The Mid-Atlantic Venture Association (MAVA) wrapped its annual Capital Connection ’11 conference today in Washington, DC. With more than 900 registered of the two conferences, Capital Connection and TechBUZZ, this year broke attendance records not seen since 1999. Sixty-four tech companies were showcased during the 2 events over two days and joined hundreds of other entrepreneurs in attendance.
Keynote speaker Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter discussed what’s in store for the global social media giant in the future. “Twitter will be focusing on mobile for the next five years. Our goal is to be invisible but be everywhere.” Stone also told the room of investors and entrepreneurs that “in order to succeed spectacularly, they must be willing to fail spectacularly.”
In addition to the 900 attendees at the conference, thousands of people on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn followed the groundswell of postings and updates made during the conference. The high volume of traffic of commentaries reflected the energy and insight shared by industry’s leading innovators.
“The year’s conference reflects a fundamental and positive shift in the investment climate. Our impressive lineup of companies across stage and sector, and the strong response by investors, indicates the market is turning.” said Julia Spicer, executive director of MAVA. “We are particularly proud of the excitement and energy surrounding this year’s new TechBUZZ specifically designed for seed-stage companies.”
Capital Connection was preceded with TechBUZZ a half day conference for angel investors and seed-stage companies. Companies were selected from a pool of applicants to present a four-minute fast pitch to a room of 300 investors and company-builders.
Capital Connection’s speaker lineup included Tucker Carlson, co-founder of The Daily Caller, Jonathan Grayer, former CEO of Kaplan, Paul DePodesta, vice president of player development for The New York Mets and key figure in Michael Lewis’ book Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game.
This year’s conference was kicked off with a panel of leading investors representing all stages of capital. The panel, moderated by Russ Garland, editor, VentureWire, included Patrick Kerins, managing director, NEA; Nigel Morris, managing partner, QED Investors, Ashton Newhall, partner, Greensprings Associates, and Bob Smith, managing director, JMI Equity. Panelists addressed a standing room only crowd of company-builders and entrepreneurs eager to learn about the trends that effect the availability of important financing needed to build high growth companies – at every stage of a company’s development.
Capital ConnectionTM and MAVA
As it has done for more than 20 years, Capital Connection brings together the broad community of entrepreneurial companies and potential partners to help enhance business and economic growth. Opinion leaders from business and government share their knowledge and expertise, along with leading technology companies at all growth stages who showcase their capabilities to a nationwide audience of investors, advisors, partners, and entrepreneurs at the annual signature event. For more information, go to www.capitalconnection.org. Co-chairs for Capital Connection ’11 included Carter Griffin, general partner, Updata Partners, Deric Emry, general partner, ABS Capital Partners, and Sever Totia, principal, Edison Ventures.
The Mid-Atlantic Venture Association represents the full spectrum of capital sources, entrepreneurs, and their strategic partners. MAVA provides a wide range of programs, information and forums designed to stimulate company growth, facilitate quality deal flow, encourage collaboration, and foster relationships between entrepreneurs, investors, strategic partners and customers. For more information, please visit www.mava.org.