On Thursday, March 31, 2016, ACG National Capital will sponsor its 22nd annual Mid-Atlantic Growth Conference, which brings together senior business leaders, investors and service providers from across the east coast to discuss business best practices, network and discuss improving and growing their enterprises.

In anticipation of this exciting annual event, Corporate Growth, Capital Style will be publishing a series of interviews with the speakers, attendees and organizers of conference.

For our first interview, we spoke with Carl Grant, a longstanding member of ACG National Capital, and a frequent contributor to the Corporate Growth, Capital Style publication. Carl serves as the EVP of Business Development for Cooley, LLP, and is also the Managing Director for Kiwi Venture Partners, LLC.

During our conversation with Carl, he discussed corporate growth in the National Capital region in 2015, hot industries leading the way in the area, and what business leaders can expect at the 2016 ACG Mid-Atlantic Growth Conference. Here is what he had to say:

CGCS: Can you tell our readers a little about yourself, your company, and what your roles and responsibilities are?

Carl Grant: As the EVP of Business Development for Cooley, I lead an 11-person business development team firm-wide.

In addition to my managerial responsibilities, I help drive revenue for the firm by assisting growth-oriented companies achieve their goals through practical business solutions, strategic business advice and high-impact, targeted referral to sources of financing, potential partners, key hires and, potential buyers/sellers and other high-end service providers.

CGCS: What were some of the major corporate growth trends that stood out to you in 2015? Did we see elevated levels of private equity and venture capital investment? Why or why not?

Carl Grant: The region saw an uptick in private equity rounds in 2015. This was due largely to the fact that private equity rounds often took the place of IPOs as the preferred exit vehicle for the area’s technology companies.

CGCS: Was there significant merger and acquisition activity in 2015? What may have driven this? Which industries or markets drew the most interest from companies looking to make an acquisition?

Carl Grant: 2015 was by far the best year for M&A since the financial crisis.  Much of the M&A activity was driven by private equity funds being flush with cash. While it was strong across the board, it was an especially good year for technology companies.

CGCS: In your opinion, what industries are currently doing well? Which technologies are people interested in now? Are people investing in big data?

Carl Grant: We’re seeing a lot of interest in the Internet of Things (IoT) space, in cyber security, healthcare IT and big data.

CGCS: Why do you attend the annual ACG Mid-Atlantic Growth Conference? What benefits do you get out of attending it? What type of people would benefit from it?

Carl Grant: I attend the Growth Conference to reconnect with private equity funds interested in this market.

I think executives of companies thinking about raising private equity or engaging in M&A could benefit from the conference.

CGCS: What are you looking forward to most at this year’s event?

Carl Grant: I look forward to connecting some of our clients with PE funds I talk with at the conference this year.

The 22nd ACG Mid-Atlantic Growth Conference takes place on Thursday March 31st 2016 at the Hyatt Regency in Tysons Corner.  To learn more, click here.