Biggest Brazilian tech fest kicks off

This year's Campus Party is focused on entrepreneurship and expects 160,000 visitors

The largest technology event in Brazil has opened its doors for the general public today and will focus heavily on entrepreneurship and new business development.

Tickets for the seventh edition of Campus Party are sold out. Some 8,000 young techies will be camping in a space within the convention center in São Paulo where the week-long festival is taking place. In addition, about 160,000 visitors are expected to attend the event until Sunday (2).

When announcing this year's agenda for the festival and the departure from the previous focus on "nerd" subjects towards start-ups, Campus Party founder Paco Ragageles said this year's event would be a "Disneyland for entrepreneurs"

Keynote speakers this year will be focused on the development of new digital businesses and will include several Brazilian businesspeople, government representatives, academics and experts, such as professor at University of São Paulo and comentator Luli Radfahrer, the head of technology hub Porto Digital, Silvio Meira and founder of tech advertising firm boo-box, Marco Gomes.

As for international speakers, the highlights are Iron Maiden vocalist and entrepreneur Bruce Dickinson and senior vice president of strategy and business development at PayPal, Mark Levalle.

Other highlights of the event include a developer challenge sponsored by the European Commission will pay R$ 1.2mi ($497,000) to the best application built on open cloud-based infrastructure platform Fi-Ware.

About 10 percent of the event will be allocated to some 300 startups that will be selected this week through the Campus Party website. The selected startups will then be introduced to investors. According to Ragageles, a pool of resources of about R$2mi ($829,000) is available for investments.