Next Upstate recently announced that Jeff Hoffman, a global entrepreneur from Priceline.com and uBid, will deliver the opening keynote address at the 2020 Venture Pitch Conference on April 7 in Greenville.
“Hoffman was asked to keynote because of his success and exceptional background,” said Next Upstate director of communications and culture, Christy Ashkettle. “Not only is he a successful entrepreneur, but he is also a worldwide motivational speaker, published author, Hollywood film producer, a producer of a Grammy-winning jazz album and executive producer of an Emmy Award-winning TV show. He has been the founder of multiple startups, has been the CEO of both public and private companies, and has served as a senior executive in many capacities.”
In its fifth year, the conference this year is focused on education, but it will follow the same formula as 2019’s conference, which included deep-dive sessions in the morning to benefit the region’s top entrepreneurs, Ashkettle said.
“Our entrepreneurs need to hear from people who have done this before, have seen it all and can help guide them in building and scaling their startup,” Ashkettle said. “The morning sessions are guided around that and the afternoon conference showcases pitch companies along with various panels and the keynote. (As part of the theme), Hoffman will share his experiences in starting these companies and helping them scale, but also the failures and mistakes he has encountered through the years. Educating our audience, but also helping them realize that they’re not alone and there are people and organizations who can help — like Next and our ecosystem filled with fellow entrepreneurs, innovators and mentors. We want startups to succeed and we are doing all we can to facilitate their growth.”
In addition to the morning sessions, attendees will be able to attend CEO-focused workshops and have opportunities for a selection of innovative Southern-based startups to pitch their ideas to an audience of around 300 business leaders and venture capitalists. there will also be a fireside chat with highly accomplished leaders in sports who will share their experiences in building championship teams. Finally, a panel of leading startup founders from around the Carolinas will explore their successful journeys over the past 30 years in the Southeast market.
2020 Venture Pitch Conference
Greenville One Conference Center, 2 W. Washington St., Greenville
$100 for morning workshop; $175 for full day