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Silicon Valley VC leader to keynote SUP-X

Sean Sheppard, one of the Founding Partners of GrowthX, a Silicon Valley-based venture capital fund, will be the keynote speaker at SUP-X: The Startup Expo on July 25.

Besides being a VC firm, GrowthX also operates a corporate and civic innovation practice to help companies and economies harness disruption for profitable growth opportunities.

Sheppard will address one of the longstanding issues in the South Florida startup scene: Investors from Silicon Valley sometimes insist companies move there.

“Founders in Southern Florida should not have to leave their homes and move to Silicon Valley to build great companies. Proximity to customers is far more important than proximity to capitalists,” Sheppard said in a statement about his speaking engagement emailed by Tech Lauderdale. “It used to be that technology was expensive and complex and product talent was sparse. So, the biggest risk for startups was in the product itself. But now, the costs and complexity of technology have been greatly reduced, and product talent is plentiful.”

Sheppard says we are now living in the Age of Applied Technology.

“The risk has shifted away from product development and toward market development. However, the way startups function has not,” he says. “Most founders are incredibly product-focused. Business accelerators exacerbate this problem when they help founders build their product and raise money, rather than helping founders market their product and make money.”

Bob Fitts, founder, and producer of SUP-X said he agrees that startups spend too much time chasing capital and not enough time figuring out how to generate sales. “I’m certain that having Sean share his wisdom about product-market fit will greatly benefit the early stage entrepreneurs in attendance,” Fitts said.

Other aspects of SUP-X will include 100 exhibitors, such as venture capital oriented startups. The startup competition will have $25,000 in cash and prizes and startup pitches are planned every 15 minutes from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.

SUP-X will also include #women4women, a forum focused on female founders, entrepreneurs and investors.

Some of the other sessions will look at cannabis, digital transformation, raising capital, marketing, law, accounting, finance, valuations, artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Kevin Horek, a TV/radio/podcast host will be conducting live interviews during the Building the Future show.

Click here to register for SUP-X, which will be held at the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention Center.

 

 

 

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Drew Limsky

Drew Limsky

Editor-in-Chief

BIOGRAPHY

Drew Limsky joined Lifestyle Media Group in August 2020 as Editor-in-Chief of South Florida Business & Wealth. His first issue of SFBW, October 2020, heralded a reimagined structure, with new content categories and a slew of fresh visual themes. “As sort of a cross between Forbes and Robb Report, with a dash of GQ and Vogue,” Limsky says, “SFBW reflects South Florida’s increasingly sophisticated and dynamic business and cultural landscape.”

Limsky, an avid traveler, swimmer and film buff who holds a law degree and Ph.D. from New York University, likes to say, “I’m a doctor, but I can’t operate—except on your brand.” He wrote his dissertation on the nonfiction work of Joan Didion. Prior to that, Limsky received his B.A. in English, summa cum laude, from Emory University and earned his M.A. in literature at American University in connection with a Masters Scholar Award fellowship.

Limsky came to SFBW at the apex of a storied career in journalism and publishing that includes six previous lead editorial roles, including for some of the world’s best-known brands. He served as global editor-in-chief of Lexus magazine, founding editor-in-chief of custom lifestyle magazines for Cadillac and Holland America Line, and was the founding editor-in-chief of Modern Luxury Interiors South Florida. He also was the executive editor for B2B magazines for Acura and Honda Financial Services, and he served as travel editor for Conde Nast. Magazines under Limsky’s editorship have garnered more than 75 industry awards.

He has also written for many of the country’s top newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Boston Globe, USA Today, Worth, Robb Report, Afar, Time Out New York, National Geographic Traveler, Men’s Journal, Ritz-Carlton, Elite Traveler, Florida Design, Metropolis and Architectural Digest Mexico. His other clients have included Four Seasons, Acqualina Resort & Residences, Yahoo!, American Airlines, Wynn, Douglas Elliman and Corcoran. As an adjunct assistant professor, Limsky has taught journalism, film and creative writing at the City University of New York, Pace University, American University and other colleges.