NEOSA: So, Paul, tell us about the inspiration for the Industry Digital Summit?
When I arrived in Cleveland a few years back I was looking for a good place to meet other startup folks. And I thought a good place to start would be at a regional tech conference focused on entrepreneurship and innovation around digital technologies. But I couldn't find one. Why? I immediately started thinking about organizing one myself, but to be honest, I didn't know where to start. So I downscaled the idea into a mini-tech conference that we'd hold in bars quarterly, and that became the now notorious TechPint. Over a year later and after having made many new friends and connections, putting on a full scale conference just seemed doable. So we picked a name, a date and then worked hard to fill in all the missing pieces over the past 6 months.
NEOSA: What’s the theme, or focus of the content?
PM: Broadly speaking, the event is for forward-thinking people who are using digital technologies to build new companies, products or experiences. But the topics will be of interest to anyone interested in innovation and entrepreneurship. We have talks about raising money, efficiently creating products and even designing your team. And the event will have a distinctly Rust Belt feel - we are holding this in a warehouse and we'll be keeping things very casual and relaxed, TechPint-style.
NEOSA: I’m sure ALL the speakers are great, but who are a couple you’re especially excited about?
PM: I can't wait to hear Bob Moesta. He, along with Harvard Business School's Clayton Christensen created the famous jobs-to-be-done framework for product innovation. Christensen was actually a big hero of Steve Jobs and Moesta himself is a very well respected innovator and speaker.
Ian Sigalow from Greycroft Partners in New York is going to be great, too. He's invested in the likes of Huffington Post and recently was part of the selling of Buddy Media for $80m. He's now armed with a $200m fund to invest in startups, including in the Midwest.
NEOSA: Inspiration, connections and knowledge are probably three great reasons to attend the Summit, give us three more.
PM: Nothing like this has been held in Cleveland before - you'll get such a good buzz when you see what our team has put together. And I can guarantee that it will be a day well spent when you look at the new ideas that you'll walk away with (this is probably inspiration, but it's worth repeating!). Plus we have a pig roast right after the conference!
NEOSA: How would you advise someone to get the most benefit from the Summit?
PM: Get rid of all your thoughts of what tech conferences traditionally are. Leave your tie at home, put on your sneakers and come with your mind wide open. It will be an experience from the moment you walk into the door until you leave our huge warehouse after party late, late at night.
Complete details on the Summit are here and last minute ticket info is here.
The line-up and schedule look great, it should be an excellent conference!