Brief: EU/AI Summer Trip

How much does European countries know about each other’s tech ecosystems? Are we facilitating knowledge sharing on a sufficient level? Or do we sit in our bubbles, unaware what’s going on across the borders?
  • Maybe you’re working on a problem that’s been solved elsewhere already?
  • What about talent - are you sure you’ve got the most efficient business-founder/employee-fit you can get?
  • Do you even know whom to speak to (or about whom) when it comes down to local rising stars and underdogs?
    • What do Poles know about AI/Tech in Riga?
    • What can a community in Sweden teach folks in Germany?
    • Are we capable of compounding strengths coming out of our differences to achieve a greater result?
I want to make a dent in those bubbles. Strapped with a backpack and a train ticket, my goal is to travel across Europe’s current, and emerging, tech hubs. What for? wOrganizing meetups, visiting startups - getting to know people living in those hubs and learning from them.
(click on triangles to expand)

🫡 Partners

Digital Poland Foundation
On behalf of the Foundation, I received a Letter of Recommendation to conduct research on smart city solutions being implemented in visited countries
Swedish-Polish Chamber of Commerce
 

🧐Exploring Ecosystems. Building Bridges.

  • Time: July/August 2024
  • Length: approx 1.5 month
Countries to be visited
  1. Lithuania
  1. Latvia
  1. Estonia
  1. Finland
  1. Sweden
  1. Denmark
  1. Germany
  1. Poland
 
  • Couchsurfing
  • Low budget trips
  • Local gigs to earn $
  • Organizing events and meetups in every hub
  • Sharing lessons and insights online
  • Connecting people
  • Building a database of connections, startups, initiatives

🤔 WHY

Spend holidays doing something for the ecosystem
Being the mission-driven fool may play a huge factor in here. It’s not enough just to travel while with a bit more of an effort all of us can get something out of it.
Learn from people outside of our bubble
The feeling of being closed in a small playing field is omnipresent. In Poland you don’t need much to know who’s who and what is the general trend/perception/opinion. Yet, I’m aware that’s just a fraction of a vast European pool - I wish to let people know who’s who and what are their thoughts from all over.
International network in the industry
Come on, your network is your net-worth. We all know that. And since I’ve been doing business matchmaking and networking consulting for a while, I know there’s a lot of business. Not just for myself but for everyone involved in the process.
I’m a vagabond with a backpack and can talk to people.
Simple as that. I felt the adventure’s call and decided to respond to it in a way that would benefit more than just myself.

🗺️PLAN

Eurail ticket
Following the low-cost theme, the monthly train ticket for EU amounts to approx 1k EUR. This will allow me to get nearly everywhere in a fairly convenient way.
Couchsurfing
I’ve got no budget (or a wish) to spend on hostels across the continent. Thus, the goal is to utilize a good will of other people who would share my passion - as well as would share their couch with me.
Creating content - insights, stories.
I’m a writer. And a talkative person. Also an observant one (or at least I want to believe so). There’s no point in holding all the knowledge I gather, and stories I live, just to myself. Gotta publish.
Reaching out to folks not on holidays
It’s not like everyone’s on vacation. There’s plenty of people still doing God’s work. Let’s activate those people.
Small local meetups
There’s no need for grand conferences and huge events. Even the smallest group of people is enough to start a movement and learn from each other.
people/startups database
Obviously, the aim of the trip is to learn as much as possible. About local people, companies, or mindsets. It would be shame not to create a database covering everyone I encounter during the Trip.

🫵🏻Ask

Referrals
local gigs
I’m looking for work opportunities to fund this trip. Anything goes - from physical labor (strong large male) to workshops (AI, networking for introverts, introduction to tech for entrepreneurs), public speaking (do things that don’t scale, embrace the cringe and how to network)
couchsurfing hosts
If you know anyone willing to have me at their place, please let me know
 
local players - community builders, companies, funds, governments
 
 
Partnerships
I’m looking for:
  • Sponsors (Anything goes, we’ll work it out)
  • Media partners to promote the initiative and get to more people
 

⛔Risks

Noname on SoMe
Since I’ve got a small Social Media presence, I may not be able to convince parties/folks to cooperate or partner up.
No local demand
The fact I’m hyped about this project doesn’t mean others would be as well. If I don’t get a local community engaged, the entire idea may be at risk.
$$$
I’m using my own limited funds. The plan is to get some gigs along the way but still there’s a risk of running low on funds at some point.

✅Gains

Marketing
For both myself and everyone involved in the project. Potentially, we might get both traditional and modern sources coverage. We’ll be doing something exciting and fresh!
Network
As single people, our reach and connection capabilities are limited - most often to our bubbles and presence destinations. But when one gets connected to the Hub/Router (myself), you receive a chance to get to know so many people, ideas, and businesses from all over!
Market insights
Learning what other tech hubs think what’s going to be the next top trend. Discovering mindsets that impact transcreation.
Utilizing silly season
Ton of people are going on vacation. Conferences/events are due September. That’s the moment to activate those who remained and are still eager to do something fun and valuable. Also - all those bored people on holidays can participate by reading content and being active in media.
Boosting EU’s ecosystem
My thesis and belief is that by connecting ecosystems, and people within those, we’re able to achieve more than as singles. To remain competitive globally, we, the EU citizens, need to shake the status quo.