The Global Investor Conference (GIC) aims to tackle these tough questions and more next week in Portugal.
This year's Global Investor Conference offers investors and investment enthusiasts an opportunity to learn about the latest trends in private equity and venture investments. In addition, the conference lets clients and guests in on diverse perspectives that can nourish and strengthen their knowledge of global markets. This year's speakers are from Europe, the Americas, and Asia-Pacific (APAC).
As my global conference tour continues, I sat down with Karim Nurani, Chief Strategy Officer at the private equity investment firm Linqto about why this conference is critical in such a volatile business climate.
Inception and Vision
The Global Investor Conference started as an effort to bring what was happening in global markets to the attention of investors or startups.
According to Nurani, the primary idea and goal behind the GIC was to "tap the global environment, tap into the investors, the entrepreneurs, and the thought leaders to determine what they were building."
Essentially, the GIC helped build a global environment where investors, entrepreneurs, and leaders of startups and established companies alike could interact. Unfortunately, investors often scout for investment opportunities in their local area. For instance, those based in California and looking to invest in artificial intelligence (AI) may not look beyond providers in the United States. To change this and improve the chances of potential unicorns being discovered and supported by the right investors, GIC was established on a global basis.
As Nurani noted, they worked to "open up the platform, speak to people around the globe" and eventually let entrepreneurs and investors know that they "don't play in a little isolated environment." The main goal was to bring investors and entrepreneurs out of their local environments and into the global marketplace, thus widening the horizons and scaling the opportunities for all parties involved.
Linqto wanted to make entrepreneurs and investors realize that a hundred other companies are trying to do what they're doing and that there are lessons to learn from each other. According to Nurani, "the conference seeks to answer crucial questions: Are you picking necessarily the best company because they're in your geographical area? Maybe not. Are you looking outside your area and looking at the rest of the world, what's happening in Europe, what's happening in Asia, and Australia? Let's pay attention to that. So that was the Genesis of the Global Investor Conference—to get a global viewpoint."
In their efforts to truly globalize the scope of the conference, Linqto ended up pioneering the discussions surrounding what are now well-known technologies. For example, the founding members of the GIC spoke to blockchain developers even before blockchain became popular; they discussed the metaverse before it was an established idea and NFTs before they became popular investments.
The main motive behind keeping the conference a virtual experience was to make it more accessible to a broader audience and have a broader panel of speakers from various industries across the globe. Coincidentally, the COVID-19 pandemic bred a growing interest in virtual programs, thus proving the effectiveness of their strategy. With global stakeholders across different sectors, all of whom with unique viewpoints, the conference became truly international in every aspect. It was also propelled to a unique position to discuss the market situation and help entrepreneurs and investors collaborate in their understanding of what the post-pandemic world would look like.
The Goal: Adding Value to Attendees
Enabling deals, building connections, and promoting education, communication and partnership were the primary goals of the GIC.
In a vacuum, an individual company can only achieve so much on its own. In some cases, they may be deserving of an investment straight off the bat, while others may require some tweaking to reach their full potential. Optimizing a company's growth potential requires collaboration, as no single individual or board has all the answers. By exchanging ideas with accredited investors and fellow entrepreneurs, company leaders can be equipped with the knowledge, resources, and connections to secure investment.
"We don't pay the speakers; they all volunteer their time. We don't charge for an entrance into the Global Investor Conference; if you're an accredited investor or a learner or want to know more, that's where you come, and we don't charge for it," Nurani said. "So, we had a lot of support from many speakers, many companies, and many investors, including venture companies and PE firms," he added.
Micha Benoliel, CEO of the crowdsourced decentralized IoT network Nodle, reflects the feelings of the speakers and attendees of the event. "We're looking forward to our participation in the Global Investor Conference 2022 event, which provides a unique opportunity to share and learn about some of the incoming disruptive technology in an environment that connects private investors with emerging industry trends and digital assets."
Why GIC Is Finally Offline and Why You Should Attend Although established as a virtual conference two years ago, the GIC will now be held as an in-person event in Lisbon, Portugal, from May 18 to 19, 2022.
"Considering the growing support for the conference and the fact that in-person gatherings were finally allowed again, hosting the GIC offline, in-person, felt like the ideal way to give back to the community that has loyally supported the conference in the past two years.
Additionally, virtual conferences have certain barriers as far as interaction and networking go. Hosting the conference offline or in a hybrid way is ideal for circumventing these hurdles and enabling attendees to interact freely and network. Beyond just professional enrichment, the experience of shaking hands and making eye contact as you exchange invaluable information, experiences, and insights with investors and fellow entrepreneurs was also a substantial motivating factor," stated Nurani.
"I've participated in several Linqto conferences, and they do a great job of bringing together thought leaders from both emerging startups as well as established pre-IPO companies - it's a unique showcase of the best entrepreneurs around the world working on the most interesting technologies, said Peter Loukianoff of Portal Venture Partners, which aligns influential investors with world-class entrepreneurs. I'm particularly impressed by their breadth and depth in the area of Web3.0, which like the Internet, cloud computing, and data analytics, will practically affect every business in the future."
Based on everything going on in the markets and the world, this kind of conference and knowledge gathering is critical for investors and those seeking investment to understand what to expect in the coming year.