For those interested in any aspect of entrepreneurship, mark your calendars for this Friday, Nov. 21: Metropole Global will be conducting the third annual Next Generation Entrepreneurship and Global Crowdfunding Forum – now known as the Alternative Funding Forum.
Scheduled to take place in Century City from 9 am to 6 pm as an all-day event, the forum will highlight the topic of alternative funding.
It will feature more than 30 qualified panelists, all of whom have ventured into different aspects of the entrepreneurial world and will be ready to discuss, answer questions, and network with the participants.
The move to Century City from the event’s usual location at the Santa Monica Marriott also symbolizes a sense of expansion for the event creator.
“We are re-branding our forum to the Alternative Funding Forum,” said Victoria Silchenko, Ph.D., founder and CEO of Metropole Capital Group. “It makes me very excited that this event is expanding beyond crowdfunding and exploring a full range of funding opportunities. The event is expanding and so is its outlook.”
Silchenko created and founded the Alternative Funding Forum, but never planned to be working in the conference business.
She explained how the forum was initiated in the first place.
“I advise entrepreneurs who are in search of start-up or growth capital and make sure that their business is investment ready,” Silchenko explained. “I also make sure that the financing strategy I offer is sound and feasible.
“But over the years, my frustration has been growing at witnessing how unbalanced capital markets were, being geared towards high-tech or e-commerce industries, leaving in short supply money for healthcare, education, retail, and other less sexy sectors.”
Silchenko also noticed a “notorious gender disparity,” which was then confirmed by the statistic that “over 98 percent of venture capital goes to male-owned businesses.”
She explained that this is largely due to the fact that the majority of women “happen to be in the non-tech industries,” which are not as favorably viewed by venture capital investors, and started her route to finding a solution by simply Googling the term “crowdfunding.”
After educating herself on the topic of crowdfunding, Silchenko came “to realize that this is where the future” could lie – and “that future was bright.”
Silchenko then decided to develop a “top-class, top-level, highly dynamic event with a think-tank theme” that would help participants navigate their way around the available funding opportunities in the marketplace, particularly for start-ups, emerging companies, and creative projects.
At the same time, the event would gather “an eclectic mix of highly intelligent achievers and doers devoted to the creation of new businesses and challenging the status quo,” which would explain the great number of sponsors, speakers, and attendees that have been attracted to the annual forum the past couple of years.
“Our ‘pitch-free’ event has become very popular and attracted leading companies and organizations in the community,” Silchenko said. “In total we’ve had around 80 speakers and over 300 attendees. They are highly respectable investors, entrepreneurs, and C-level business executives within a broad range of industries and focus.”
The variety of sponsors and speakers encompass quite a wide range, including companies like Goldman Sachs, Rising Realty Partners, and the Blaine Group, as well as educational institutions like California Lutheran University. Speakers and attendees also come to Los Angeles from all over the world, from Argentina to Italy to China, to participate in the forum.
In regards to her criteria when it comes to choosing speakers, Silchenko also keeps ethics in mind.
“In addition to being a high achiever, being a good human is a must – no exceptions,” she said. “I do need to know that what I am doing is making a positive change in people’s lives.”
The event will cater not only to emerging businesses, but also foreign-start up capital, royalty financing, Bitcoin financing, and even movie, television, and digital media.
“Our sections are highly interactive and no self-promotional speeches are allowed,” Silchenko said. “The speaking motto is: ‘be clear, be quick, be gone.’”
At the end of the day, the main objective of the event seems to be simply encouraging positive change in the lives of these entrepreneurs, regardless of what kind of field of business they work in.
“The ultimate goal is in just one full day to present the attendees with outstanding networking opportunities while giving them invaluable knowledge and the most up-to-date information about a full range of funding opportunities,” Silchenko said.
The event will be held at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel at 2025 Avenue of the Stars in Century City.
Tickets are currently $395. To register or for more information, visit metropoleglobal.com.