I’ve been to the White Bull conference in Barcelona several times. I go because I always make at least one important connection there. I met Harry Marshall at White Bull four years ago. Harry would spend three months shadowing me in Silicon Valley and go on to become part of the Bay Partners team. Last year, I met two of our four Neal’s Running Start candidates at White Bull. This year, the conference had a new look and a new location, but the quality attendance and the commitment to entrepreneurs are still at the heart of this invitation-only European tech conference.
White Bull brings a select group of entrepreneurs, VCs, service companies and media into one location for a three day event. The conference focuses on the latest innovations in Europe as well as current trends and issues facing the tech industry. Because it is invitation-only, the numbers stay low and the entrepreneurs are generally of good quality. It’s easy to get to know other people quickly and have multiple conversations with them.
I’ve never attended a conference that gives more service and attention to entrepreneurs. The event kicks-off with a full day dedicated to helping entrepreneurs refine their presentations and pitches. The conference brings in mentors from all walks of the tech world to give feedback and encouragement with the intent of making the entrepreneurs shine throughout the conference. I don’t know any other conference that invests this much time and energy into practically helping the start-up community. Perhaps that’s why so many of the White Bull Bully Award winners go on to successful funding rounds and exits such as acquisitions.
I got to speak at the conference in a session called “Beyond the Pitch: Reality Check.” My goal was to tackle some the toughest challenges entrepreneurs are facing right now by getting them to open up and share. Entrepreneurs are often dealing with very difficult decisions on their own. Neal Oddens and Mario Aguilera from Neal’s Running Start joined me on stage to share their experiences as entrepreneurs and how they got a very big reality check during their stay in San Francisco. Both have overcome those challenges and moved on, but they face new worries every day, like all entrepreneurs. We had a great time having a “real” conversation with the audience. I hope we were able to reinvigorate some of the companies in the audience with ideas and solutions for moving forward.
Our Reality Check session is just another example of how White Bull goes the extra mile to help entrepreneurs. We tackled some issues most entrepreneurs either don’t have mentors to guide them through, or are afraid to ask for help because they assume they’re the only one experiencing the problem. It was nice for everyone to realize they’re not alone in facing make-or-break decisions every day and there’s a network of people with wisdom and experience to help them.
Thank you to Elizabeth and Farley and the White Bull team for having me back. Once again, it was a great conference and I look forward to next year.