PoliticalBank CEO Candidly Reflects on Collision Conference
Attendees of the Collision Conference, held in New Orleans in May, returned home feeling energized and inspired – and it’s easy to understand why. The conference is known for putting industry experts, investors, media, and startups together in one location and was dubbed “America’s fastest growing conference” by Forbes. PoliticalBank CEO Adam Berry was among those who left the Big Easy with not only a renewed energy but also with a stronger sense of purpose.
PoliticalBank qualified as an ALPHA startup with the opportunity to compete as one of 70 startups in Collision Conference’s PITCH, a competition where early stage startups compete for the chance to present on Center Stage. As a first time-attendee, this opportunity felt like THE opportunity for PoliticalBank, leading Berry to spend the majority of his time before the event preparing for his three minutes in the spotlight. Looking back, Berry says that PITCH “was such a small part of the entire three days.”
Berry says that events like Collision Conference are what you make of them. “Looking back, it’s clear the point of Collision was to bring everyone together in one place and allow the ecosystem to sort itself out. Other conferences we’ve attended, like Startup Grind, facilitate meetings in advance rather than leaving it completely up-to the participants,” he says. He adds that one of the lessons he learned was to spend more time reaching out to other attendees beforehand to set up networking opportunities regardless of the event itself.
But connections were still made. Upon returning to PoliticalBank’s headquarters in Indianapolis, Berry has been working nonstop following up with potential investors, potential acquirers, product partners, and people involved in the political industry. He says he was able to make meaningful connections with people who could potentially help PoliticalBank enter its next phase of growth – an opportunity the organization might not have received elsewhere.
And, an unexpected perk of this year’s conference? It’s location. While in New Orleans, Berry was able to leverage the conference’s geography to connect with a Florida-based investor whom he had been in contact with for six months. “While it wasn’t necessarily a direct output of the conference, leveraging the opportunities it offered – including geography – was huge. We are now working on building an exciting opportunity with this investor and being able to finally meet face-to-face was exactly what we needed to move forward,” he says.
Candidly, Berry shares that Collision Conference will be remembered as a turning point for PoliticalBank. “From a leadership perspective and a personal growth standpoint as a CEO, Collision Conference gave me an enormous amount of confidence. It gave me the confidence that we’re on the right track and helped me become a better leader for the company. I will now be able to take the feedback from industry leaders all over the world and position us for the next phase of growth – that is invaluable,” he says.