Business News

New Events Venture Group Launched

AI image of execs in a presentation.

Skift Take

A Shark Tank for the events industry has been unveiled to connect event entrepreneurs with investors. When a deal is struck, capital and mentorship will help their idea become a reality.

The Events Venture Group (EVG), a collaborative member community, has been created to connect event entrepreneurs and investors. Its goal is to help ignite the next generation of events.

“We want to be a seed and a spark in growing the industry,” says Board Member Monique Ruff-Bell who is chief program and strategy officer at TED. “I see this as an opportunity to help play a part in the industry’s evolution.”

EVG will help events industry-related ideas become reality by providing capital, mentorship, industry insights, and validation. 

“Our mission is to support the next generation of event entrepreneurs who redefine the event industry landscape,” says Greg Topalian, co-chair of EVG, chairman of Clarion Events North America and founder of On Deck Ventures. 

Advice, Connections, and Resources Offered

“We aim to fuel the success of early-stage event ventures across all event categories and types by providing unparalleled access to a network of seasoned event industry leaders who offer invaluable advice, connections, and resources,” says Marco Giberti, co-chair of EVG and founder and CEO of Vesuvio Ventures.

Giberti reached out to Topalian about the fact there is no venture arm for events. “There is a ton of private equity money in the space, they’re buying shows and companies, but if you want to launch, there is no venture capital, there is no angel investment group,” says Giberti who was one of the co-founders of Miami Angels, a Miami-based angel investor network. 

EVG plans to help the next generation of entrepreneurs looking to launch and grow events. “We will not only provide capital but experience, advice, and help as well,” says Giberti. “This is a nonprofit entity, which means it’s a give back to the industry.”

Events Venture Group Board of Directors

A board of directors with an extensive track record include: 

  • Monique Ruff-Bell, Chief Program & Strategy Officer, TED
  • Jonathan Weiner, Founder & Chairman and CEO of HLTH
  •  Marco Giberti, Founder and CEO of Vesuvio Ventures
  • Greg Topalian, Chairman of Clarion Events North America
  • Joe Popolo, Founder and CEO of Charles & Potomac Capital LLC
  • Jay Weintraub, CEO & Founder Connectiv Holdings

DAHLIA+Agency is the PR/marketing agency of record for the EVG.

“We’re committed to igniting innovation, propelling growth, and championing even greater success within the events industry ecosystem,” says Ruff-Bell who calls the group a much-needed events industry initiative. “The diverse expertise of the EVG board of directors and members of the group enables us to provide unparalleled insights, guidance, and support to event entrepreneurs helping them to navigate the industry landscape adeptly, overcoming common obstacles and accelerating their path to success.”

Ideas May Lead to Investment

Entrepreneurs will apply through the EVG website, supplying an investor deck. Members will discuss and analyze the deal. If viable, it will be presented to members on a Zoom call. If the group decides to invest, a single-purpose vehicle will be created for each EVG investment.

“And our money will go into that deal as a group. It’s not a venture fund, it’s not a for-profit entity. It’s a group of members that will analyze and invest on a deal-by-deal basis,” says Giberti.

For event entrepreneurs, EVG will help with financial capital, insights, and support.

EVG will help the industry evolve. “I envision founders creating shows and then selling them in three to five years to one of the big guys,” says Giberti. 

Investors will attend meetings, conduct due diligence, and support the entrepreneurs. In return, membership provides access to a network of sourced investment opportunities and like-minded investors.

For more information about possible funding of entrepreneurial ideas and membership, click here.