Velvet Innovation Conference 2023: a milestone event in #brnoregion tech ecosystem

16. November 2023
#brnoregion witnessed an extraordinary gathering of minds at the Velvet Innovation Conference on 15 November 2023. The biggest event under the Velvet Innovation umbrella so far marked a significant milestone in the region's commitment to fostering an open innovation ecosystem.
Velvet Innovation Conference 2023: a milestone event in #brnoregion tech ecosystem

The future is a feature, not a bug

This year, we invited Daria Krivonos from the Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies to give an opening keynote speech that set the tone for the whole evening, since the themes of the future and planning ahead were interwoven throughout the whole conference programme

In her thought-provoking address, Daria emphasised the plurality of futures, suggesting multiple potential outcomes and urging a departure from traditional approaches. As she challenged conventional thinking with questions about decision-making based on historical contexts and the need to re-evaluate strategies in light of changing circumstances, the speaker also stressed the importance of learning about our own cognitive biases. Krivonos highlighted the importance of asking endless questions about the future and considering what needs to be true, happen, not happen, or even go backwards for the envisioned future to materialise.

Moderated by Martina Pouchlá, the panel following the opening session featured Jan Grolich, Ondráš Přibyla, Daniel Prokop, and Daria Krivonos. Discussions centred on local challenges to innovation, the importance of transforming education, and the necessity of making courageous mid-term commitments. Some of the key points included the role of education in preparing for a changing future and the importance of understanding the difference between genuine innovation and mere improvement.

Go over some of Daria's insights in her speech for the Velvet Innovation Conference 2023

Showcasing the best of #brnoregion

As always, we picked the most exciting student projects, start-ups, scale-up success stories, and innovation leaders to be proud of and attendees cast their votes in 2 pitch contests. Big congratulations go to Jana Kuklová, founder of Kikiriki games, for winning the Startup Spotlight pitch contest, and Tomáš Němec and his student project, for winning the Emerging Innovator Award.

In 2023, JIC has, for the first time, awarded the Brno region Startup of the Year – Sustainability Award in cooperation with the Partnership Foundation and the South Moravian Region. The competition was designed for startups that offer inspiring and innovative products or projects in the field of environmental and social innovation. The award was presented at the conference by the Governor of the South Moravian Region, Jan Grolich, to Tomáš Zahradník, founder of Their team has developed its own algorithm, thanks to which it is able to significantly streamline transport services.

The Velvet Innovation Conference not only highlighted Brno's thriving tech scene but also underscored the region's commitment to building a sustainable future through innovation. The event successfully brought together the academic community, industry veterans, and young entrepreneurs, creating a melting pot of ideas and experiences. Plans for next year's conference are already underway, with a focus on expanding its reach and impact. As we reflect on the success of the Velvet Innovation Conference, it is evident that #brnoregion is not just a hub for technological advancement, but also a community deeply invested in nurturing a culture of innovation that resonates globally.

Join us to network, share your ideas and push for a better future with the Velvet Innovation community.

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