At the heart of Nashville’s historic Cannery Row District, something’s brewing. Part South by Southwest, part Southeast Venture Conference… with a little bit of something totally new – Southland is mixing startups, investors, a little bit of rock ‘n roll and southern hospitality this week in Tennessee.
Slated to run June 12th and 13th, Southland is a “southern culture and technology” conference that is drawing handpicked startups, investors, musicians, makers, chefs and distillers (yes, distillers!) for two days of talk about technology, innovation, investment and early-stage entrepreneurship.
And its off to a hell of a start. In addition to concerts and BBQ dinners, Southland has over 50 startups from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia lined up to showcase at the conference.
They also have a strong group of speakers slated to appear including Slava Rubin (CEO of Indiegogo), Mark Kvamme (Co-Founder and Partner of Drive Capital) and Sarah Lacy (Founder of PandoDaily). Not to mention panels throughout each day including some that I’d love to see like VC Trends: Focus on the Southeast, Whisky Rebellion: The New Whisky Disruptors and Digital Music Panel: Monitize Your Audience.
Southland is the brainchild of Launch Tennessee, a public-private partnership that supports the creation of high-growth companies in Tennessee. As Launch Tennessee’s CEO Charlie Brock said in a recent interview with Mother Nature Network:
Our main goal of Southland is to shine a brighter light on the Southeastern region. We plan to accomplish this by introducing investors, tech media and tech companies from across the country to the Southeast’s most outstanding early-stage companies. In doing this, we believe that Southland holds the potential to be the Southeast’s premier event on technology, innovation and investment.
… and it looks like they’re off to a great start.