Conference Program

Join us for a riveting day featuring 2 stages – our Main Stage, dedicated to 20+ top notch international speakers unveiling the future of work, data and learning & our Startup Stage where you will have the chance to see the top 12 startups from Central Europe pitching their projects and see investors & the most innovative corporations in the region in heated, interesting debates.

Main Stage

08:30 - 09:30


09:30 - 09:40

Opening of FutureNow Conference

Natalia Kiskova, Head of HubHub

Barbora Ruščin, host

09:40 - 10:05

Morning Keynote: Education, Entrepreneurship and Happiness

Peter Vesterbacka, Founder of Slush & Lightneer, former CMO at Angry Birds

Fantastic education and an entrepreneurial mindset are the key to happiness. How can we transform education together to get there?

10:05 - 10:35

Interactive discussion: EdTech disruptors

Olli Vallo, Co-Founder, Kokoa Agency

Jannie Jeppesen, CEO, Swedish EdTech Industry

Joel Hellermark, CEO, Sana Labs

moderated by David Ryan Polgar

Joel (Sweden), Olli (Finland) and Jannie (Sweden) are visiting us from countries with awe-inspiring education systems. They will demonstrate how tech can help both kids in schools and adults working to broaden their horizons.

10:35 - 10:55

Knowledge: Gained via Technology, Shared in Analog, Expanded through Collaboration

Travis Sheridan, President, CIC Venture Cafe Global Institute

During this talk, Travis will share examples of learning strategies that lead to diverse sectors learning and building together.

10:55 - 11:15

Self-driving & AI : Sci-fi or Reality?

Gergely Debreczeni, Chief Scientist, AIMotive

The presentation will give a short overview on the current state-of-the-art in the field of automated vehicles and will also discuss some of the challenges and open questions.

11:15 - 11:45

Managing Digital Transformations, Disruption, and Innovation

Jonas Kjellberg, Co-creator of Skype, Investor BCG Digital Ventures

In this interactive talk, Jonas Kjellberg will speak about the disruptors or “game changers” who are remaking the world of business around us.

11:45 - 12:00

Fireside chat with Jonas Kjellberg

moderated by David Ryan Polgar

12:00 - 13:00

Lunch Break

13:00 - 13:30

Interactive discussion: Talent in Tech

Eva Nedelkova, Founder, Digileaders, Managing Partner, MissionC

Bhuvana Vijayan, Engineering Lead, Zalando

Katerina Gabova, HR Director,

moderated by David Bizer, Founder, TalentFountain

Our panelists will prepare you for the workplace of the future and help you keep up with the fast paced changes on the job market, with a completely new skillset necessary for the workplace of the future.

13:30 - 13:55

Artificial Intelligence: Who's In Charge?

Joanna Bryson, Associate Professor at University of Bath, Leading AI specialist

Joanna will talk about the responsibilities of programmers, companies, governments, and machines themselves when building ever-improving synthetic intelligence.

13:55 - 14:20

How Machine Learning Transforms Human Learning

Joel Hellermark, CEO, Sana Labs

Joel will talk about pioneering the development of algorithms that will radically transform education into a pleasant, personalized experience.

14:20 - 14:50


14:50 - 15:15

The Difficulty of Fighting Hate Speech and Misinformation Online

David Ryan Polgar, Tech Ethicist and Digital Citizenship expert

David will share his insights on hot topics such as what content should be banned on social media and how and how to approach and respond to false information online.


15:15 - 15:40

Building Effective Innovation Ecosystems

Tim Rowe, Founder & CEO, Cambridge Innovation Center

Tim will show us how local communities and governments can build a thriving innovation district in their cities.


15:40 - 16:05

Interactive discussion: Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning

Pavel Kordik, Associate Professor at Czech Technical University in Prague, Co-founder of Recombee and UNICO.AI

Matteo Penzo, Executive Technology Director, Frog

Zoltán Prekopcsák, VP Data & Analytics, RapidMiner

Gergely Debreczeni, Chief Scientist, AIMotive

moderated by Monty Munford, Forbes columnist and tech writer for The Economist and the BBC

Our panel will show you how is AI shaping the world around us and what will it mean for your day to day life at home and at work in the future.

16:05 - 16:15

Announcement of Top 6 Startup Awards finalists

16:15 - 16:40


16:40 - 17:05

How Can Tech-enabled Mentorship Drive the Future of Work?

Hayley Sudbury, Founder & CEO, WERKIN

Hayley will showcase what does a diverse and inclusive organization look like and how can technology make it happen.

17:05 - 17:25

Evening Keynote: The Unexpected Power of AI to Change the World

Kriti Sharma, VP AI, Sage

Kriti will walk us through the good, the bad and the ugly truth behind AI, and explain how to use AI for Good.

17:25 - 17:40

Fireside Chat with Kriti Sharma

moderated by Monty Munford, Forbes columnist and tech writer for The Economist and the BBC

17:40 - 18:00


18:00 - 18:30

Opening of Startup Awards

Andrej Kiska, President of the Slovak Republic

Peter Kolesar, Chairman of the Board & CEO, Neulogy

Nima Motazed, Managing Director and Head of Swiss Re Slovakia, Platinum Partner of FutureNow


18:30 - 19:40

Top 6 pitching competition

19:40 - 20:20

Keynote: What Could a School Set up by Startupers & Ran Like a Startup Achieve?

Peter Halacsy, Co-founder, Prezi & CEO, Budapest School

Peter will paint a picture of a school built on startup tools and ideas, such as design thinking, service design, agile prototyping, learning organization, distributed system and lean. With added fresh mindset, would it fail or not?

20:20 - 20:45

Award Ceremony & Closing

21:00 -


KC Dunaj

Startup Stage

10:10 - 10:15

Opening of Startup Stage Bohumil Pokštefl, CEO of Kontentino

10:15 - 10:40

The Startup Mindset with Peter Halacsy, Co-founder & CTO & board member of Prezi

In each and every phase of your new company you must always do something you have never done in the past. So you be ready to accept that you are not so great and you have to learn.

10:40 - 11:10

Pitching Round 1 

3 of our Top 12 competition startups pitching for the win!

11:10 - 11:40

Pitching Round 2

3 of our Top 12 competition startups pitching for the win!

11:40 - 12:00

Pitching Round 3 

2 of our Top 12 competition startups pitching for the win!

12:00 - 13:00

Lunch Break 

13:00 - 13:45

Pitching Round 4

4 of our Top 12 competition startups pitching for the win!

13:45 - 14:15

Get the Culture Right and Unlock the Secrets of Talent Attraction and Management, David Bizer, CEO & Founder of Talent Fountain

The right team is one of the strongest predictors of startup success.  The best teams are the ones who are deeply aligned with the culture of the company.  In this talk, learn about great examples of startup culture and how to implement your own unique and vibrant culture based on a set of solid values.  Use the basis of your culture as the cornerstone of your talent attraction and talent management strategy enabling you to build exceptionally high-performing teams.

14:15 - 14:55

Tokenization of Businesses

David Stancel, Vice President, Blockchain Slovakia

Pavel Kravchenko, Founder, Distributed Lab

Jaroslav Luptak, Investment Manager, Neulogy Ventures

Josef Tetek, Cryptocurrency consultant, XIXOIO


Blockchain has emerged as infrastructure not only for new asset class of cryptocurrencies but also for legacy world financial instruments. Tokenization and ICO are the buzzwords taking the startup world by storm. Should the startups try to tokenize their businesses? If so, what kind of token models are appropriate? And when does it make sense for a company to issue equity on blockchain? The panel will discuss the ICO frenzy, and new models of financing businesses via assets issued on blockchain.

14:55 - 15:30 

Values as a Foundation of Business Growth

Discussion with representatives of 3 gold partners of FutureNow – HB Reavis, Mastercard and O2. These innovative companies & key stakeholders in the regional business ecosystem will share their insights on scaling how to scale and grow a company without compromising values and the importance of business agility in Central Europe.

15:30 - 16:00

The Future of Startup Funding

Laura Grimmelmann, Vice President, Accel

Stephane Gantchev, Partner, LAUNCHub Ventures

moderated by Andra Nuta, Regional Manager at Techstars

16:00 - 16:30

Creating a Win-Win Synergy between Startups & Corporations

Discussion with representatives of 3 gold partners of FutureNow – Tatra Banka, ZSE and the Slovak American Foundation. These innovative companies & key stakeholders in the regional business ecosystem have years of experience in cooperating with startups and will share their insights on what they are looking for when collaborating with startups, some successes and failures from the past and how incorporating a startup mindset has helped them grow and sustain competitive advantage.

16:30 - 17:00

From Slovakia to Silicon Valley, Peter Ondruška, CEO and Co-founder of Blue Vision Labs


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Early Bird

Access to conference, Startup Awards & partner expo zone


Access to conference, Startup Awards & partner expo zone

Late Bird

Access to conference, Startup Awards & partner expo zone


Access to special Executive Zone including workshops, networking area & catering