Coin Congress was founded by Brock Pierce in 2014. Guided by insightful advisors, the two successful 2014 events launched in Singapore and San Francisco, and attracted 60 top professionals to present and 400+ attendees represented 200 companies. The FinTech agenda explored more than just Bitcoin as experts and executives discussed the future of merchant solutions, regulation, mass adoption, distributed ledgers, and investment.
However, by late 2014, the FinTech ecosystem transcended Bitcoin and the event space was saturated with clone events; same speakers, same attendees, same subjects, and mostly the same sponsors. I attended many of these events and had many ideas on how they could be more dynamic, engaging, and attractive for those within the ecosystem and new audiences.
In 2015, I was recruited as the Vice President of Operations and Communications for Coin Congress. Once on board, I conducted an audit of all operational systems, communications and marketing strategies, and speaker and sponsor mechanics, and began to build. Despite a lean budget and very small team of mostly interns and volunteers, we scaled quickly with the August 2015 San Francisco event in our sights.
As we booked the speakers and determined the agenda, I began to evaluate ways to separate ourselves from the event competition. In the event space, our sponsors, partners, and attendees desired access to audiences beyond Bitcoin. So we listened.
At the San Francisco 2015 event, we tested a simple approach: rather than focus only the same audiences, let's invite fellow disruptors in the Valley to attend. If a drone startup or 3D printing company in the Valley was looking to expand to new markets, why not accept Bitcoin? As we reached out to these emerging industries, we discovered our fellow disruptors had so many misconceptions about everything from security to adoption to merchant services, the very subjects we were covering.
So we stacked our audience and speakers by expanding our reach into disruptive tech successfully. With 200+ attendees, 25% had never attended a Bitcoin-centered or FinTech event. In the end, experts, executives, and leaders in blockchain, drones, biohacking, cryptocurrency, venture capitalism, 3D printing, wearable tech, and sharing economy met professors, journalists, futurists, government regulators, and evangelists of disruption.
After San Francisco, we knew that we were on to a fantastic concept that, with the right rebrand, could pivot to unite various industries changing the world. Between August and September, we brainstormed and debated and finally decided on d10e, an event that would target four pillars of disruption: Fintech (bitcoin, blockchain, etc.), disruptive tech (drones, AI, 3D printing), the sharing economy (Uber of everything), and the future of work (decentralized, distributed teams and holacracy, etc.). d10e, a numeronym for decentralization was born.
After September 2015, we approached Brock Pierce (with my partner at the time, Megan Gilliland), and we launched d10e. We quickly recruited co-founder and current Chief Decentralization Officer Matt McKibbin (his personal URL was decentralize.me), and thus, d10e Amsterdam was our next mission. Our debut was a hit. Though we had no network in Amsterdam and a very lean budget and team, thanks to the help from local partners and sheer will, we united entrepreneurs, investors, makers, and dreamers obsessed with everything from bitcoin and blockchains to 3D printing and drones.
This was the first event of its kind providing exclusive networking, business, and professional development opportunities for the next generation of individuals and companies utilizing decentralizing technology to build products and services. Since then, we have hosted seven events all over the world, including Bucharest and Tel Aviv, and the mission continues to undergo its own brand revolution as these industries altering the course of human history continue to evolve.
Watch the Virtual Reality Live Streamed d10e San Francisco: Track One:
Coin Congress/d10e emcee, Naomi Brockwell, explains why decentralization is key and Bucharest's event will rock!