Founders Advisors recently hosted our ninth annual tech summit, Silicon Y’all. Silicon Y’all is an exclusive gathering of technology entrepreneurs and investors held at the beautiful Ross Bridge Resort & Spa in Birmingham, AL. More than an event, it is an intimate gathering where each participant’s experiences and expertise help shape meaningful conversations and learnings.
Kicking off this year’s event, the welcome reception set the tone for the two days of top-tier speakers and engaging conversations. Night one began with attendees meeting each other during cocktails and dinner, followed by a keynote presentation from Victor Cheng, President of SaaSCEO.com. Victor’s insights on “Life as a CEO When the Music has Stopped” challenge CEOs and management teams to understand how to continue growing their companies even when the economy is facing headwinds. This was followed by fireside chats, where entrepreneurs shared their tales of triumph and tribulation in the tech world.
The next morning started out with optional activities ranging from a morning trail run to yoga on the terrace, an intense CrossFit WOD and a competitive golf skills challenge The event shifted gears with opening remarks and an interactive kickoff leading into a jam-packed day of notable speakers including Shegun Otulana, Founder of TheraNest and current CEO of Harmony Venture Labs, who discussed how to achieve start-up success outside of Silicon Valley, Kurt Donnell, President and CEO of FreeStar, who dove into “The Human Side of a Tech Business”, and Maren Hopkins and Navid Oreizy from Bessemer Venture Partners and BVP Forge, who explored their playbook tips on enhancing your market position by embracing AI. Next up, CEO blitz sessions brought lessons from the trenches, and a networking lunch allowed attendees to recharge and connect before the afternoon talks. The day continued with sessions on financing M&A, the inside scoop from strategic buyers, and a case study on pricing strategies from a PE-backed software company. The day wrapped up with an evening of Southern cuisine, live-music, cigars, and continued conversations at the annual Silicon Y’all “Bama Bash”, including a cocktail reception on the Terrace and the annual “Bama Bash” where attendees enjoyed Southern cuisine and tradition at its finest.
Day three was another content filled day with sessions exploring how to create value through top of the funnel marketing initiatives and how behavior is driven by compensation. Attendees engaged in live Q&A where they asked vulnerable questions and shared personal learnings and wisdom among their peers, heard stories of startup success and failure, and wrapped up the afternoon with a lunch and learn panel where private equity investors discussed what they look for in strong investments and how they bring strategic guidance and resources to the company’s they back. While Silicon Y’all adjourned mid-day Wednesday, many folks lingered to continue networking and sharing best practices with other attendees.
Silicon Y’all 2023 was an event to remember, showcasing the power of meaningful discussions, valuable networking, and the warm Southern hospitality that makes it truly special. We can’t wait until next year!