Regional Tech Superstars, Celebrity Cameos Share Additional Advice
The East Coast tech start-up community was treated to a healthy dose of practical advice, hearing directly from seasoned CEOs and active angel, institutional and corporate investors, as well as state investment funds at MAVA’s TechBUZZ Spring 2013. The topic? How best to develop and build their fledgling businesses. More than 250 members of the tech community participated in the lively give and take.
In one of the key sessions, 16 tech start-ups took center stage to share their stories with investors, technology executives and fellow entrepreneurs and opened themselves up to feedback and advice. These presenting companies represent fields as diverse as cybersecurity, education technology, data analytics, health IT and technology-enabled consumer services, providing a range of interests at the seed stage.
Additional audience members, selected at random in a blind drawing of volunteers, provided one-minute quick pitches about their companies to solicit reactions from fellow attendees, which added to audience participation and engagement.
"One of the major themes for TechBUZZ has always been education and information sharing, much of it through peer review and interaction,” said Julia Spicer, Executive Director of MAVA. “Feedback – particularly from such seasoned founders and CEOs who bring direct experience from building companies – is crucial in helping start-ups shape and refine their thinking and their go-to-market business plans. By bringing together all the various stakeholders of the tech community, TechBUZZ creates an environment for learning, growth and ultimately the creation of commercially viable businesses.”
The diversity of technology start-ups represented at TechBUZZ Spring 2013 reflected the growth of an ever-evolving technology community in the greater Mid-Atlantic region. Two former TechBUZZ stars, Justin Langseth, CEO, Zoomdataand John Bracken, CEO, Speekpreviously presented in 2012 at TechBUZZ and reflected on the year’s milestones and how the experience helped shape their companies’ ongoing growth and development.
Two notable CEOs, Wayne Jackson, CEO, Sonatype, Capital Connection 2012 presenter and former CEO, Sourcefire, and Joe Payne, CEO, Eloqua, which was recently sold to Oracle and a MAVA 2012 Sterling Company honoree, contributed significantly to the attendees’ understanding of how to build and run successful technology start-ups.
“The energy and enthusiasm on display at TechBUZZ are indicators of the vibrancy and vitality of the East Coast, and particularly the Mid-Atlantic, tech community. This is a great lead-in to Capital Connection, MAVA’s signature event in June,” added Spicer.
The next TechBUZZ stage will be held during Capital Connection June 5-6, and an additional TechBUZZ is slated for the Fall. The distinctive TechBUZZ forum brings together the key players in start-up growth and facilitates the development of start-up concepts and prototypes to market entry.
To elevate and showcase start-ups and others in the greater Mid-Atlantic region, MAVA taps a range of community partners to bring together a broad, diverse and ever-changing community of entrepreneurs to events such as TechBUZZ and to MAVA’s signature Capital Connection which takes place June 5-6 at The Mead Center for the Performing Arts (Arena Stage) in Washington, DC.
MAVA’s community partners for TechBUZZ Spring 2013 cover a wide regional geography from Hatch in Norfolk, VA, Fishbowl in Loudoun County, VA and TeqCorner in Tysons Corner, VA, to Washington, DC’s 1776, ETC in Baltimore, MD and sector-focused Bethesda Green in Bethesda, MD.
A non-profit organization with deep roots in the technology community, MAVA brings together company-builders from across the country and at every stage of development, and provides a trusted public showcase to promote these enterprises, from promising start-ups to publicly-traded success stories. TechBUZZ in particular offers a public platform for community partners and their companies and helps shape a supportive ecosystem for the earliest of regional start-ups.