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Like last year, this year’s Venture Connect held March 23-25 produced by the Council for Entrepreneurial Development took place entirely online but with many new features. 

NCBIO is a sponsor of Venture Connect, which connects life science and technology companies in the Southeast with investors, sponsors and fellow entrepreneurs to network, discuss innovative technologies and foster collaboration. 

This year, CED designed a virtual experience that focused on connecting participants to people at other innovative life science and technology companies. The conference included live streaming content, interactive breakout sessions with live networking opportunities, provocative speakers and panelists covering emerging topics and trends and 120 innovative companies that are growing. 

The keynote discussion included prominent Bay Area investor Jeff Ubben, former Fortune magazine journalist Polina Marinova and former Medtronic CEO Bill Hawkins.  On Day One, the sessions included “Founder Discussion: The Power of Early Support,” “Sales in a Virtual Environment,” “Tech VC Panel: Raise Capital 10 Times as Fast as Your Peers,” “Founder Discussion: Matching Skills to Stage & Growth,” “Meet the Investors” and more. You can read more by checking out GrepBeat’s Day One coverage

A Day Two highlight was the “Engines of Innovation” panel that looked at the factors driving North Carolina’s life science sector boom.  

“We’ve become a hub for manufacturing, we’ve got companies from multiple regions in the county and homegrown companies setting up really sophisticated next-generation medicines,” said panelist Aravind Asokan, Ph.D., professor and director of gene therapy at Duke University and co-founder of StrideBio. 

And it’s not just facilities from companies new to the region. Rather the surge is a mix: new, existing firms and emerging companies. Then there are local firms attracting investment capital. Thirdly, the availability of talent emerging from schools and universities who are choosing to stay in NC. Read more about the Day Two innovation-engine discussion at NC Biotech

As Venture Connect 2021 wrapped up, the Day Three highlights included a Q&A on “FinTech: Digital Solutions and Financial Institutions” and panels on “Moving to North Carolina to Build Your Company” and “The Journey to Being Customer-Led.” You can read more about these sessions at GrepBeat.  

The complete agenda for the conference can be found here.