Tuesday, August 21, 2012 | 10:11 AM
Among geeks, the Campus Party is the equivalent of Woodstock, a festival celebrating innovators and entrepreneurs. Previous editions took place in Latin and North America. Now the Campus Party is coming for the first time to Europe, this week taking over the recently closed and abandoned Tempelhof Airport in Berlin.
Google is proud to support and participate. Our Google booth will present its new contest for founders, “Gruender-Garage,” as well as hosting a Startup Weekend where startup enthusiasts work on their ideas for 54 hours supported by coaches and experts.
From August 22 to 24, we will support a Chrome Hackathon, “Your Data, Your Rules!”, aimed at creating new extensions to increase user privacy. Prizes will be announced at the booth on August 24 at 8 pm. The winners will be invited to present their findings to our Munich-based Chrome team and present their innovations at the next edition of our Big Tent on Privacy.
Berlin is an appropriate setting for this spirited geek gathering. While the Economist recently described in vivid detail the German capital’s thriving startup culture, the magazine also pointed out the factors that continue to hold back German entrepreneurs, such as their difficulty raising risk capital, hiring top flight managers, and overcoming regulation. Simon Hampton, Google’s Director Public Policy for the European Unionm will discuss these issues on Thursday at the Campus Party on a panel titled the “GeekEconomy”.
Recent studies show that the Internet represents a giant opportunity for German business. A a Cologne-based research firm estimated that German entrepreneurs have founded 28,000 new businesses using online services from Google and other web companies. These new businesses have created nearly 100,000 new jobs and generated EUR8.6 billion in annual sales.
The Berlin Campus Party is set to attract thousands of ambitious digital pioneers for its talks, workshops, competitions and hackathons. We hope it will spark a new generation of European innovators.