To absolutely no one's surprise, the people behind the major TOA event in Berlin are today announcing that there will be no physical event in 2020, and that its focus is shifting completely to building 'digital products'.
Interestingly, the company has received new investments as it charts that new course, from new backers such as media powerhouses Axel Springer and Infobahn (the Japanese company it had partnered with for a Tokyo event in recent years), the founders of neobank N26 and Trivago, and others.
A couple of years ago, TOA had raised financing from just about everyone in the German tech industry and beyond, as it is now forced to look at other ways to use its solid brand.
One of the things to look forward to is a digital version of the TOA event which will happen 'in late summer', the organisers say. In the coming weeks, TOA says it will have conversations with a large number of partners, sponsors, speakers etc. to flesh it out.
"We closed the financing round before the coronavirus hit. From the outset, the new investments were intended for the creation of new community products and formats. The COVID-19 crisis simply accelerated the speed of change. The large number of applications in the first weeks of our accelerator programme Future Perfect shows that we can virtually activate our community and provide an added value," says TOA founder Niko Woischnik.
The accelerator that he mentions was a non-profit initiative set up recently in conjunction with wefox and finleap (and with a tech.eu media partnership) to battle the coronavirus outbreak with novel tech.
In addition to the virtual summer event, TOA is launching a virtual networking event (TOA Meet) and a virtual member club (TOA Klub) with different networking and learning formats that are "in line with its main mission of future-proofing work, society and life".