The second „uncodeference“ IT conference, hosted by the Tyrolean startup Gronda and Werkstätte Wattens, took place on 10 May in Wattens. Fifty developers and programmers from various countries came together to network and exchange information about the latest technologies.

Startup entrepreneur and IT expert Juan Vicci launched Uncodeference to get the Tyrolean tech scene going: “The idea arose from a market need. The Tyrolean startup scene is growing and we also have enough large companies. But compared to other regions there’s a lack of IT developers. We are trying to change that.” The Spaniard is the co-founder and developer of Europe’s largest platform for hospitality staff, Gronda, based at Werkstätte Wattens.


The first Uncodeference event took place in 2018. This year’s conference was organized by Werkstätte Wattens and Gronda and co-hosted by Bernhard Mayr from Startup Innerspace. With great success: In so-called sessions, about 50 developers and programmers shared their knowledge, presented new technologies and solved software problems together. “Participants organize their day themselves, trying to share and maximize knowledge. That’s what the startup mentality is all about,” says Juan Vicci, explaining the format of the event. Large IT companies in Silicon Valley have such meetings every week. In Tyrol there is no comparable event. Topics revolve around web development, artificial intelligence and machine learning. An informal get-together the night before and a joint hike on Saturday round off the conference. “We also make sure the developers get some fresh air. The Tyrolean mountains are the perfect setting for that,” grins Juan Vicci.


“Last year, we had one female participant. This year we’re up to four”, Isabell Kurzthaler from Werkstätte Wattens is pleased to report. Already a trend internationally, too few women in Tyrol still dare to enter the IT sector. Uncodeference perfectly complements the mission of the innovative business and startup center based at the former Swarovski plant in Wattens. Kurzthaler: “It’s about content as well as networking. We are creating an opportunity for startups, developers and established businesses to meet.” The event is co-hosted by the VR startup Innerspace from Wattens and the Innsbruck-based IT service provider ARZ.


For 2020, Juan Vicci, Isabell Kurzthaler and Bernhard Mayr are planning to bring even more developers to Wattens to grow the local tech scene. “The startup spirit at Werkstätte Wattens is alive. Now we want to get the big Tyrolean companies on board. The world keeps turning. It’s time for a change of mindset,” says Vicci.


Isabell Kurzthaler, Startup Programs & Network, Werkstätte Wattens isabell.kurzthaler@destination-wattens.at