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VOL. 128 | NO. 22 | Friday, February 01, 2013

Startup Conference Billed as ‘Must Attend’

By Andy Meek

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Scott Case, the founding chief technology officer of Priceline.com and Startup America CEO, had some words of praise for Memphis and Tennessee while on a panel at November’s Ernst & Young Strategic Growth Forum in Palm Springs, Calif.

“There aren’t a lot of visible success stories that are regularly (being) celebrated,” he told the crowd. “When you look at places like Silicon Valley or New York – somebody has a good meeting with a venture firm, and Techcrunch covers it. One of the things we focus on at Startup America is celebration, and places like Tennessee took this on.”

An example of that celebration of entrepreneurs and the startup community happens this month at the Memphis Cook Convention Center. That’s when the city will welcome the inaugural “Everywhere Else” startup conference – for which Case will be among the speakers.

“See you in Memphis!” Case tweeted to his followers in December.

Forbes.com recently described the three-day conference as a “must-attend” event. The conference is from Feb. 10 through Feb. 12 and is being hosted by Nibletz.com, a technology blog that bills itself as “the voice of startups everywhere else” and which recently set up shot in Memphis.

“We’re expecting a celebration of entrepreneurship from across the country, in an entrepreneurial city that some of the biggest brands in the world have called home.”

–Kyle Sandler, Nibletz co-founder

Nibletz co-founder Kyle Sandler said he’s expecting an attendance of 1,500 at the event, which was relocated from The Peabody hotel to the convention center to accommodate the crowd.

In addition to Case, other speakers include representatives of FedEx, Startup TN and other accelerators from around the country. They include Danny Boice, co-founder of Washington startup Speek in addition to a panel of all-female startup founders.

“We’re expecting a celebration of entrepreneurship from across the country, in an entrepreneurial city that some of the biggest brands in the world have called home,” Sandler said. “I’m excited to share the culture of Memphis with people from everywhere else. And we have people coming from all over the country and all over the world, including Israel, the U.K. and Chile.”

Among the conference’s other highlights: Damien Echols, who spent nearly 20 years on Death Row in Arkansas as one of the West Memphis Three, will attend to participate in a “fireside chat.” Rather than what sent him to prison, he will talk about the leaps that technology and culture have made during the time he was behind bars.

Also at the conference, nearly 100 startups will pack a “Startup Village.” They’ll be competing for a cash prize and other awards, in addition to being crowned the best startup “everywhere else.” While they’re here, attendees also will be able to take in Memphis sights and sounds like Beale Street and a Memphis Grizzlies game.

Nibletz is a startup itself and announced its relocation to Memphis in late 2012. Site co-founder and content director Sandler said he and co-founder Cameron Wright ultimately were swayed by the startup and entrepreneurship ecosystem that’s coming together here. They also were swayed by a strong courtship from EmergeMemphis executive director Eric Mathews and his team that includes LaunchYourCity co-president Andre Fowlkes and chief branding officer Elizabeth Lemmonds.

The attendee ticket is $60 for the full three-day conference. The ticket includes admission to all keynotes, panels and exhibit areas, and admission to all networking events and official after parties.

For more information about tickets, go to everywhereelse.co/tickets.

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