Perseverance, passion, drive and vision characterize the entrepreneurial spirit. Sometimes nothing can reinforce and propel those traits better than surrounding yourself with like-minded people.
Opportunities to network with other entrepreneurs can be routine and local, both physical and digital. But don’t forget the value of conferences designed to let you rub elbows with lots of inspiring people within a concentrated period of time.
As a leader, you must have a wide range of know-how, especially if you are starting a new business or growing your brand. It is essential to know the difference between an angel investor and a venture capitalist, between cloud-native and cloud-enabled technology, between growth marketing and growth hacking. Entrepreneurial conferences put you in the space with people who can teach you what they’ve learned about the many things you need to know to succeed.
Do you want to take your expertise to the next level in 2023? Surrounding yourself with global entrepreneurial talent can be the spark you need. If you want to realize your dreams, take a look at these seven growth opportunities.
EY strives for a better working world by creating long-term value for clients, people and society and by building trust in the capital markets around the world. One way it does this is by supporting entrepreneurship. EY has recognized the world’s top entrepreneurs and business leaders through its Entrepreneur Of The Year program (Disclosure: I was an award recipient in 2016). In addition, EY produces the EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women Program and Entrepreneurs Access Network to support, engage, and connect women and Black and Hispanic entrepreneurs with its entrepreneurial ecosystem. AJ Jordan, EY Americas Entrepreneur of the Year Director, said that “tools, networking, expertise, connecting to investments and investing time in what will help you grow your business model are key to really supporting these groups. Doing actionable things can bring real results for these leaders.”
2. Summit at sea: May 18-21, 2023; For the Port of Miami
If you’re looking for inspiration, join a curated community of entrepreneurs, artists, academics, philanthropists, scientists, authors, explorers, chefs and more. You must be a member of the Summit community to claim a spot at this space-limited seagoing event. If you’re a leader in your field and a friendly person who subscribes to Summit’s principles, you’re probably a shoo-in for membership. There’s no list of speakers yet, but if past Summit stars like Eric Schmidt, Gary Vaynerchuk, and Carla Hall are any indication, they’re bound to be impressive. It doesn’t hurt that it’s on a cruise ship that somewhat prevents leaders from being distracted by the outside demands of their lives.
ukbusinessupdates.com’ annual list of 30 entrepreneurs under the age of 30 in 20 different industries features rock star talent who are changing the world. The honorees and other entrepreneurs gather annually in October at the Under 30 Summit to celebrate those who made the list and inspire others to shake things up. Past speakers include listeners like Kickstarter’s Everette Taylor and Grammy-winning rapper Megan Thee Stallion. You can also hear from the editors and writers of ukbusinessupdates.com and even a few elders like Steve Case of AOL and Josh Silverman of Etsy, both former presenters.
4. Inc. 5000: October 2023; Location to be determined
You’re probably familiar with Inc.’s annual list of the 5,000 fastest growing companies. Every October, the magazine hosts a three-day conference that concludes with a black-tie gala honoring those on the list. The conference will provide opportunities to network and hear from Inc. editors. But there are also panels and keynotes from entrepreneurs who have become household names, such as ‘Shark Tank’s’ Daymond John and SoulCycle’s Elizabeth Cutler. Registrations for this prestigious list will open in January, so make 2023 the year you try.
This one-day event is much more than a meet-and-greet opportunity for entrepreneurs and CEOs of private companies from around the world. It gives you the opportunity to connect with investors who manage trillions of dollars to fund start-ups and companies that want to grow. You can find out what private equity investors are looking for in your industry, and they can learn what innovative ideas entrepreneurs are coming up with. The agenda is also filled with panel discussions on issues in global M&A and capital markets.
If you missed Salesforce’s Dreamforce conference in San Francisco in September, don’t worry. You can view over 1,000 motivational sessions for entrepreneurs and for professionals in marketing, sales, IT, customer service and more on demand. In fact, you can see this amazing array of talented speakers and panelists for free. All you need to do is sign up for a free Salesforce account and sort sessions by role, industry, and topic. Get inspired now by watching video, then plan to attend the 2023 Dreamforce event in person.
7. Thrive Summit 2023: April 11-13, 2023; Salt Lake City
The Summit At Sea isn’t the only place where you can encounter the influence of serial entrepreneur Richard Branson. Virgin Pulse provides cloud-based employee health and wellness solutions with the goal of creating a happier, healthier and more productive workforce. In April, the company will host its 10th Thrive Summit, where thought leaders and entrepreneurs will gather inspiration for three days. If you can’t attend Thrive Summit in person, Virgin Pulse will livestream the events to a global audience so no one has to miss out.
For many entrepreneurs, events like this have changed their lives. Lessons learned, connections made and extensive networks have taken them from having great ideas to building impressive ventures. Try to surround yourself with inspiration in 2023 and see where it leads you.