From Poland to Silicon Valley, from CD demos to the digital world – the Bitspiration Festival

A revolutionary event happened in Krakow on June 12-13th. The representatives of the world of music and new technologies faced each other. Polish startups and serious investors; Polish, American, Dutch and Danish journalists – the only festival of its kind in Poland gathered the crème de la crème of the European and American musical startup stage.

Nearly 400 participants have gathered in the conference rooms of the recently abandoned Hotel Forum, of which almost 20% were visitors from abroad. 62 speakers stood on the stage, of which 28 came to Krakow from outside Poland’s borders. Guests had the opportunity to take part in 46 presentations divided into two days of lectures and three thematic paths.

How do you sell music in the digital age? Where do you look for an audience? How can you make money in at a time when music is distributed for free on the web? These questions were discussed during the discussion panel, entirely dedicated to the challenges of the digital revolution in the music industry. The invited guests had the opportunity to exchange views and experiences – on the stage, among others, sat Misia Furtak, Piotr Kabaj (director of Warner Music Poland), Ashwin Navin (co-founder of BitTorrent) and Andreea Magdalina (Head of Community at Mixcloud). They presented many conflicting views and though the discussion was fierce, the answers to these questions still remain open. The music part of Bitspiration proved that the Polish music industry is about to face many changes, which musicians and managers must be prepared for.

The participants of the “Bitspiration Impact Contest” for startups are the best proof that it can! After a fierce pitching session by the finalists (Przedszkolowo, BlueCoo, WhenVisited and Pirx) the jury and participants of the conference voted on the winner. The rivalry between Przedszkolowo and Pirx went head to head, but ultimately it is the representatives of Przedszkowolo who received two tickets to the prestigious TechStars Demo Day competition in London.

The organizers took care of the smallest details – from the walls of candy, boxes of fruits and burgers served out of a truck, to the very popular selfie stations. Breaks in the lectures were filled with games and activities, so those who attened the evening afterparty were already in a good mood and looking to find new friendships. Whether you wanted to see some live music, chat quietly over a drink on the balcony with a view of the Wawel, or catch a World Cup match, the afterparty had it all.

Bitspiration Festival was an inspiring and engaging event. Recordings of the lectures and interviews with selected speakers will soon be published on the PROIDEA YouTube channel, and you can already catch a summary of the first day here.