Digital Bridge 2023: 30,000 participants from 30 countries - dialogue about the harmony of human and artificial intelligence

The international IT forum Digital Bridge 2023 brought together more than 30 thousand participants, including delegations from 30 countries, representatives of more than 300 IT companies, 450 speakers, over 100 investors and business angels, as well as more than 150 startups. The main topic of the forum this year was Artificial and Human Intelligence: The right balance.

Traditionally, the opening of Digital Bridge 2023 was held in the format of a plenary session with the participation of the President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, outstanding leaders of world companies, as well as invited experts from the international and domestic IT community and venture investors from the entire region. 

Also speaking at the plenary session were : venture investor, co-founder of Draper Fisher Jurvetson, founder of Draper University Tim Draper; TikTok CEO Shaw Chu; founder of the Digital Nomads and Silkroad Innovation Hub community  Aset Abdualiyev, executive director of the ICPC Foundation William Poucher, SpaceX vice president for Starlink Lauren Dreyer, founder of online services Arbuz, Aviata, Pinemelon USA and Ticketon Alexey Lee. The session was moderated by screenwriter, producer, director of Barrat Media James Barrat.

The awards to the winners of the Digital Bridge Awards 2023 were presented by the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Alikhan Smailov. 337 applications for participation in the prestigious award were received from Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Singapore, Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Russia, Uzbekistan and the USA. This year, the best in the field of digitalization were identified in seven categories. The best were: EPAM Kazakhstan, Ozim Platform,, Limon.KG, Kolesa group, Big Sky Capital,

Within the framework of the forum, 55 panel sessions, round tables and presentations in keynote format were held, at which the most important topics of the development of Kazakhstan as an IT country, the creative industry, the use of GPT in education, the Smart city concept, new prospects for women in the digital economy, the development of regional venture market, progress in space communications, the impact of 5G on digital transformation, No Code trends, as well as the impact of artificial intelligence on the development of the Kazakh language, issues of interaction between AI and democracy, and data management methods in the modern context.

“The Forum actively promotes the development of the IT industry in Kazakhstan, attracting foreign investments and large international companies, which in turn has a positive effect on the country’s economic statistics in the IT sector,” said Bagdat Musin, Minister of Digital Development, Innovation and Aerospace Industry of the Republic of Kazakhstan .

At the Digital Bridge 2023 site, government agencies, large companies, international technology parks and other organizations signed 29 documents aimed at developing IT innovations. ICRIAP RK concluded 3 memorandums, including with the ICPC Foundation on holding the World Programming Championship in 2024 in Kazakhstan. The international technology park Astana Hub signed 8 memorandums aimed at developing the ecosystem of technology startups in Central Asia, the venture market of Kazakhstan by popularizing venture investments in the region, as well as developing the game development industry. 

Another unique event at Digital Bridge 2023 is the filming of a reality show about startups, Meet the Drapers. This year they filmed in Central Eurasia for the first time. Four Kazakh startups that passed the preliminary selection presented their projects and only one of them reached the semi-finals of the competition. However, according to the terms of the competition, information has not yet been disclosed about who exactly from Kazakhstan will compete for the chance to receive investments in the amount of $1 million.

Tim Draper praised Kazakhstan's progress in the digital sphere, noting the Ministry of Digital Development of the Republic of Kazakhstan and emphasized the important role of Astana Hub in creating a strong startup community and its positive impact on youth. 

The forum also hosted the Google for Startups summit for the first time. Representatives of 15 partner countries of the company participating in the Google for Startups acceleration program arrived in Kazakhstan, where they held their own expert event. This was a logical development of the successful cooperation between Google for Startups and Astana Hub within the Silkway Accelerator. It is worth noting that 37 startups went through this program, with a total valuation of $400 million.

Numerous exhibitions and various zones were traditionally organized at the Digital Bridge 2023 site. At exhibitions of IT schools and regional IT hubs, representatives of the 16 best IT schools in the country and 14 regional ones told visitors about the development of digitalization, educational programs and the achievements of startups in the regions.

At the Pitching Zone, as well as at exhibitions of VC, startups and companies, IT entrepreneurs presented their projects, talked about their achievements and plans, received feedback from representatives of large corporations in various fields, and discussed potential cooperation. At the Job Fair, which took place not only on the forum site, but also in the metaverse, more than 500 vacancies from 20 large companies were presented. Thus, the opportunity to visit the fair online was provided to everyone from anywhere in the world.

In the robotics zone, engineering and technical projects of schoolchildren and students in the fields of agriculture, aerospace construction and cybersecurity were presented. In addition, the FIRST world movement champions competed in the battle of robots, as well as a drone race called Drone Racing. Forum visitors had the opportunity to communicate with the champions of the International FIRST Global Challenge 2023 - the World Robotics Championship, which was held last year in Switzerland and this year in Singapore. Here they were able to examine their projects, which were recognized as the best among teams from 190 countries, in detail.

Of course, the most exciting and long-awaited part of Digital Bridge 2023 was the Astana Hub Battle - one of the largest startup battles in the IT world. More than 200 IT companies from Central Eurasia took part in the battle, vying for a total prize fund of $125,000 for the further development of their IT products. This year, the winners of the Astana Hub Battle were determined in five categories, each of which brought them $25,000. The best were recognized: MyMind, Porte, Beksar, MyStory and Qtap .

“We express our deep gratitude to all participants, guests, speakers, especially sponsors for their support and significant contribution to the development of the ecosystem. This forum is one of the key parts of our mission in the development of technological entrepreneurship in the region, as well as in popularizing the domestic startup culture and finding new participants in the ecosystem. We congratulate everyone involved on the successful holding of the largest IT forum in Central Asia and look forward to new achievements in the world of innovation and startups. See you at Digital Bridge 2024!” emphasized Magzhan Madiev, CEO of Astana Hub.

Digital Bridge 2023 turned into a real musical event when the world-famous DJ and Grammy Award winner Imanbek lit up its stage. His performance and success story on the world stage certainly turned out to be incredible and inspiring for thousands of forum participants.

Let us remind you that on October 12-13, the capital of Kazakhstan hosted Digital Bridge 2023, the largest IT forum in Central Asia. The forum was organized by the Ministry of Digital Development, Innovation and Aerospace Industry of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Akimat of Astana and the international technology park Astana Hub. General sponsor - . Sponsors and partners - Freedom bank, Visa, Yandex, Citix, Ozon, TTS, Halyk, Eurasian bank, BI Group, Allur, Bereke bank, Huawei, Mycar, Kazakhtelecom, Kcell, Tele2, Altel, Beeline, KazMunayGas, Qazaqgaz, Bitrix 24 , QIC, KDSS, 7Generation, Binance. 

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Мы были первый раз на таком мероприятии, и были в восторг от того что увидели своими глазами кумиров и просто важных людей. Определенно, это дало нам выйти с комфорт зоны и искать свое счастье там где ты не ожидаешь.


Интересный контекст! Форум Digital Bridge 2023, судя по всему, представляет значимое событие для международного IT-сообщества.




Digital Bridge 2023 действительно собрал внушительное количество участников. Важная тема — баланс между искусственным и человеческим интеллектом.