FTRNW 2019 Wrap Up

It wouldn’t feel right jumping into 2020 before having a proper look back. Less than 8 months, a batch of driven mates and a pocket full of dreams. That’s how we started FTRNW season in 2019.

Blocks and Bubbles

Bursting bubbles is not a phrase, it is a way to innovate and support entrepreneurship.

The mission was to bring FTRNW to a much wider audience. To step out from our own startup bubble and bring non-profits and students on board. Connect innovative entrepreneurs with corporates and the public. Create space where numerous intentional connections would happen. Why? Because innovations are brought to life only when shared with everyone. The word “Innovation” is the biggest buzzword these days and with bridging bubbles we made it tangible. Need numbers to prove that? Head over here http://bit.ly/2SihIQs and have a look at the FTRNW Report 2019.

„FTRNW project wouldn’t have been possible without the support of our valuable partners that believed in our abilities to deliver what we have promised. We are grateful that among our longterm partners we have been joined by new corporate, production and network partners. Our innovative ecosystem building focus was noticed and supported by Visegrad Fund, US Embassy, Mayers’ Office of Bratislava and many other important stakeholders on the market.“ says Nadežda Barňákova, Head of FTRNW Conference and Partnership.

Events.

Turning FTRNW into content perpetum mobile all year round.

What used to be a onetime thing (but a very important one) turned into a perpetuum mobile. 40 FTRNW Tuesdays, 4 startup Regional Rounds, 3-days of Bootcamp and FTRNW Conference with Awards Grand Finale. FTRNW was tested as an event platform in Slovakia and beyond the borders as well.

Talks, discussions, panels and roundtables, interactive workshops, mentoring, one-on-ones, speed dating. All these elements, wrapped in carefully curated content and intentional targeting of wider audiences bursted many bubbles and allowed for new connections and collaborations.

We have, together, successfully put FTRNW Tuesdays on the Bratislava event map with over 1000 new people coming to HubHub, a space where talent meets opportunities. Our topics, delivered in an understandable way ranged from UX, electromobility, sustainability, digital trends, deep fake news, future of energy, AI to more softer topics such as slow fashion, ecology or future of travel.

The team has organised a successful regional startup competition FTRNW Awards, luring 150 applications from more CEE countries than ever. It was a startling Polish startup Insignes Labs who took the first prize in 2019 but we are excited to observe the journey of all startups who participated. They have received valuable mentoring from top-notch mentors and we opened many new gates for them.

The grand finale of FTRNW Awards and our top-notch FTRNW Conference dedicated to the ‘Future of Human Existence’ have attracted over 1000 innovators and tech enthusiasts to Bratislava in November 2019 and a day spent with networking and opening minds is a day when many new things started,” says Janka Bargerová, Global Head of FTRNW.

Scaling Up.

Exploring new horizons and activating whole region.

In 2019, we have laid founding stones for the project scale up to CEE, while receiving excellent feedback from the market and media coverage, highest in the history of the project.

12 countries involved, V4 region activated thanks to a mindful cooperation with local HubHub branches. 15 investors and mentors coming from 7 countries and 150 startup applications from CEE received. FTRNW Awards proved it’s an attractive international startup experience worth taking part in.

Rebranding.

Where did the vowels go?

FTRNW products outgrew its brand. We could no more pack all the activities under “FutureNow Conference” and because of all the technicalities we couldn’t go the easy way and hide behind the “FutureNow” brand name either. So we decided to look into the future and project’s past at the same time. That’s actually what the acronym FTRNW represents.

“It carries the legacy from the previous organising team then – Neulogy, now – Civitta. It was Peter Kolesar, his team and Studio Echt who were playing with this acronym even in 2017. But the brand needs its time to evolve, 2019 was perfect for this change. The brand matured, portfolio of FTRNW activities evolved and we needed to reflect that. It’s not just the acronym though. Fixing colours for every product, symbols representing ecosystem, typography, the tone of voice. Creative agency we were collaborating with in 2019, This is Locco,  helped us to fit every component under one umbrella brand,” says Mia Ilavská, Head of FTRNW Marketing.

Team

Leaving footprints in the project.

FutureNow’s team has always been dynamic just like the project. In 2019 the FTRNW doubled in size, new people showed up that helped us to get closer to our goals. Some of the great people got out of the project as well but the connection remains tight. People come and go but they always leave their footprints in the projects. FTRNW has been shaped by tens of passionate folks since 2011, current FTRNW team is just a visible tip of that glacier.

Less than 8 months, a batch of driven mates and a pocket full of dreams. That’s what we needed to make FTRNW 2019 happen. Thank you to everybody.