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5 of the World’s Most Inspiring Tech Events You’ve Never Heard of

While the nation's digerati flocked to Apple's WWDC in San Francisco this week, we were busy planning our trips to more exciting destinations. No more…


While the nation's digerati flocked to Apple's WWDC in San Francisco this week, we were busy planning our trips to more exciting destinations. No more overly caffeinated crowds in civic centers; we're on the hunt for serene locations that bring more intimate crowds to exotic locales like the Greek Isles and Maui, Hawaii.

Here are 5 conferences that inspire us:

TOA Berlin

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Combining art, music and technology by way of workshops, concerts and satellite venues, TOA connects like-minded creatives in a fun and relaxing environment. "TOA" stands for Tech Open Air, "Open Air" being a popular term for open air concerts in the summer time in Berlin. Now in its second year, TOA will take place on August 1-2, the first day filled with various workshops and meet-and-greets and the second day consisting of showcases spread throughout the city. Speakers include Paul Jozefak of Liquid Labs, Mike Butcher of TechCrunch and yours truly. Tickets start at $117 for students and $275 for those who are not. Either way, if you’re in the area, TOA is definitely worth checking out. Just don't show up in your suit!

Nordic Ruby


Like nothing we've seen before, Nordic Ruby mixes a tech conference with a relaxing spa experience. Held in Stockholm, Sweden at the Yasuragi Hasseludden Hotel, speakers at this year’s event included Chad Fowler of 6Wunderkinder and Elise Worthy of Brandworthy. With tickets starting at $1,800, attendees receive meals, conferences and lodging for the week. With the startup world as busy and time-consuming as it is, the Nordic Ruby is a much welcomed break for busy techies. This year’s conference has already come and gone, but keep this in mind for next year and you might be able to snag earlybird tickets. Check out hacker Natalia Buckley's write up of the conference here on the Makeshift blog.

Geeks on a Boat


Imagine sailing on a yacht with your company around the Greek islands! Geeks on a Boat allows members to rent an entire yacht or even just a cabin built for two while sailing along the Mediterranean from June 29-July 6 this summer. That’s seven entire days of meeting other startup companies while still getting work done for your own onboard. The company running it, Incrediblue, has roughly 300 boats in 35 different locations. Prices range anywhere from $40-$1,500 per day, depending on how big a boat you'd like and if you'd like to bring along a chef and crew. Those interested must first apply for an invite here.

MaiTai Global


Mai-Tai is the anti-conference kiteboarding camp geared towards entrepreneurs and those interested in the sport that has swept Silicon Valley. Products are showcased for participating companies but most importantly, the weekend consists of like-minded individuals getting to know one another. The kiteboarding classes bring everyone down to the same level of learning new skills, creating a less intimidating and informal conference than others that are out there. Locations and dates vary, including Cape Hatteras and Maui, Hawaii. To snag tickets, those interested must request an invite via email. Upcoming events include Cabarete, Dominican Republic on July 24-29 and Cape Hatteras, North Carolina July 30-August 4.

Summit Series


After 5-years of hosting epic events for entrepreneurs including Summit BasecampSummit at Sea and DC10The Summit Series team decided it was time to grow roots, and found its home in a place called Eden, Utah. Here, the 40-person Summit Series team, led by co-founders Elliott Bisnow, Brett Leve, Jeff Rosenthal and Jeremy Schwartz, is anything but “settling down” with big plans for a summer experience called "Summit Outside". The Summit team is building a community of entrepreneurs with housing options varying from million dollar homes to those who've "made it" to modest artist lodgings for the creative demographic they’re actively seeking. For those who want to get involved in Summit, invitations are given on a word of mouth basis. They’re looking for people who are disrupting their fields and framing their work in terms of social enterprise.

Wearable Tech Conference and Expo


The Wearable Tech Conference and Expo is the conference showcasing all technology that you can wear. The conference is a place for vendors to show demonstrations of their product and to get the word out there for what’s to come in the world of technology. Guest speakers also make an appearance, John Dwyer from Flextronics and Billie Whitehouse from Wearable Experiments to name a few.  The conference is happening in San Francisco on July 22 and 23.  Ticket prices vary, starting at $890 depending on when you register. Thanks to Google Glass, this is definitely an emerging market worth paying attention to.

What tech events are you attending this summer that would inspire us? Let us know!

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