We caught up with Toyosi Ogedengbe, early-stage VC @ Speedinvest to get the scoop on this year's Marketplace Conference.
The Marketplace Conference (MPC) is a one-of-a kind event where founders, VCs and experts come together to share knowledge. How does the event help startups in the marketplace industry?
The MPC provides founders with three things:
- Deep insights and experience on the latest trends in marketplaces, being administered by seasoned experts who have built and/or funded companies from inception to scale. This enables participants to stay at the forefront of the latest developments in marketplaces
- Masterclasses on different parts of the startup value chain whether it is on product, growth hacking, culture or even fundraising. This practical advice turns what is usually just theory into practical, actionable insights that founders can apply in their ventures
- Exposure to potential investors who could support them with capital, knowledge and networks
Is it possible to network directly with VCs at this global conference? Are there any other networking opportunities in the works before/during this year's event?
Yes it is - we have earmarked a portion of the program that will be dedicated to meeting with VCs. Attendees are also welcome to reach out to other participants during the event and connect directly either via chat or video call. We are also introducing an "unconference" session where the audience will be driving conversations around marketplace related topics that are important to them. This creates a great avenue for VCs (and others) to also learn from others beyond their usual networks. Outside of this while we have not formally organised any networking opportunities before the event, we encourage people who are in the same locale to meet up IRL post-conference.
Who are some notable speakers attending and what can attendees expect from their presentations?
We are so excited about our catalogue of amazing speakers - probably our best lineup on record - and are extremely grateful to them for accepting our invitation to share their insights.
We now have over 30 of them confirmed, including:
- Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, ex Stubhub / Tripadvisor
- Jeff Kolovson, COO Faire ($7B+)
- Talia Goldberg, Bessemer Venture Partners
- Eric Demuth, CEO Bitpanda ($4B+)
- Ann Brodetsky, NEA
- Elmar Broscheit, CFO Gorillas ($3B)
- Michelle Kwon, AirAngels
- Georgie Smallwood, CPO TIER ($2B+)
- Roger Lee, Battery Ventures
- Laura Wu Behrens, CEO Shippo ($1B+)
- Alex Taussig, Lightspeed Venture Partners
- David Thacker, Greylock
Last year's profits were donated to support the COVID relief effort which we think was a great and much-appreciated move. Do you have any similar plans for the profits from this year's event?
While we currently have not planned on donating MPC proceeds to charity yet, we have not ruled it out. In any case we do plan on investing into the wider marketplace ecosystem and support founders who are building startups and scale-ups in the category. One of the things we have already initiated is "sponsoring" specific overlooked founders who would like to attend and benefit from the MPC (e.g. female founders, those from ethnic backgrounds, etc.), and have allocated 100 tickets for this. We also plan on using the profits to build a hub to support marketplace founders beyond just our annual conference. We hope that these efforts will give founders from all backgrounds the confidence, knowledge and tools necessary to build and scale their own ventures.
Interested in attending this year's virtual Marketplace Conference?