DURHAM – Investors looking for possible deals and entrepreneurs hoping to find financial backers have over the years made the annual Entrepreneurs’ Series: Venture Outlook event a big draw, drawing some 300 or more people. But the upcoming 2018 event could be even bigger.

Bull City Venture Partners

Organizers Bull City Venture Partners, a VC firm focusing on startups and emerging firms, puts on the event. The eighth get-together is set for Wednesday, Feb. 21, at a different venue: the Carolina Theatre in downtown Durham. Previous events took place at the Brier Creek Country Club.

And Jason Caplain, who along with David Jones, runs Bull City Ventures, says response to this year’s lineup of speakers and events is promising.

“If the early numbers are an indicator, our eighth annual Entrepreneurs’ Series will be the largest yet,” Caplain tells WRAL TechWire.

In addition to the new venue, Caplain and Jones have made several changes.

“We made a lot of improvements to this year’s Entrepreneurs’ Series,” he says.
“We now have two featured speakers – Bobby Franklin, CEO of the National Venture Capital Association, and Steven Aldrich Chief Product Officer at GoDaddy.
“We have added a lot more networking time, which has always been a big request from attendees.
“We also added a VC reverse pitch session during the coffee break. This was really popular with entrepreneurs at [2017] CED Venture when I was Co-Chair this past year with [serial entrepreneur] Robbie Allen.”
Caplain says the venue was changed to add more space.

“We liked our venue because it was really central for everyone in the Triangle. But we started getting some feedback last year that it was too crowded and hard to network because of it,” he explains. “So we decided to move to a bigger venue and we wanted to host it downtown Durham close to our office to highlight all the exciting positive change.”

The event also features a high-profile lineup of participants from outside the area.

“All of our speakers are flying in and they’re excited to spend time with entrepreneurs here,” Caplain says.
“Some of them have invested here before and looking for more opportunities. And we purposely built panels representing different regions (northeast, Mid-Atlantic, west coast, southeast) and different stage interests.”
The lineup:
  • Steven Aldrich, Chief Product Officer, GoDaddy and 3x entrepreneur
  • David Cummings, Founder Atlanta Tech Village, Angel Investor & Former CEO Pardot
  • Mark Fernandes, Managing Director, Sierra Ventures
  • Bobby Franklin, President & CEO, National Venture Capital Association
  • Holly Maloney McConnell, Managing Director, General Catalyst
  • Paul Martino, General Partner, Bullpen Capital
  • Alex Pessala, Principal, Middleland Capital
  • Elizabeth Yin, Co-Founder & General Partner, Hustle Fund

Event information is available online.