Music x Tech: three days of technology & innovation in Groningen (and music!)

Europe’s biggest music showcase festival is just around the corner. But this time around, it’s about more than just catching the latest bands and acts. Early next year, during the Eurosonic Noorderslag festival, Music meets Tech, or MxT, will be held exclusively for entrepreneurs from the technological and creative industries. 

MxT was initiated by Founded in Groningen and a number of Groningen entrepreneurs such as Dion ten Heggeler of Chordify, Stef van der Ziel of Jet Stream and Bas Krijgsman and Ruben Haring of Let's Get Digital. All of them are music enthusiasts, but also entrepreneurs who believe in the power of technology. "MxT will show that both worlds cannot exist without each other." 

Connecting a vibrant ecosystem

Innovative entrepreneurs and investors from all over Europe have been invited to Groningen to network, meet, share and learn, and enjoy an informal drink or two. "It’s something that we’ve been doing very well and successfully in Groningen for years. But this time, it’s on a bigger scale and for three days," says co-organizer Dion ten Heggeler, who is also one of the founders of Chordify. The goal? To connect. But also to put the Netherlands and Groningen on the map as true innovators." 

That a conference like this is taking place in Groningen of all places is perfectly obvious, according to Max Papo of Founded in Groningen, one of the initiators of MxT. "Groningen is not just the youngest city in Europe, but there’s also a very vibrant and innovative start-up and scale-up community here." 

Ten Heggeler agrees: "In Groningen, the lines of communication are short. Entrepreneurs from the creative, technological and innovative industries all know each other, empower each other and know where to find each other. With MxT, we want to facilitate what is already happening in Groningen, but this time on a national and international level as well." Papo adds: "By bringing innovative companies together, we can create valuable connections. These companies enable creatives, designers and musicians to work better, easier, faster, and with greater impact."

From the latest in AI to the Metaverse

So what’s there to look forward to? The program of this first edition features several speakers, including Constantijn van Oranje, as Special Envoy of Techleap and one of the catalysts of the event. Among other things, he will talk about TechLeap and how music helps him achieve his goals. Workshops, panel discussions and networking drinks are also planned of course. Part of the program is for invited guests only, but Stadjers and visitors of ESNS are also welcome to attend some of the events.  

As for the panels, workshops and keynotes, attendees can look forward to the latest in tech. What will the Metaverse sound like, for example? Sound designer and sound artist Jelmer Althuis has devoted himself entirely to spatial audio techniques for next-generation media and VR since 2017. He’ll share his extensive expertise and talk about how immersive sound design will be a vital part of the success of the Metaverse. And what about artificial intelligence and 3D printing? Will the future of AI strengthen the creative process? Can additive manufacturing and rapid prototyping accelerate growth? MxT will bring you up to speed about all this and much more.

The organization has big ambitions for the conference. MxT should ultimately grow into the most diverse and fully-fledged European conference in the tech and music scene. But also putting the Netherlands, the Northern Netherlands and Groningen on the map as an attractive location for start-ups and scale-ups is one of its goals. And last, but not least: "We especially want to surprise visitors and guests with a good, fun and informative program," Papo concludes. 

MxT will kick off on Jan. 17 next year and last until Thursday, Jan. 19. Some 300 invitations have already gone out the door for the event. Many creative, innovative and technological entrepreneurs from all over Europe, but also about 50 international investors have already found an invitation on their digital doormat.