RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – Startup Summit will host an in-person half-day conference on Wednesday, and the objective is the passing of practical wisdom, the event organizers told WRAL TechWire in an interview.

Headlining the event is a keynote address from Stephen Malik, a Triangle serial entrepreneur who founded Medfusion and Greenlight Health, who is also the chairman and owner of the North Carolina Courage and the North Carolina Football Club.

According to the event organizers, Malik will discuss the difficulty of managing in a dynamic, rapidly-changing environment, and provide entrepreneurs a primer in cost-cutting, lean operations, and attracting financing during a pandemic.

“All entrepreneur-to-entrepreneur talk,” said organizer Keith Washo, adding that Malik will also answer attendee questions in a Q&A following the keynote address.

Also on the agenda is a panel of Triangle-based investors who will discuss how investment strategies have changed, and a panel covering the changes to sales and marketing for startups following the onset of the global pandemic.

“People can expect to learn very practical wisdom they can apply quickly to their professional and personal life to achieve more and be a better person overall,” said Washo.  “How to thrive in business and overcome obstacles alongside best mindset to succeed.”

Washo and his co-organizer, Mark Bavisotto, said that it was clear to them people in the entrepreneurial community have missed gathering in-person together in the last 18 months, and this was a factor in how they prepared for an in-person event, which will be held at the RTP Frontier in Research Triangle Park.

Startup Summit returns with in-person event: ‘How will startups survive and thrive post pandemic’

“Most people have gone over a year without an event opportunity that can afford this great experience that seems long overdue,” said Washo.

Yet, during the prior 18 months, the startup community has been resilient, and its current state is “robust,” said Washo.  “A lot of investment is being done in RTP with a growing number of startups thriving and new ones being formed.”

And, added Washo, there are the additional growth factors of large technology companies selecting the Triangle for new jobs and new facilities, which will ultimately help the startup ecosystem.

Washo still noted that there are challenges, such as keeping the job market and talent pool balanced, in order to support the growth of the labor market.  Plus, added Washo, “affordable housing and infrastructure that still keeps the high quality of life intact in the Triangle.” 

But the opportunity ahead of the Triangle is “boundless,” said Washo, with “a lot of growth in sight.”

“From my own experience spending almost 20 years in Silicon Valley I see the growth ahead in the Triangle similar to the big growth the Valley experienced from the 90s to today,” said Washo.

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