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RAISE Global Summit 2022: Back in Person with an Evolved Format

May 23, 2022

RAISE Global Summit 2022: Back in Person with an Evolved Format

2019 feels like a long time ago. That year, we brought together over 300 GPs and LPs to meet in the Presidio in San Francisco. Donald Trump was President. Bitcoin was at $2,500.00.      

Then came Covid, and our lives went virtual.    

For RAISE 2020, we looked for silver linings and massively increased the number of people who could attend virtually (800!), including recruiting hundreds of new international participants, especially LPs. Wanting to build bridges around the world, we rebranded RAISE in the Presidio to RAISE Global.

For RAISE 2021, we did our best to regroup online with our expanded remote audience and gather our local collectives for in-person evenings in SF, LA and NYC. We launched an extensive online GP directory to sustain LP connections beyond the conference. And, most importantly, our RAISE managers put up numbers that would make any investor proud.  

This year, we are back in person and couldn’t be more excited.

Our industry needs a conference like RAISE 2022 more than ever. There are now more than 1,000 emerging VC funds. For any LP considering an emerging manager, this ecosystem is daunting. Our mission is to create an environment where LPs can discover and connect with the next generation of emerging venture capital funds.

Our challenge every year is to balance the needs of GPs and LPs as best we can. LPs want to gain insight on a lot of funds all at once, without having to do a ton of one-on-one meetings.  LPs also want to learn from other LPs. GPs want as much exposure to potential investors as possible, but we know from historical feedback that if a GP is not selected to present on the main stage, the experience can be disappointing.  

With these needs in mind, we revamped the conference format to better serve both audiences.  

  1. The LPs are now in control: We expanded our LP Selection Committee and are empowering them to decide who is invited to the event.      
  2. All GPs will enjoy substantive LP engagement: This year, every GP in attendance will present to LPs and receive feedback from them. They will either present on the main stage or in breakout settings.  
  3. Less “demo day,” more inclusion: We want to be an on-ramp into industry for new managers. This year, invitations and presentations will be curated to provide a broad cross-section of the emerging manager marketplace, not just firms with the best and most developed track records. Rather, we are looking for a mix: some established track records, some first-time funds, some funds focused on key themes and, of course, a strong cohort of underrepresented funds.  
  4. A quality experience for all GPs: We can’t provide a great experience for anyone - GPs or LPs - if the GPs outnumber the LPs in attendance. Therefore, we are limiting the number of GPs to about 100 so that there is a better chance for authentic connections, as well as a more balanced atmosphere. The downside, of course, is that many high-potential firms will not get an invitation. If you are not selected this year, you will get extra points next year. Keep trying!  

After seven years, we know that event format decisions are all about making tradeoffs. This year, we decided that making the event smaller and more intimate will improve the RAISE Global conference experience for all attending. We hope to see you there!

Ben Black
Ben Black is a Co-Founder and Managing Director of Akkadian Ventures and a 20-year venture capital veteran. He is also the Founder of RAISE Global.

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