By Liz Segrist
Published May 10, 2012
InnoVenture LLC Founder and CEO John Warner hopes to turn the two-day InnoVenture conference in Greenville into a global, year-long endeavor to connect entrepreneurs to capital.
The InnoVenture website could be the vehicle to make it happen.
Warner recently launched InnoVenture 2012 Investors LP and is soliciting $5 million to grow the business, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
“We are in process of building a significant company here in Greenville over the next two years, that’s what the offering is for,” Warner said. “We believe that innoventure.com can be global in scope, so we can take what we’ve been doing for nine years in live form of a conference and make it bigger, substantially bigger.”
The ninth annual InnoVenture Conference was held in Greenville Tuesday and Wednesday. The event’s accompanying website, innoventure.com, allows entrepreneurs to put a presentation online and reach out to a small group of people, enabling them to follow and share the presentation.
This grows a social business community online and expands the possibility of connecting entrepreneurs with capital, resources, opportunities and connections that they might not otherwise discover.
Warner compares the company idea and website to LinkedIn, a professional online network with 150 million members that reported $167.7 million in revenue for the fourth quarter of 2011, an increase of 105% compared to the same period in 2010.
Corporations seek talent and recruit future employees via LinkedIn. Large companies could seek entrepreneurs via InnoVenture. It would provide a platform where entrepreneurs can present new business opportunities and attract resources through the social business process.
“We think it can be as significant as LinkedIn ultimately,” Warner said.
Innoventure.com would be mainly funded by the large companies seeking opportunities.
Warner has 30 years of experience in leadership positions as senior manager of KPMG, a global professional services firm; president and co-founder of Capital Insights, an S.C. venture capital firm; chairman of Earth Fare; vice president of Kemet and co-founder of Hoowaki, a technology startup.