VentureBeat partners with DEMO

I’m delighted to announce that VentureBeat has signed a strategic partnership agreement with DEMO, the leading conference for technology companies launching products.

Under the accord, I’ll be replacing Chris Shipley as executive producer of DEMO. Chris, who has been in the position for 13 years, will be stepping down following the DEMOfall event this September. During the transition, we will be co-producing the events together (i.e, both the DEMO coming up March 1-3 in Palm Springs, Calif., and the DEMOfall).

I’m deeply humbled to be stepping into Chris’ shoes. She’s long stood for credibility and integrity, doing an outstanding job vetting and selecting companies to present at each DEMO. I’ve admired the service she’s done to bring worthy startups much-needed recognition. The conference’s alumni companies include a long list of now respected, established players: Launching there were Salesforce.com, TiVO, VMWare, WebEx and Palm Pilot, among others. The conference was founded in 1991 by Stewart Alsop.

Chris is giving me the same advice that Alsop gave her: “Put your imprint on it.” That’s what I intend to do, with the help of VentureBeat, the site I founded a little more than two years ago. I’ve been lucky enough to attract an extremely talented group of writers. With our large readership, we’ll be able to engage in daily conversation that will extend DEMO from just a few days of the year, to an ongoing community debate all year round. We’ll be starting right away during the upcoming DEMO. We’ve created something called “DEMOBeat,” a session on March 3 where we’ll be discussing three of the most important trends in technology today: the latest social data sharing services; tomorrow’s tools for building a sustainable, energy-efficient economy; and innovations in Internet and social media for improved productivity. Our intent is to bring these trends to the attention of the decision-makers of the large Fortune 500 companies, investors, entrepreneurs and other interested professionals.

We were flattered when Chris and IDG (the company that owns the DEMO conference and brand), reached out to us last year to begin discussions. All of us were quickly on the same page. We agreed there is so much good about DEMO that we want to protect, but that VentureBeat could also bring some fresh eyes to the event, help evolve it to adjust to changing times, and experiment with formats to improve it where possible. IDG remains owner of the DEMO brand. The deal we struck makes VentureBeat a full partner in the venture.

After her transition, Chris will be focusing more time on building Guidewire, her analyst firm focused on early-stage and emerging companies.

[Almost forgot: We'll be continuing the tradition of fair, equal treatment to all media. In other words, just because VentureBeat is helping produce DEMO doesn't mean we'll be breaking stories about the company launches before everyone else. We'll live by the same rules everyone does.]

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