Friday, October 19, 2012

Startup Summit Comes to the Triangle this November

You've probably heard of the Internet Summit, a two day conference that attracts many of the region’s top digital minds. It’s run by the same group that organizes Digital East, a conference in which I participated back when I was still running partnerships for a startup based in the DC Metro Area. We ended up pitching as a startup at that event and gained traction with a few local investors.

My very first day in the Triangle, CED sent me to the Internet Summit. Last year’s event attracted digital professionals from a variety of industries and sectors and included exciting panel discussions and an animated keynote from speaker and internet-sales genius Gary Vaynerchuk. 

The panel that stands out most in my mind from last year is one that was designed specifically for startups to understand how to craft a successful pitch. Marc Gorlin, the co-founder and chairman of Kabbage, who just closed a partnershipdeal with CED Mentor Partner Channel Advisor, gave an impressive overview of what would impress potential investors and what certainly would get you the boot.

I'm excited to attend again this year, and here’s why: in previous years, the focus on startups has been lacking. Sure, there was that panel last year, but there wasn't much else. I didn't bump into nearly as many entrepreneurs or folks working within growth-stage companies as I thought. 

It’s like the folks running the conference read my mind – this year features the Startup Summit, which focuses exclusively on giving startups an opportunity to showcase their technology and learn from those who have been in their shoes.

Speakers include Angus Davis of Swipely, Sarah Lacey of PandoDaily, Paul Singh of 500 Startups, Scott Maxwell from OpenView Venture Partners, and the Triangle’s own David Morken of Bandwidth. Sixteen early- and growth-stage startups will pitch to the audience. According to Scott Hedrick, one of the professionals behind the Startup Summit and Internet Summit, eleven startups are confirmed, and the final five will be selected soon (check back for an update).

I asked Hedrick what prompted the decision to add the Startup Summit. “We wanted to take the opportunity to highlight the great startup community here locally,” said Hedrick in an email, “we're always looking for places we can add extra value for attendees, and the Startup Summit appears to be a great extension of this event for the audience.”

CED is proud to be a community sponsor of the Startup Summit, and we look forward to seeing the region’s top digital minds convene in downtown Raleigh for an incredible three days of knowledge-sharing, networking, and the inevitable afterparty.

Still need to register? As a community sponsor, CED gets to offer a discounted rate to attend. If interested, email and tell them CED sent you. 

Post authored by CED's Jason H. Parker, who spends his days telling the story of entrepreneurship in the Triangle and his nights dreaming of startup ventures. Find him online @jasonhparker

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