The full lineup was revealed for this year’s NEXT Venture Pitch, the annual conference that brings together entrepreneurs and venture capitalist funds in the Carolinas.
This year’s keynote speakers include Jeff Hoffman, chairman of the board at Global Entrepreneurship Network, and Jay Simons, president of Atlassian.
The conference will be held virtually from Tuesday, Sept. 15 through Thursday, Sept. 17.
Hoffman cut his teeth as an entrepreneur helping to build priceline.com and uBid.com and is a CEO, bestselling author and motivational speaker. His keynote topic will be “Proven Principles to Grow Your Business and Get Your Life Back.”
Simons, who has served as president of the Australian-based company Atlassian for the past 12 years, will be addressing the topic “How We Built a Startup into a Software Empire.”
As in years past, the highlight of the conference will be the pitch competition, featuring top Carolina-based companies. For the first time in the history of the conference, a “winner of the pitch” will be selected, who will then receive a featured spot in the Venture Atlanta showcase in October.
Although this year’s conference will be held completely virtually, organizers say the new format will allow for “creative solutions” that heighten the conference’s impact.
“Not only does this strike the best balance between providing safety and spearheading new business initiatives, it has given us the opportunity to learn new ways of gathering and connecting companies to capital,” the NEXT Venture Pitch Committee said in a statement.
A full list of conference speakers
Educational Track speakers
- Mohamed Massaquoi, founder of VESSOL; Topic: Leading Through Change
- John Yates, partner at Morris, Manning and Martin LLP; Topic: 10 Key Steps on Raising Capital
- Matt Dunbar, co-founder and managing director of VentureSouth; Topic: Perfecting Your Pitch
Founders Panel “Grow Your Startup”
- Bob Youakim, founder and CEO of Passport
- Jon-Michael Carter, founder and CEO of ChartSpan
- Sue Marks, founder and CEO of Cielo
- Marty Osborn, founder and president of Advoco
- (Moderator) Dru Armstrong, CEO of Grace Hill and co-founder and former CEO of Lily Pod
“Building World-Class Products” Panel
- Butler Raines, VP of product at SalesLoft
- Mark Essex, president and CEO of Netalytics
- Michael Morrissey, CTO of FullStory
- Javier Buzzalino, SVP of R&D at Infor
- (Moderator) Marty Osborn, founder and president of Advoco
“Building Winning Teams” Panel
- Jessica McDonald, U.S. Women’s Soccer 2019 World Cup champion
- Tajh Boyd, All-American quarterback from Clemson University
- Bobby Cremins, Georgia Tech, National College Basketball Coach of the Year
- (Moderator) Joe Schmidt IV, former Notre Dame football walk-on, captain and MVP