A University of Arizona alumnus turned an idea for a marketplace of college class notes into a multimillion-dollar business. Now he will headline next week’s IdeaFunding conference for local entrepreneurs.
Sean Conway, co-founder of Notehall Inc., has been confirmed as keynote speaker at IdeaFunding, set for next Thursday at the Tucson Marriott University Park, 880 E. Second St.
Notehall started at the UA in 2008 and by 2011, the service had spread to more than 225 campuses with more than half a million users. Conway made a successful investor pitch on the ABC-TV reality show “Shark Tank” in 2009. In 2011, Notehall was acquired by the digital textbook company Chegg Inc. for $9.5 million in cash and stock.
There’s still time to buy tickets to IdeaFunding, said Justin Williams, founder and chairman of Startup Tucson and an organizer of IdeaFunding.
The daylong event starts at 7:30 a.m. and includes workshops on starting and funding a business, followed by a luncheon keynote address by Conway.
During the afternoon, participants will pitch their ideas in the form of a three-minute “rocket pitch” or in a poster session (the deadline to apply to pitch an idea has passed), followed by a mixer.
Participants with the highest judges’ scores will receive cash prizes and the first place team will have the opportunity to pitch at an evening dinner with the Desert Angels, a local investor group.
Tickets cost $99 for general admission, $25 for students and $75 for the Desert Angels dinner.
On Saturday, Startup Tucson will host a “founders and funders” golf tournament, matching up entrepreneurs and investors at the Hilton Tucson El Conquistador Country Club.
IdeaFunding is hosted by presenting sponsor CyraCom LLC, a translation services company, with additional sponsorship from the Arizona Commerce Authority, Spectrum Printing and 24-7 Creative Solutions. Other event partners include the UA’s McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship and the Arizona Center for Innovation; the Arizona Small Business Development Centers; Strategy1 Services, Aztera and the Arizona Technology Council.
For more information or to register, go to ideafunding.org