NEXT Venture Pitch 2020 Event Recap

NEXT Venture Pitch 2020 was an event to remember filled with amazing guests, profound insights, and highly impactful conversations for the future of business and entrepreneurship. Here’s a quick look back at the highlights from NEXT VP2020!

Day 1:

Keynote Kick-Off with Jeff Hoffman

Entrepreneurs are the world’s change-makers and innovators.” – Jeff Hoffman, NEXT VP 2020

Jeff Hoffman kicked off the week by answering questions such as how the quest for independence rules his entrepreneurial spirit and why it’s so important to strike a balance between thinking big and being focused. With his advice, NEXT attendees will be better prepared for a new decade and forward-thinking solutions.

Education Track: Leading Through Change by Mohamed Massaquoi

When you find yourself in a challenging environment, it’s your responsibility to figure out how you can add value, not point out problems.” – Mohamed Massaquoi, NEXT VP 2020

Mohamed enlightened attendees on the grit and hope that is required to lead change, especially during difficult times or within less-than-ideal organizations. While we might not always be in control of our circumstances, we are in control of how we respond — that ultimately defines success both personally and for your greater organization.

Day 2:

Building World-Class Products Panel

The “Building World-Class Products” Panel at NEXT VP 2020 was a profound gathering of product experts. During the group-think, major questions were answered:

  • “How do you decide between what the market wants and what the product needs?”

  • “What are the biggest technological considerations when delivering a world-class product?”

These insights paired with the personal industry experience of our guests was such a hit that bonus time was added — thank you Marty Osborn for moderating such a great gathering!

Education Track: Perfecting You Pitch by Matt Dunbar

Do you know the actions you need to take when Perfecting Your Pitch? If you do, then you can thank Matt Dunbar for such an illuminating presentation. We learned that any good pitch starts long before you take the stage and keeps going even after the curtain drops. Perhaps the most important insight we gleaned from Matt is this:

Focus on investors whose objectives overlap with your potential.” – Matt Dunbar, NEXT VP 2020

Grow Your Startup Panel

Focusing on entrepreneurial giants who have “been there, done that” in a major way, the Founder’s Panel answered some of our most pressing questions, such as:

  • “How do you identify where in the process your company is and set its trajectory from there?”

  • “How do you approach culture in your company?”

  • “How are you approaching morale for your teams amidst the backdrop of COVID and the shift to virtual workspaces?”

We love this golden nugget that Jon-Michial Carter, Founder & CEO of Chartspan, dropped:

My best advice for young entrepreneurs is to forget about architecting a culture. Instead, hire a diverse workforce and let the culture grow organically — it will be much better than you ever dreamed.”

Day 3:

Building Winning Teams Panel

What’s a better way to wrap up a conference than to hear from legendary athletes and coaches? NEXT VP 2020’s “Building Winning Teams” Panel interviews tackled questions like:

  • “How do you ignite the folks around you to take them to the NEXT level?”

  • “What does it take to grow a new sports league and what can others take away from that to grow an organization?”

  • “What is the formula for success? What processes do you build around you?”

Joe Schmidt led a fantastic panel with questions personalized to each athlete and coach’s experience and how those insights translate into the world of entrepreneurship.


Among these speeches, panels, and keynotes, NEXT VP 2020 also included:

  • 10 Key Steps for Raising Venture Capital​ by John Yates, Attorney at Morris, Manning, & Martin, LLP

  • Closing Keynote by Jay Simons, President of Atlassian

  • VIP Ask-Me-Anything style sessions with individual speakers and VC’s

  • Pitch Competition for the southeast’s fastest growing and most innovative startups!

Feeling like you missed out? Join us NEXT year!