Wednesday, June 12, 2024

An event for entrepreneurs by entrepreneurs

by BIZ. Staff

Tech to Market matches startups with their needs

“When a startup can get the resources to take their idea to the next level, I know it has been a success,” Onega Ulanova, LA New Product Development Team partner, said about her brainchild, Tech to Market.

The quarterly event will bring together inventors, entrepreneurs, and product companies from all across the U.S. to downtown Shreveport to talk trends in technology commercialization.

Guest speakers and startups from across the nation will discuss “What prevents corporations from adopting new technologies and products and what can be done about it?” Oct. 24, at Remington Suites Hotel & Spa, in downtown Shreveport, from 4:30-8 p.m.

The event takes difficult topics for startups and makes it digestible, while giving them a chance to mingle with like-minded people and form business relationships.

The idea for the event spawned out of requests for an event based around the Haynesville Shale, which had Ulanova begin thinking on how to be more inclusive, because she notes that issues in entrepreneurship are similar across all industries. 

“I wanted to invite people from various industries with a similar mindset, who have that same energy that is built on partnership and innovation,” she said.

The first event took place in February 2019 was a success, bringing together a diverse group. Ulanova gave an example in noting that one person who owned a manufacturing facility in Houston, a woman with a product she designed for babies, and an inventor from Arkansas who designs guns had a lot in common, even though their industries were so different. 

“It was interesting how much knowledge they were able to share with each other,” she said.

Onega Ulanova

Created by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs, Tech to Market is kept small with only 150 tickets in order to allow for relationship building, with Ulanova explaining that startups struggle in that realm. She laughed when likening Tech to Market to a dating event for entrepreneurs — it allows them to get together without any red tape or pretense, with the ability to ask questions and get honest feedback from experts.

“I wanted to keep this event small to maintain intimate atmosphere and allow people to be able to meet each other and mingle,” Ulanova said. “Sometimes the feedback you get from peers is huge, and there are not many places where you can do that in a laid back atmosphere.”

This fall’s event will include a keynote speaker, guest speakers, 20 featured startups in the energy and healthcare sectors, complimentary food and drinks, and live music. Topics will range from the potential reasons of new technologies adoption delays and what can be done about it, to securing the needed “unconventional” funds, to the future of innovations through the energy sector lenses.

Keynote speaker, Kedma Ough, is a nationally recognized business development and business funding expert, innovation and entrepreneurship thought leader and award-winning champion of small businesses. Based on her experience in securing funds for thousands of businesses and individuals, she designed a 10-step process on how to identify and secure the needed “unconventional” funds and will give a live demonstration of how the process works.

Other speakers will include Mark LaCour. An oil and gas expert and podcaster, Mark will share his insights on what can help startups to succeed in the energy sector. Dr. John Chidlow is a Shreveport entrepreneur and scientist who will share his journey of starting and growing his hi-tech company in northwest Louisiana.

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