June 19, 2013

Southland Summit Event Review/Recap Part 2

Written by

If you didn’t see our post last Thursday, we attended the first annual Southland Summit in Nashville, Tenn last week. The summit was a combination of Southern Culture (whiskey, barbeque, and music) and Technology. The event was action packed with great food, speakers, and whiskey!  Here is a recap of the last day of the conference as well as a review of the event as a whole.

 Day 2 Recap

Startup Pitches

Following breakfast, day 2 of the event started with more startup pitches. The startups were primarily healthcare centered with a few exceptions. Here’s a recap of the pitches that presented:

Evermind: An assistant living system that tracks seniors activities via their electricity use.

NextGxDx: Dubbed the “Amazon of Genetic Testing,” NextGxDx is an online marketplace for genetic tests.

PatientFocus: A billing company that focuses on patient collections directly after insurance but before bad debt.

Verdeeco:  A data analytics platform for managing big data collected from meters and transformers for electric companies.

George Kliavkoff Interveiw

Following the startup pitches, there was an interview with George Kliavkoff, head of Hearst Entertainment and Syndication. Kliavkoff discussed his media experiences and the shift of media companies as the world goes digital. Here are some highlights from the talk:

  • Venture is built to support taking big swings.
  • Marketing spend is the place for growth over ad spend.
  • Gamification is a way to build brand loyalty, but more importantly it increases customer interaction
  • Developing a great customer experience is the bottom line

Dan Pelino of IBM

Dan Pelino, General Manager at IBM, ended the event on a powerful note. Pelino started his address discussing the changes in economic development and then introduced IBM’s Watson. Watson is an example of how big data is changing every industry, including healthcare, to save lives. Here are some highlights from his keynote address:

  • If you remember one thing – “Fall in love with the question, not the answer.” This drives new knowledge.
  • What IBM looks for in investors: a rolodex of contacts, a compelling point of view, synergy revenue, and a five year plan
  • Synergy revenue is how a company would work with IBM (or any investor) to create exponential value
  • Economic development is all about the jobs.
  • See trends and build your value in these areas to really make a difference

Startup Pitches Winner

As the event concluded, they announced the winner of the Nissan Innovation Award. The winner was Variable Technologies with the NODE, the world’s smartest wireless sensor.  Variable Technologies is holding their first developer conference this year, so we’re excited to see the development of this product in the coming year! Would you buy one?


Here are the top 5 reasons we would recommend the Southland SE Summit

  1. Startups – If you have a strong interest in startups, specifically tech startups, this is a great hub in the southeast. The “Shark Tank” style competition provides excellent feedback from experts in the industry that can be applied to your own startup.
  2. Speakers – For its first year, the event had speakers from Odesk, CNN, IBM, and more. We can only expect as this event gains buzz the speakers will get better and better every year
  3. Networking – The event provided multiple events for networking including a launch party and concerts
  4.  Investing – If you have an interest in investing, or just want to learn how to enter the world of VC fundings and angel investments, this invent focused heavily on everything from basics to the hard questions you’ll face.
  5. Food & Drink – If nothing else, attend this conference for the food! With catering from the infamous Loveless Café, and a whiskey tasting you can’t go wrong!

In conclusion, we would definitely recommend the Southland SE Summit for any tech startup, whiskey fanatic, or investor in the Southeast. If you’d like to follow the event to attend next year, you can check out their site here.