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AutoVentures Conference, produced by DrivingSales and Fraser McCombs Capital, will connect entrepreneurs with investors, innovative retailers, and industry vendors to foster investment in, and adoption of, new technologies in the auto industry
Salt Lake City, UT – July 22, 2015 – DrivingSales and Fraser McCombs Capital today announced AutoVentures, the auto industry’s first conference to foster innovation and investment opportunities across the industry. Designed to bring value to entrepreneurs, leading industry vendors, professional investors and dealer executives alike, the conference will be held October 18, 2015 at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas.
AutoVentures offers three unique elements that move it beyond traditional investor conferences: 1) an exclusive focus on automotive, with guidance and expertise from industry leaders and successful entrepreneurs; 2) access to capital as well as influential early adopter customers, and 3) unique investment opportunities through a companion angel fund managed by crowd funder MicroVentures.
“There has never been a more lucrative time to be an automotive entrepreneur or investor, with 33 major transactions and $35 billion in equity changing hands over the past 18 months,*” said DrivingSales founder and CEO Jared Hamilton. “And yet, until now, there has been no program focused specifically on bringing investors, dealers and auto entrepreneurs together. We are proud to join forces with Fraser McCombs Capital and MicroVentures to create this unique program, dedicated to uncovering our industry’s highest-potential innovators -- and moving them forward for the benefit of all.”
“Historically, the automotive sector has both been under-funded and has lacked mentors for young companies,” said Chase Fraser, Managing Partner of the private equity firm Fraser McCombs Capital. “We think the AutoVentures program will do much to fill this mentorship and information gap in the auto industry.”
The AutoVentures conference’s entrepreneurial-focused agenda includes lessons learned by successful automotive entrepreneurs and 1:1 demos from 20 of the industry’s most exciting new start-ups. The centerpiece of the conference is a series of onstage pitches by 20 young companies in three categories: Early Stage [$0-0.5M], Mid-Stage [$0.5M-$2M] and Growth [$2M+] coached and screened by private equity firm Fraser McCombs. A panel of experienced automotive investors will question the companies in the two larger categories on-stage, with the best investment ideas voted on (via smartphone) by the conference audience.
As part of the AutoVentures program, MicroVentures, which has greatly shortened and streamlined the fund-raising process for entrepreneurs, will both administer an angel fund portfolio investors can participate in, as well as enable investors to build their own portfolio with investments in any of the companies participating in the program. Accredited individual investors will be able to acquire an equity stake in one or more of the young companies for a minimum investment of $25,000.
Charter sponsors participating in the program design and delivery include Autobytel and CDK Global. Program sponsors include Cars.com and Edmunds. Additional sponsors will be joining the program.
“A conference bringing entrepreneurs and investors together is much-needed and long overdue,” said Cliff Banks, Editor of the Banks Report “The opportunity to make money investing in disruptive automotive startup firms might be one of our country's best kept secrets.” Banks will lead a panel of industry experts at AutoVentures, focused on helping young companies navigate the automotive industry.
The AutoVentures conference will take place in conjunction with the 2015 DrivingSales Executive Summit on October 18th at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. For more information about participating as an investor, start-up or sponsor, go to autoventuresconference.com
DrivingSales is the industry’s leading resource for automotive dealership professionals to obtain actionable insight, education and connections to advance their careers and grow their businesses in a time of unprecedented market change. Founded by a third-generation car dealer in 2008, today DrivingSales is utilized by two thirds of franchised dealerships in North America as a resource to improve their business performance.
To learn more about the DrivingSales community, news, dealer education or performance analytics visit DrivingSales.com, DrivingSalesNews.com, DrivingSalesUniversity.com and DrivingSalesData.com
About Fraser McCombs Capital
Fraser McCombs Capital (FMC) is a leading, automotive focused venture capital firm. Founded in 2012, by an automotive entrepreneur and a longtime automotive investor, FMC has roots in the automotive sector going back decades across all three tiers of the industry. FMC was created to bring capital and mentorship to the underserved automotive startup marketplace, where traditional venture capital firms refused to participate.
FMC looks to invest in new technologies and business models within the automotive vertical. By leveraging their deep knowledge base, they are able to find connections between key players in the sector on behalf of their portfolio of companies. To learn more about Fraser McCombs Capital and their portfolio, please visit fmcap.com.
Founded in 2009, MicroVentures built a platform that gives both accredited and non-accredited investors access to invest in startups. Over $50 million has been raised on our platform to date.
MicroVentures is one of the financial industry's first organizations to merge crowdfunding with the venture capital industry. The San Francisco, CA and Austin, TX based firm provides an opportunity for angel investors to invest in startups alongside Venture Capitalists, often at the same terms. We conduct detailed due diligence on startups and if approved we help them raise capital from angel investors.
*The Banks Report
DrivingSales Media Relations:
Melanie Webber (melanie(at)mwebbcom(dot)com), mWEBB Communications, 424.603.4340
Crystal Hartwell (crystal(at)mwebbcom(dot)com), mWEBB Communications, 714.987.1016