Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Day One: CED Tech Venture Conference 2012

More than 1,200 people joined the CED team in Raleigh for the first day of the CED Tech Venture Conference on Tuesday, Sept. 11 to showcase innovation, technology and entrepreneurship from North Carolina's top tech startups and growth-stage companies.

We kicked off the day by hosting the All Things Tech Job Fair, an event held in partnership with the North Carolina Technology Association (NCTA) and Wake County Economic Development's Work in the Triangle, Smarter from Any Angle talent-attraction initiative. More than 300 folks attended the job fair in person, and many more followed and engaged virtually using the job fair's hashtag, #CEDJobFair.

The 28 employers actively recruiting at the job fair included Triangle favorites Allscripts,, Bronto Software, ChannelAdvisor, Geomagic, Netsertive, Red Hat and SciQuest. The employers were collectively recruiting for more than 600 open positions in the Triangle across a variety of job functions. Most in demand were Java and .NET developers, UX/UI designers and experienced account executives, though there were also open positions in branding and marketing, HR, and customer care.

Two great recaps of the All Things Tech Job Fair appeared in the News & Observer and the Herald-Sun.

The CED Tech Venture Conference 2012 pre-session, the Entrepreneur Workshop, featured eight TED-esque talks from Triangle experts. Topics included hiring top tech talent, positioning your business to partner with strategic groups, effectively pricing your products, and crowdfunding. Led by Mike Capps, President of Epic Games, the Entrepreneur Workshop attracted more than 150 entrepreneurs and was a fantastic kickoff to the Conference.

Opening remarks were delivered by Mark Templeton, President and CEO of Citrix, who connected with entrepreneurs by telling stories from the early days of the company that has grown to touch three out of every four users of the internet in some way. He defined entrepreneurs as those "whbuild things from scratch" which "takes guts, intestinal fortitude, risks and lots of things that I don’t think I have." Templeton was quick to note that one of the qualities he does possess is the respect for and ability to recognize entrepreneurial spirit in others and in the teams he has built at Citrix. 

Over the course of the two-day event, more than 75 Demo Companies will pitch in the CED Tech Venture Conference's unique "Demo Lightning Rounds," which feature 2-minute product launches, proof-of-concept in front of investors, or news announcements highlighting large company milestones. 

Tuesday's agenda closed with a financing panel featuring investors from Andreessen Horowitz, Canaan Partners, IBM Ventures and StarVest Partners. The panelists discussed crowdfunding, how to position and build your company to attract investment, and took audience questions. One question from the audience addressed the need for Triangle-area entrepreneurs to connect with outside markets.

Investor Edlyn Yuen of StarVest Partners in New York described the panel discussion as engaging and informative for both investors and entrepreneurs. "I'm so glad that the panelists had differing opinions on the topics discussed," said Yuen, noting that though the panelists differed in opinion, each viewpoint and perspective was valuable.

Today kicks off Day Two of the CED Tech Venture Conference, with more Demo Companies sharing updates. Stay tuned to the CED Blog for updates from the conference!

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