Don’t underestimate the value of conferences. When you’re building a business, you should attend as many as you can fit into your schedule.
Take for example Women 2.0, started by entrepreneur Shaherose Charania, for aspiring women technology entrepreneurs. The next conference happens this November 14-15 in Las Vegas. While the combination of the (early bird) ticket price of $950, plane ticket to Vegas and hotel room can add up to $2,000, that business investment can mean the difference between success and failure when you factor in the contacts and deals you make.
If you’re thinking about one day raising capital (or interested in learning about what that even means), consider these success stories from entrepreneurs who pitched their companies — with huge results — at Women 2.0.
- After pitching on the Women 2.0 stage: Wendy Nguyen, founder of HealthyOut, raised a $1.2 million round led by 500 Startups, Blueprint Health, 37 Angels and Jan Brandt.
- Thuy Truong, founder of GreenGar, flew in from Ho Chi Minh City to pitch her startup in front of 1,000 people on Valentine’s Day, then quickly returned to Mountain View with her team to join the 500 Startups accelerator program.
- Months after pitching on at Women 2.0 in NYC in November 2012, Yahoo! snapped up Maria Rehnui Zheng’s mobile startup Alike for an undisclosed sum. The team joined Yahoo! mobile in California in February 2013.
Conferences aren’t just good for capital, they’re helpful for product sales, business development deals and schmoozing with members of the press. But make sure you’re going to conferences attended by decision makers with real buying power. There are plenty to choose from.
Social Venture Network, for socially minded, double-bottom-line businesses happens this week in Baltimore, and I’ll be at Pennsylvania Gov Conference on November 1, which also hosts events annually in Massachusetts and Texas. You can hear Martha Stewart speak at the first annual Indiana Governor’s Conference for Women on November 5, and then catch one of DailyWorth’s Women to Watch, Angela Jia Kim, delivering the keynote at Virginia Women’s Business Conference on November 22.
(And if you’re looking for something totally out of this world, check out FaerieCon November 8-10 in Maryland. My daughter and I will be there with wings on!)
This is your friendly reminder to get out from behind your computer and meet powerful people. You can tweet me thank yous to @AmandaSteinberg after you do a major deal as a result.