Events

Arlan Hamilton and Alex Banayan to Keynote 2018 PACT Capital Conference

The event is back this year with a whole new format and location for its 25th anniversary.


PACT Capital Conference 2017. Photo via @scottnissenbaum Twitter.

The PACT Capital Conference is back again this September, but the signature event will look and feel very different this year for its 25th anniversary. For one, instead of spreading the conference out over two days, organizers have condensed the activities into just one (September 26 from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.). Plus, they’ve ditched the hotel setting in favor of South Philly’s Xfinity Live!

And keynoting the conference this year are speakers who are sure to also shake things up. Arlan Hamilton, Backstage Capital founder and managing partner will take the stage and so will The Third Door author Alex Banayan.

Hamilton, who has built her venture capital fund from the ground up, while homeless and living out of her car the event’s will be interviewed by Philadelphia Business Journal reporter Michelle Caffrey for the breakfast keynote. Hamilton embodies the true essence of “self-made,” and because of her journey, usually speaks on the importance of funding founders of color, women, and LGBT entrepreneurs. Backstage has now invested nearly $5 million into over 80 startup companies led by founders from underrepresented groups.

“We are honored to have Arlan Hamilton share her journey with us at the 2018 PACT Capital Conference,” said Paul Marvel, conference co-chair and market managing partner of hosting firm RSM US LLP in a statement. “Arlan’s experience facing adversity and building a successful venture capital fund that bridges gaps in the capital community will bring an inspirational perspective to the conference.”

Banayan, the luncheon keynote, was named “World’s Youngest Venture Capitalist” by Fortune magazine after publishing his national bestselling book, which chronicles his five-year quest tracking down Bill Gates, Lady Gaga, Warren Buffett, Maya Angelou, Steven Spielberg, Jane Goodall, Steve Wozniak, Jessica Alba, Larry King, and dozens more of the world’s most successful people to uncover how they broke through and launched their careers.

“We are also excited to hear insights from Alex Banayan, amassed through his time with many of the world’s most well-known and successful innovators,” added Robert Fesnak, conference co-chair and partner at RSM US LLP. “As a thought leader on entrepreneurship and excellence in business, Alex is a high energy speaker not to be missed.”

In a statement, PACT said the new one-day format will “open doors for all stages of rising success by laying the framework for companies seeking capital and customers. For 25 years, PACT has stimulated billions of dollars in venture funding and entrepreneurial success. 2018 will foster that growth by increasing the number of featured companies and by honing in on their diversity. This means more opportunities for entrepreneurs and more connections for investors, all by showcasing Philadelphia’s investment activity to the larger Mid-Atlantic region.”

The conference will conclude with the 4th annual Lion’s Den, where companies will pitch their businesses to a panel of angel investors looking to write some checks. A gala reception will follow the Lion’s Den.

And as in previous years, more than 1,000 participants are expected to attend. To register for the event and view the full agenda, click here.