The Foster.ly team is corralling a long list of angel investors, business incubators, and experts in a variety of fields for an eight-hour whirlwind entrepreneurship symposium in May.
The Day of Foster.ly will return to the Artisphere in Rosslyn for its second annual event on May 4. Foster.ly, a collective of entrepreneurs focused on the greater Washington area, will announce the event today.
"The goal is to get as many panels, and good information, as well as unique opportunities in one space… and to bring as many entrepreneurs together as possible," said Dov Markowitz, who handles operations for Foster.ly.
The day features an expo that brings together everyone from venture capitalists to T-shirt printers in an effort to collect all the information a startup would need under one umbrella.
A series of panels will allow veteran entrepreneurs to share their experience and highlight other useful tidbits, from business incentives to data visualization to scaling your business.
Attendees can look forward to peer mentoring with some of the business incubators, as well as representatives from area universities, Markowitz said. A "speed-dating-style" media match will allow budding entrepreneurs to get in front of writers for niche and national publications. A Dolphin Tank will allow entrepreneurs to give two-minute pitches and receive instant feedback on how to improve them.
And this year, anyone can propose a workshop on the Day of Foster.ly website. The cost for workshops isn't included in the regular ticket price; rather, interested parties can vote online for the workshops they will pay to attend. The workshops that meet a minimum threshold of attendees will be held.
Last year's event drew about 400 people, from the greater Washington region and from across the country. Markowitz said he was hoping to see at least as many people show up this year.
The all-volunteer Foster.ly has a good relationship with Arlington Economic Development and the Rosslyn Business Improvement District, which helped drive the decision to continue to host the event on this side of the Key Bridge, Markowitz said.
"I've been blown away by the quality of the community, the excitement of the community in Arlington," he said.
Regular tickets are $50. Gold tickets, which allow you preferred access, are $100; student tickets are $25.
Markowitz said last year an entrepreneur friend came up to him and told him the media match was one of the most helpful opportunity he'd had all year. That's the kind of results Foster.ly is looking for.
"From our end, if the community is able to find real value at the end of the day, then it's a success for us," Markowitz said.