“Diversity is an engine of excellence, not an act of charity.”
That’s what former president Barack Obama said during his keynote on the opening ceremony of Bits&Pretezels in Munich last week, and it was all true.
Yes, you’ve probably guessed it now. We spent our weekend in Munich, at the Founders Festival, Bit&Pretzels until Monday, October 1st. Yes, we did celebrate Oktoberfest, and I don’t remember much to tell. We also had a booth to demonstrate our awesome work along with our dear SAP.iO partner and it was all amazing.
But first, let’s take you back to the opening day of Bits&Pretzels, where it all started at the ICM Munich.
It was 8:00am and the place was already packed. We actually thought we were late. Eventually, it turned out everyone was simply so excited and hyped and they should. I mean, any person checking out the speakers line-up must be either thrilled, … or maybe depressed, for not being able to attend the event! (Sorry…)
Nevertheless, the event kick off was entertaining, fun and inspiring with a clear focus on important themes like Impact and diversity.
We also enjoyed the musical breaks, the genuine sense of humor of Bits&Pretzels founders, and we appreciated them sharing their tactic for reaching President Barack Obama’ team and sending him a personalized video invitation. OMG, that part was super fun. The knowledge shared by great leaders like LinkedIn Co-founder, Reid Hoffman and others was simply worth the long-distance flight from San Francisco.
It’s really the diversity in the speakers themselves and their backgrounds that made the opening and the whole conference captivating. At some point, all of the 8,000 attendees were doing the count down for the next speaker to take the stage. Especially for President Obama …
Eventually, he showed up, he looked a bit tired or maybe jet-lagged, but his smile, optimism, lovely spirit and inspiring words made a really remarkable keynote.
He talked about all sort of things. On the subject of stimulating entrepreneurship, Obama stated that “Entrepreneurial culture starts with society investing in children.”When asked about AI and disrupt technology, he explained that the fear of it is rather overrated and we should instead focus on embracing and adopting those advances to improve our lifestyle. Finally, he emphasized on the importance of family, and yes, on how much he adores his beloved Michelle and daughters. Obama mentioned his staff multiple times and everytime he confirmed how a great leader he is.
The next day at Bits&Prestzels, we were rocking our awesome booth with live demos of our recent AR templates and interactive experiences.
We’re still excited and humbled by our visitors’ enthusiasm about webAR and all the demos we showcased and the nice encouraging words they said about our technology’s ease of use. We loved their genuine excitement for signing-up immediately to our platform, publishing their first experience and providing kind feedback.
Rania had to leave the Augmania booth to attend to her talk at the Impact stage on a panel of 4 inspiring, very successful and determined female founders sharing their experiences and advice with the audience.
The closure day was stunning with the actress and entrepreneur, Jessica Alba who shared her personal challenges and journey while founding The Honest Company.
She highlighted the importance of promoting work environment diversity and empowering more women to take leading positions within an organization. In her last piece of advice to the keen audience, she recommended the following points:
1. Focus on details as they always matter.
2. Buckle up with optimism and drive.
3. Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you.
The Bits&Pretzels huge team and founders thoughtfully organized the conference to help attendees make the most out of their experience. The place was huge and well-equipped with everything attendees might need to spend a comfortable time. Let’s not forget the delicious food and yummy pretzels!! Also, the Bits&Pretzels app was super helpful, allowing attendees to customize their experiences. All these aspects created an immensely inviting environment. Advertently, this environment gave way to a plethora of networking, especially during the 3rd and final day. After all, it was Oktoberfest Liquid Networking Tables!
So yeah, we did have a lot of fun. This is mainly while discussing our passion for AR and Augmania, listening to great Bavarian music and making toasts for all the great people we’ve met during the day! And we have the Bits&Pretzels team to thank for that.