A new experience
Approximately a month ago, we received an email from Continental AG inviting us to their Trend Camp on October 1st. in Regensburg, Germany. To their invitation we responded positively as we considered it a good way to promote our startup.
But what is Trend Camp? Continental organizes Trend Camps exclusively for Continental employees from around the world. Throughout the year, these camps are held in different places, for example Mexico City, Shanghai, Frankfurt, and of course, Regensburg. In these Camps, employees from different fields combine ideas with hopes of innovation and new possible business ideas for their company. This year, the Trend Camp in Regensburg focused on smart cities, future work, robotics, and energy generation & E-Mobility. For each of these topics, relevant startups presented their cutting-edge ideas and products as a source of inspiration and innovation for Continental. Because of our close connection to robots and hardware for our Personalities, Continental thought we would be a good fit to the Trend Camp and decided to give us a shot; a shot we did not hesitate to take.
However, we would soon come to realize that we were up for quite a hectic week as our agenda was already full for the week when the Trend Camp was to take place. The first week of October, we also were planning on attending the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) Messe Bremen, another good opportunity for us to let our startup be known. For this reason we decided to divide and conquer, and as Lisa got in charge of the IAC event, I went to Regensburg to take part in the Continental Trend Camp. This was my first solo trip representing Blackout, so I was both nervous and extremely excited.
Trend Camp Day
After some weeks of preparation, the day had finally come. Around 150 Continental guests were gathered to learn about different startups and Continental projects, hoping to find projects where they could collaborate. Even though the event started around noon, I arrived there around 9:30 to get a chance to set up my stand and get to know some of the other startups.
Since the beginning, I could feel the excitement and innovation mindset in the atmosphere. A drone was flying around taking pictures of everyone, self driving mini karts were displayed and cruising throughout the hall, and startups were passionately displaying their ideas. It felt like the right place for Blackout to be in.
Once the clock turned 12, the guests slowly started coming around. Attending the camp was a great experience for me as I realized the importance of talking to people about what we do. Some of the people I talked to, had no idea how our technology worked and how one could model digital assistants, but they all seemed really interested and excited about our products once I explained them what we do. Others, however, had more knowledge in AI and digital assistants and asked me more challenging questions, which was a lot of fun answering. It was really enjoyable seeing how people left our booth cheerfully, taking our stickers and flyers as they left.
Even though in the beginning I was a bit anxious, after some time there, I grew more comfortable and conversations became more intuitive and natural. I talked to a lot of people that worked in different fields for Continental and that had some interesting ideas on how they could use our products in their fields.
At around five, the guests were taken to another talk, and our part of the Camp was over. Even though nothing was set on pen and paper, I got the feeling that multiple people were interested in working with us in the future, either to use our products or to partner up with us for other projects together. Going to the Trend Camp was really beneficial for my personal growth as well; I learned how these type of events were organized, how to explain what we do to people from different fields of expertise, and how to attend multiple people at a time. Overall the Trend Camp was a success for the organizers, Startups, and guests. I must say, I cannot wait for another experience like this.