Adventures in Split: firsts, Balkan charm, and startups

I had an amazing experience at Split last week. I crashed a panel. I gave my first international talk. I met too many excellent people to name them all. Split, Croatia

view of venue

My first city in Europe, Split will always be special to me. Split is beautiful: Diocletian's Palace, the National Theatre, the warm Mediterranean weather. I really loved it there. I was invited to give a talk about my startup story at inDinero at Shift Conference, a fast growing tech conference in SouthEast Europe.

The audience feedback was exactly what I was hoping for: that they felt connected to me, that it really helped them and reminded them of moments in their own startup journeys, and that it was inspiring to them as entrepreneurs. Despite jetlag and some technical difficulties, I was able to breathe, make eye connection, and use my body on stage. It wasn't perfect, but I am really proud of myself. I know I can do an even better talk next time.

New friends

The speaker lineup at this conference was humbling, to the say the least. I was blown away by the quality and awesomeness of everyone who presented. The staff, entrepreneurs, and attendees were all great to meet. Lovely conversations about linguistics, local politics, future of tech, growing startup hubs in Europe, and entrepreneurship.

#womenintech - from Budapest, San Francisco, Belgrade

New friend, also living in SF: 

me and evan

New friend from Split and Shift Split organizer extraordinaire, Matea: 

2015-06-12 21.10.05

New friends from London, Croatia (living in Kraków), Belgrade: 

Startups

I had the best time meeting local Croatian entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs from Serbia, Bosnia, Hungary, Italy, India, Canada, and others who traveled to Split for the Shift Conference. Ivan Burasin's mission to bring a startup ecosystem to this part of the region is inspiring.

Many of the startups were early. I got to judge the competition. We chose companies based on a) if we'd make the bet, 2) if they had launched yet (since how can a pre-launch company really use $10K?)  3) if they understand their target customer and had any (good) ideas on how to acquire them.

I can't wait to go back!