The following answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only nonprofit organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and email lessons.
1. Business of Software Conference
BoS is like the TED conference for those who create software, specifically SaaS. They regularly have rockstar-esque speakers like Dharmesh Shah of Hubspot, Dan Pink, and many others. They are the best conference to go in depth on what it takes to create a successful software company. And you can stream the event live if your budget is limited!
– Lawrence Watkins, Great Black Speakers
The DLD conference (right around the corner!) is an invitation-only technology and media conference in Munich, Germany — it happens just before the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland and many of the people set to attend the Forum as participants also participate at DLD.
– Christopher Pruijsen, FounderBus
3. Big Omaha
You wouldn’t think Omaha could create a conference that draws leaders in the startup and technology scene, but under the leadership of Jeff Slobotski, they’ve created the go-to conference. It’s simple, single-track, and focused on providing an intimate and impactful event.
– Eric Koester, Zaarly
4. CEO Space
CEO Space is the largest and oldest CEO conference out there today. They are also the leaders in Collaboration amongst business people in the world today meeting 5x a year. They are under the radar because they are an invite-only community and attract CEOs who support cooperation amongst business. There is no competition there and everyone helps everyone grow each others’ business.
– Louis Lautman, Supreme Outsourcing
5. Launch Festival
Don’t miss Launch Festival, which will be held in March 2013 in San Francisco. Attending this event can help you establish funding for your startup, whether through venture capital or an angel investor. You can also learn insider tips from experienced investors and entrepreneurs in order to make your business idea succeed.
– Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance
6. Philly Tech Week
Philly Tech Week brings together the smartest entrepreneurial minds in one of the nation’s fastest-growing startup communities, Philadelphia. The conference contains nearly 100 events where local leaders share best practices in business, technology, and entrepreneurship.
– Robert J. Moore, RJMetrics
7. The Underground Online Seminar
The Underground Online Seminar, hosted by Yanik Silver, is a great under-the-radar conference where you can learn quite a bit about digital marketing and network with some pretty influential people.
– John Hall, Digital Talent Agents
8. paidContent 2013
My favorite underrated conference of the past two years so far has been paidContent’s — it has the best of the best decision makers in the media space talking about the strategies they’ve tried and why they tried them. Amazing stuff.
– Derek Flanzraich, Greatist
9. Dan Primack’s Liquidity Events
Fortune Magazine’s Dan Primack, a leading expert on Private Equity and Venture Capital, hosts Liquidity Events all around the U.S. These events are sponsored by top-notch VC and PE firms, and these events are well-known hotspots for entrepreneurs, angels, and venture capitalists. Plus, the proceeds from the events get donated to a local charitable cause. Don’t miss these in 2013!
– Doreen Bloch, Poshly Inc.
MicroConf is having another conference in Las Vegas in April 2013. It’s designed especially for companies that are bootstrapping to success. Speakers are engaging and very relevant to company founders that have little or no funding.
– Erica Douglass, Whoosh Traffic
FailCon is a San Francisco event with a burgeoning international presence. Speakers this year included Eric Ries, Chip Conley, Ben Huh, and Gina Bianchini. The topic is failing, and more to the point what can we learn from failing. Speakers are very honest, and the discourse among attendees is incredibly valuable. Entrepreneurs leave knowing they are not the only ones who struggle!
– Aaron Schwartz, Modify Watches
12. Vator Splash
Vator (Voice of the Entrepreneur) runs excellent conferences. Nearly everyone there is an entrepreneur and there is a large contingent of VCs and angel investors. The conferences are small enough that you have the opportunity to really get to know some people. You can also pitch your company, both at the conference and on their online platform.
– Mitch Gordon, Go Overseas
13. Conversion Conference
The name itself makes it seem like you’ll only learn about general topics. It’s actually quite the opposite, though. Tim Ash’s Conversion Conference is the leading event in the conversion optimization space for a reason. The speakers focus on detailed actionable items that make it easy for any web marketer to improve conversion rates.
– Logan Lenz, Endagon
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