The Impact Global Venture Summit is coming to the Golden 1 Center in the heart of Sacramento on Tuesday, May 8.
“This will be a fantastic opportunity for the startup technology community and the policymaking community to interact and build bridges,” says Aaron Anderson, principal with summit host Impact Venture Capital.
Anderson emphasizes the importance of collaboration between the tech and the policymaking worlds. “With this, the largest event we’ve hosted, we’re putting this topic on the map,” he says. “For the future of venture capital, it’s a must to know what’s going on with policymakers. Entrepreneurs who know how to navigate the regulatory world and work with policymakers will have a huge competitive advantage.”
Already, the tech world has transformed almost every aspect of our lives, and has disrupted businesses and whole industries. Going forward, more fundamental institutions like democracy, capitalism and the free press will face similar pressures. With some recent tech-based upheavals, like social media privacy debates on Capitol Hill or the fear of artificial intelligence displacing millions of jobs, there’s been a bit of what Anderson calls a “tech-lash” against those perceived threats.
“We’re very much optimists about technology’s role in the future, nonetheless,” Anderson says. “We believe it can create phenomenal opportunities and prosperity for people worldwide in ways it hasn’t yet — helping to feed more people, clear our skies, power our homes and much more.”
For equilibrium between tech-lash and opportunity, it’s critical that policy rules are written properly, and this summit will foster the kind of interaction needed to find that balance. “If we’re not careful and thoughtful, technology can run amok, but if we lash out against it, we can kill on the vine great opportunities that benefit everybody,” says Anderson.
This summit is Impact Venture Capital’s vision of bringing together hundreds of people from the investment, policymaking, corporate and startup communities. This will be the place and time for honest talks about what tech policy should look like and building toward opportunity. The group hopes to make it an annual event.
“We chose Sacramento for the summit because its California’s capital, next door to the Bay Area — the world’s tech capital,” Anderson says. “It is the ideal place to have conversations about technology and policy, particularly while Washington, D.C. is in gridlock. Our policymakers need to understand what’s happening in the tech world, and our tech innovators need to understand what’s happening in the policy world. We want California to take the lead and set an example for Washington, D.C., other states and the world. This is an opportunity with global implications.”
On the arena floor will be 65 startup booths, and around the perimeter will be five stages for panel discussions, startup pitches and keynote speeches throughout the day. Doors open at noon, a cocktail reception begins at 5 p.m., and panel discussions will be in full swing throughout the day. Guests and speakers include Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, California State Controller Betty Yee, and many other representatives at the state and municipality level from the policy side. The investment community will be represented by dozens of firms, including Impact Venture Capital, GE Ventures, the Abraaj Group, the Omidyar Network, Endeavor Global, ZZ Ventures, Mark IV and Westlake Ventures.