Ten East Valley and Scottsdale companies will be among 15 presenters at a venture capital conference designed to help fledgling high-tech companies obtain financing. The sixth annual Investing in Innovation Conference 2003 presented by AT&T will be April 9 at the Camelback Inn Resort in Paradise Valley.
It is sponsored by the Arizona Technology Council, an organization that promotes high-tech industries in central and northern Arizona.
“The overall goal is to get these young companies funded,” said Trish Gulbranson, president of Scottsdale-based NetPro and co-chairwoman of the event.
“It's tougher than it used to be, but there is money out there.”
Officials of the 15 companies will make presentations about their business plans to an audience of venture capitalists, suppliers, accountants and other entrepreneurs during the two-day event.
About 20 venture capital funds are expected to be represented.
Three featured companies — Apriva, Cyclone Commerce and Vcommerce, all of Scottsdale — will give 10-minute presentations followed by question and answer sessions with a panel venture capitalists. Apriva provides wireless sales and marketing, payment processing, logistics and inventory management software for a variety of industries including financial services, freight transportation and media publications; Cyclone Commerce makes software that connects trading partners over the Internet; and Vcommerce provides a suite of supply-chain execution software and services.
Twelve additional companies that are not as far along in their development as the featured enterprises will pitch their businesses during a session in which each company makes a four-minute presentation.
Presenters will be BanX, a telecommunications company in Tucson; dbSML, a software and information technology company in Scottsdale; Digital Concepts, an e-learning company in Scottsdale; ImaRx, a biotechnology company in Tucson; Kinetic Muscles, a biotechnology company in Tempe; KnoWatt, an energy company in Scottsdale; Limelight Networks, a telecommunications company in Phoenix; Pantheon Chemical, an aerospace and environmental technology company in Phoenix; Sigmatech, a high-technology manufacturing company in Tempe; Southwest Windpower, a Flagstaff energy company; Space Data Corp., a telecommunications company in Chandler; and WorkingWild, a Scottsdale telecommunications company.
The conference also will include several speakers representing venture capital funds who will discuss the outlook for capital markets and how to attract top management talent. A evening cocktail reception the night before the conference will provide networking opportunities.
“Through the conference, companies, presenters, investors and entrepreneurs in our community will come together to network, build relationships and share the best ideas that Arizona businesses have to offer," said Todd Bankofier, president of Arizona Technology Council.
Even if companies don't succeed in winning immediate financial backing, they gain valuable exposure to the venture capital community, said Gulbranson.
“The name of the game is to know everyone in the investment world,” she said. Her own company, NetPro, made a presentation at the first conference. It didn't produce immediate results, but a year later a fund introduced to the company at the conference decided to make an investment, she said.
To register for the conference, go to www.aztechcouncil.org or call (480) 941-8100 for more information.