The MCA’s startup conference, ZEST, is set to return this year with an even more exciting line-up of leading local and international speakers, wider international participation, and unprecedented networking opportunities. ZEST is the main gathering for tech startups based in Malta where technology disruption is central to the discussions. It also serves as an excellent opportunity to attract foreign players to experience the island.
This year’s edition, taking place on the 19 and 20 September at the Radisson Blu Golden Sands Resort and Spa, is expected to attract over 500 participants mainly CEO/founders, investors, talent, influencers and professionals. The event is unique in bringing together a cosmopolitan crowd of locals, expats and fly-ins, whilst offering the ideal setting for attendees to discover opportunities and build lasting relationships.
Some of the remarkable speakers announced for this year’s event include Samer Karam, a Lebanon-based ecosystem builder and creator of BDL Accelerate tech conference; Jenn Hirsch, Global Technology Trend Scout for Ernst & Young; Paul Teng, Co-Founder and Group-CEO at SIXCAP; and Chris Fregly, Founder of an AI and machine-learning startup in San Francisco with prior experience at Netflix and Playboy.
Returning for this year’s event Monty Munford, tech journalist for Forbes and the BBC, describes ZEST as an excellent tech conference qualifying as “one of my Top Five for 2016”. Funderbeam’s Kaidi Ruusalepp, also returning in 2017, regards ZEST as a stand out event commending “the combination of amazing networking, fascinating talks, and an incredible location”.
Malta’s home-grown startups present at ZEST will include names such as Altaro, Hotjar and Oulala, as well as Sherpa.
In contrast to the traditional business conference, ZEST adopts a very informal, no-nonsense format, where talks are short, yet sharp. Discussion topics will include business foresight, investment, scaling strategies, organisational culture, and the impact of emerging technologies on established verticals such as finance, content and hospitality.
A novelty this year is the introduction of satellite events targeting niche communities and giving more space for specialist discussion and networking to take place outside the main event. Efforts are also in place to grow the ZEST after party, which offers all delegates an ideal environment for informal social interaction and community engagement.
ZEST Malta 2017 is organised by the Malta Communications Authority (MCA) in collaboration with various other public entities and stakeholders. For the second year running, the MCA has teamed up with the Times of Malta as its official media partner. Individuals interested to attend are encouraged to take advantage of the limited number of early-bird tickets on sale at http://www.zest.org.mt/. Early-bird pricing expire on the 31st July.