EnterConf, a sister event to the Collision and Web Summit conferences, took place this week in Belfast’s Titanic quarter - or more precisely the former shipbuilding warehouse, T13. TenderScout were there as an alpha startup, showcasing the progress that we've made in the world of sales forecasting technology.
Upon entering the event, my first thought was how much quieter it was that its larger, brasher siblings. Having just experienced the full-on Collision experience in Las Vegas, I started to have second thoughts. So, the first order of the day was to settle myself in with a coffee and what a relief to have no queue to negotiate… and the coffee was great too! As we set up our stand, I started to think that rather than being quiet, it was just more intimate.
Calm mind brings inner strength
We had a pretty full couple of hours of investor meetings to negotiate and this size of event suited that type of activity perfectly. I met more investors in the first morning than during all my time in Las Vegas and each meeting was efficiently organised, well situated and highly impactful. The frantic activity of other events had given way to meaningful conversation, peppered with insights and a genuine interest on the part of the investors.
The first presentation I saw was that of a former work colleague, Martin Curley, VP at Intel. He spoke about collaborative innovation and knowledge as the ‘oil’ of the 21st century. There were many more speakers sharing their visions of the future implications of technology advances, from storage to biobots!
As the day wound down we headed to the Harbour Commissioners Office, where we met up with Ray Smith of DataHug and Ivan O’Connor of Action Point, two firms that have inspired us at TenderScout.
No evidence of a tech bubble
On the Insights Stage, on Day 2, we heard from Tom Castley (Xactly Corp) and Mark Seemann on CRM's need to be be simplified to encourage meaningful adoption. This particularly resonated with us, as we often see our own clients struggling to extract value from their CRM investment. And that nicely brought us to the ‘Data Driven Insight’ discussion with James Wylie of Corvil, Mim Hwang of FiscalNote and Ray Smith of DataHug - who shared their views on how data analytics can drive insights into the sales process of firms. Timm Schipporeit from Index Ventures and Mike Chalfen from Mosaic Ventures assured us that there was no evidence of a tech bubble (to the relief of many startups!). And these were just some of the many inspiring talks throughout the couple of days we exhibited.
Overall, EnterConf justified its presence on the tech scene. The collegiate feel of the event, aided by the ever helpful Ci staff and volunteers and the dedicated space to a particular sector points to a direction that the WebSummit might take to avoid becoming overwhelmed by its own success.