This year’s 21st Mid-Atlantic Growth Conference, Washington Technology Showcase and DealSource will be unique in that it will be the first to feature the Washington Technology Showcase.
The CGCS editorial team recently sat down with Hemington Wealth Management Managing Director and ACG Board Director Denis O’Sullivan to discuss the Washington Technology Showcase and why it should interest anyone who wants to learn more about what Washington, D.C. has to offer from an innovative technology perspective.
The showcase will feature presentations from innovative companies such as All Trust Networks, APX Labs, Diamond Mind, DrFirst, Echo360, Fast Orientation, Haystax Technology, Higher Logic, LemonFish Technologies, Liquidity Services, Luminal, Resonate, Tenable, VideoBlocks, and Zoomdata.
Here is what Mr. O’Sullivan had to say:
CGCS: The Washington Technology Showcase is a new feature of this year’s Mid-Atlantic Growth Conference. What is this event, and why do you feel it’s an important addition to the conference agenda?
Denis O’Sullivan: The Washington Technology Showcase is an attempt to publicize – and to some degree, brand – Washington DC’s tech community as a hub of innovative, disruptive technologies. DC has something of an unfair reputation as a government-only town; the reality is that we have a lot of great commercial technology firms in the area.
Going back to the founding of the internet, DC has always been home to cutting edge firms– a lot of great technology has originated here. We don’t quite have the reputation for innovation that we deserve, however, within the venture capital and private equity communities nationwide. And Washington not only deserves prominence as a center for innovation among investors, but importantly, as a hub for engineering talent as well.
We want to publicize Washington as a technology center. We’re going to do that by having some of the best and brightest in the tech community stand up and talk about their company and the innovative approaches they’re using to solve hard problems. Each firm will discuss issues in their sector they’re trying to address and unique solutions they’ve come up with.
CGCS: What value do you feel attendees will derive for these sessions?
Denis O’Sullivan: Anyone who attends this conference is going to see a wide variety of companies and technologies. Attendees will get a practical course on the depth and substance of the Washington DC tech community.
Attendees will learn that there is a lot going on here, and they’ll become familiar with companies that they’ve probably never heard of before. They’re also going to hear how local companies are addressing some of the biggest issues in society today, cyber-security as one example.
CGCS: What types of technologies are represented in the Washington Technology Showcase? Are there particular technologies that are considered “hot” in today’s marketplace and – therefore – better represented?
Denis O’Sullivan: We chose participants based on the quality of their innovation, rather than the company itself. So you’ll see interesting presentations from a lot of different sectors; I think you’ll be surprised at how varied the companies will be. In particular, we wanted to hear about technology that, while fairly new, is of practical use right now. You might say we went looking for firms with cutting edge, but not bleeding edge, technology.
The Washington Technology Showcase will be presenting innovation that someone can build a company, even an industry, around. A lot of that kind of innovation has historically come from Washington DC, so why not publicize it a bit?
CGCS: There are two tech showcases – each with two sessions running concurrently – during the event. How are the participating technology companies being divided? Why was the decision made to segment the companies this way?
Denis O’Sullivan: There are four separate presentations, and we’ll have five companies in each. The presentations are categorized by stage rather than by industry. We’ll have an early-stage company presentation (some might even be pre-revenue), as well as mid-stage, late-stage, and public company sections.
For what we wanted to do, it wouldn’t make sense to have an established company comparing notes with a pre-revenue start-up. But if you have four or five later stage company executives talking about some of their main challenges, even if they’re in different industries, you’d probably find some interesting themes.
So we decided to group our presenters by stage, and make it as varied as possible within each. You won’t see any competitors at the same presentation, so we won’t have a section with five cyber-security companies, for example. We’re trying to get as many viewpoints as we can.
To learn more about the Technology Showcase and to register for the 21st Mid-Atlantic Growth Conference, Technology Showcase and DealSource, click HERE