CHARLOTTE – Venture135, an annual conference held in Charlotte, is returning this November in an all-digital format. The four-day event, held November 16-19, will focus on fintech, insurtech and healthtech, featuring pitches from local, national and international startups.
RevTech Labs, the organization behind the event, says it expects around 500 to 600 people to attend—double the sold-out turnout that the event typically receives. The program will be held on the Brella networking platform.
The conference is now in its fourth year, previously operating as the “Southeast Fintech Venture Conference.” In 2019, RevTech Labs rebranded the program into “Venture135,” to reflect its expansion into the insurance and healthcare technology verticals. RevTech Labs is the umbrella brand that operates Charlotte’s prominent Queen City Fintech accelerator, as well as the new QC Insurtech and QC Healthtech sub-brands.
RevTech Labs Co-Founder Dan Roselli says he hopes that this year’s Venture135 will facilitate “quality deal flow for investors and founders at the Series A and Series B stage.” Companies have until October 1 to apply to pitch at the event.
As one of the largest venture events in the Carolinas, Venture135 (and the former Southeast Fintech Venture Conference) has always been an opportunity for Charlotte startups to gain regional and national exposure. Now, Roselli expects that the virtual edition will attract an international audience, bringing even more visibility to the Queen City’s bustling startup scene.
This year, Venture135 will incorporate a regional day focused on highlighting local entrepreneurs in any industry. The half-day “Charlotte Ecosystem Day” on November 16 will feature sessions centering on local startups, culminating in a showcase of the latest class of startups in RevTech Labs’ accelerator. The 13th cohort, announced earlier this month, includes five fintech and insurtech startups hailing from Los Angeles, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Mexico and Cornelius, North Carolina.
The remaining three days of Venture135 will each cover fintech, insurtech and healthtech from November 17-19, respectively. Each day will include an early-stage pitch event, speaker sessions, networking, a Series A pitch event, a Series B pitch event, and an international pitch session.
This year’s conference will also add a segment to highlight traditionally underrepresented founders at the seed stage. Roselli says that since the virtual program will draw investors and VCs from around the world, Venture135 has the opportunity to increase its focus on addressing diversity gaps in later-stage companies.
“It’s our hypothesis that if we put these early companies on our stage now and introduce them to the right folks, we can give them the growth opportunities they need to move further down the pipeline and begin seeing later-stage tech companies that are a positive representation of diversity,” Roselli added.