80+ selected startups will "walk the plank"

So far we have organized more than 50 Pirates On Shore events in 30+ countries in 2015 alone. We have been to cities such as Teheran, Beirut, Minsk, Tirana, Moscow and Cluj to find the most promising startups from Europe and the Middle East. In 2016 we're going to increase the number of events for our POS-tour and bring the Pirate spirit to as many places as possible + and at least one startup from each city to the Pirate Summit.

If you think we should visit your city, we'd love to hear from you -->till [at] piratesummit [dot] com

Those who sailed with us

Apply for the "Walk the Plank" pitch competition

The selected startups will receive two free-tickets to the Pirate Summit for the founding team members & a guaranteed pitching slot at the semi-finals of the "Walk the Plank" pitch competition at the first day of the Pirate Summit (Sept. 6).

Refer a Speaker!

We are looking for the best speakers for the Pirate Summit 2016. And we're especially keen in finding the hidden gems that have an amazing story to tell and/or have deep insights that very few others have.
We're looking forward to your suggestions. 

Excerpt of recent attendees

Hanna Aase Founder at Wonderloop
Shira Abel CEO at Hunter&Bard
Nicola Anderson VP Marketing at GoCardless
Imran Akram Principal at DN Capital
Colette Ballou Founder & President at Ballou PR
Mike Butcher Editor-At-Large at TechCrunch
Jason Ball Director at Qualcomm Ventures
Aurore Belfrage COO at Your Middle East
Joerg Binnenbruecker Founding Partner at Capnamic Ventures
Christian Blume CEO & Founder at cleverbridge
Martin Bryant Editor-at-Large at The Next Web
Jan-Henric Buettner Partner at e.ventures
Pawel Chudzinski Co-Founder at Point Nine Capital
Gil Dibner Business Angel at Angel Investor
Ehssan Dariani Entrepreneur. Artist. Activist.
Fred Destin Partner at Accel Partners
Titus Dittmann Founder at Titus / skate-aid
Lars Hinrichs CEO at Cinco Capital
Andreas Ehn Ex-CTO at Spotify
Till Faida Co-Founder & CEO at Eyeo
Elena Fironova Investment Manager at HubertBurdaMedia
Dmitry Galperin VC at Runa Capital
Taavet Hinrikus Co-Founder at Transferwise
Klaus Hommels Partner at Lakestar
Christoph Janz Co-Founder & Managing Partner at Point Nine Capital
Philipp Moehring Head of Europe at Angel.co
Saul Klein Partner at Index Ventures
Videesha Kunkulagunta VC at Redstone
Patrick Llewellyn CEO at 99Designs
Rob Moffat Partner at Balderton Capital
Neil Murray Journalist at tech.eu & thenordicweb.com
Max Niederhofer Partner at Sunstone Capital
Stina Liland Nysæther Program Director Nordics at 500 Startups
Sean Percival Partner at 500 Startups
Mate Rimac CEO & CTO at Rimac Automobili
Franziska Schaefermeyer VC at Tengelmann Ventures
Sitar Teli Managing Partner at Connect Ventures
Frank Thelen Founder & CEO at e42
Andreas Thümmler Managing Director at ACXIT Capital Partners
Fabian Thylmann Founder at Manwin & SN Invests
Michael Treskow Principal at Accel Partners
Roxanne Varza Director at Halle Freyssinet / 1000Startups.fr
Peter Vinnemeier Co-Founder at Trivago
Salim Virani Partner at Source Institute
Talia Wolf Founder & CEO at Conversioner
Marina Vukovic Investment Manager at CommerzVentures
Robin Wauters Founding editor at Tech.eu
Milo Yiannopoulos Columnist & media entrepreneur
Tamara Zakharia Founder at SETT


Dates & Times
Official start: Tuesday, Sept. 6th 2016 at 9am
Official end: Wednesday, Sept. 7th 2016 at 18:00h

There will be a get together for participants that arrive early and those that stay longer.

Contents & Sessions

In 2015 we changed our formats a bit. There were less keynotes and less panels, in 2016 we'll try to make it even more interactive. There will be more focus on intense hands-on breakout sessions with experienced session leaders. Furthermore, on the first day there will be mentor sessions, the Walk the Plank semi-finals and the Burning Man ceremony. 

The mentor sessions are an exclusive opportunity for selected VCs and startups to interact with and learn from each other. For the Walk the Plank pitch competition the hottest 80+ startups from around the globe will present their startup in a 3min pitch followed by a 2min Q&A.

The second day of Pirate Summit 2016 will focus on high quality networking, top notch content and the Walk the Plank finals.

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Pirate Summit Ticket

Tickets incl. catering during the event.
All prices without VAT and ticketing-fee.
  • current prices
  • till Sep 7th
  • Founder 100 Tickets 350 €
  • Investor 50 Tickets 1050 €
  • Corporate 50 Tickets 700 €
Tickets incl. catering during the event.
All prices without VAT and ticketing-fee.
Important note
Make sure that you choose the right category (check the info sign next to each category). We do check every participant and reserve the right to change the category or revoke your ticket.

If you are a service provider (lawyer, accounting, consulting etc.) & you want to attend the Pirate Summit, please feel free to reach out to meike [at] piratesummit [dot] com

Exhibit your startup

You can exhibit your startup on the first day of the Pirate Summit, too. The exhibition booth will have a standing table, wifi and a power chord. You can bring a roll-up if you like.

The price is 500 EUR (valid until July 31st & excl. tickets) & limited to five booths. First come, first serve. We have a few limited booths for accelerators/investors and corporates as well. 

If you are interested please send a mail to till [at] piratesummit [dot] com

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Welcome to Odonien, the wicked and legendary republic of pirates, dinosaurs and other creatures that you couldn`t even imagine. We will invite you to this place, which is at the same time in the middle of Cologne and in the middle of nowhere.

Hornstraße 85
50823 Cologne

Via train from Cologne Central Station
  1. Take the Tram S6 or S11 until Cologne-Nippes Station
  2. From Cologne-Nippes station turn right into Liebigstraße for 50 meters.
  3. Turn left into Laemmerstraße until you get to the crossroads.
  4. Turn left into Hornstraße for 200 meters until you get to Odonien on the right side of the street, it's after the brothels.


If you want to be part of our volunteering team, please reach out to Claudia


Pirate Summit 2016 will again be the final destination for seven buses, traveling from Belgium, Estonia, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and UK. Their mission is:

Conceive, build and launch a new startup in 72 hours with a team of strangers while crossing the continent on a bus driving 80 km/h.

Contact us

Please address Till Ohrmann directly for inquiries regarding participation, speaking slots, press accreditation & other questions via till [at] piratesummit [dot] com



Pirate Summit is a passion project of ours and not about making money, but unfortunately we need some monetary help from our partners to create such an unique experience.

Our selected partners, who share our vision to celebrate entrepreneurship, choose to work with us to enhance their visibility, reach their marketing, sales and strategic goals.

If you want to be part of Pirate Summit 2016 and everything it stands for, please contact Meike Dern (Head of Partnermanagement) directly via meike [at] piratesummit [dot] com. We’re eager to learn about your goals and how we can help you to achieve them.

Sailing Master


Community Partner

Stadt Köln


AXA Innovation Campus
Capnamic Ventures
High-Tech Gruenderfonds

Friends & Media Partner

Mediencluster NRW GmbH
VentureCapital Magazin