The potentially next big software conference is officially relocating to Raleigh.
The Business of Software (BoS) Conference is a multi-day, single-track event for founders, entrepreneurs and emerging professionals in software companies from around the world. Originally based in Boston—with pit stops on the West Coast—this conference will bring more of an intimate atmosphere where guests are encouraged to learn from and help one another through their challenges of running a business.
Unlike some software conferences, the focus of the topics and events will not be on in-the-weeds subjects like coding or finances, but rather on advice and conversations from industry leaders about everything from marketing and leadership to mental health, plus everything in between.
BoS will take place from Oct. 2-4 at the Martin Marietta Center in downtown Raleigh. Thanks to BoS’ partnership with the Triangle-based entrepreneurial support organization CED, GrepBeat readers can apply the CED partnership code ced2023 to get a $300 discount on tickets. Register for the event here.
BoS was originally set up by Neil Davidson, the Co-Founder of Redgate Software, a software solution provider based in Cambridge, England. Before the conceptualization of BoS, Davidson realized that most of the business and software conferences that already existed were primarily focused on either how to be a startup or how to fund or sell his own software company.
Collaborating with current BoS CEO Mark Littlewood, they both envisioned an event where founders and key employees can get together and be open about their questions and issues around starting a company. Littlewood said that they wanted to create an environment where people can learn how to grow and make a place of business thrive, as an entity that not only creates stable employment but is also a place in the community that people know and are proud of.
“We try to create a safe, honest, open space for entrepreneurs to come and spend time with other entrepreneurs and talk about the challenges they face across their businesses,” Littlewood said.
And now BoS is bringing that safe space to Raleigh, a city that Littlewood describes as having “all of the great ingredients for an entrepreneurial and tech ecosystem.”
Littlewood expressed his gratitude for Bill Spruill, the Co-Founder and former CEO of Raleigh-based Global Data Consortium, for being a big part of the decision to relocate BoS to North Carolina. Spruill has been a longtime advocate and attendee of BoS as he was building GDC up through its acquisition last year for $300M. Last year, Spruill paid for the trips of 10 Triangle-based startups to attend the 2022 BoS in Boston.
Littlewood said that Spruill has been working toward making a difference in the Triangle tech ecosystem and making it a great place for underrepresented groups of people to found and build businesses.
“The tech cluster in NC is established and on the rise,” Littlewood said in a post about BoS’ relocation. “We went to visit and were blown away by the friendliness of the people, the food, the culture. The willingness to make things happen.”
BoS is partnering with CED to bring together SaaS and software entrepreneurs from around the world. CED has also chosen 20 Triangle-based startups to receive scholarships for the conference. Spruill is currently CED’s Board Chair and donated $4M to CED last year, further strengthening the bonds between BoS, CED and the Triangle.
Over the course of the three days—with an additional informal pre-event on Sunday, Oct.1—attendees can expect speaker sessions (including one led by Spruill himself), breakout discussions, “pre-dinner drinks, nibbles and conversation” and more. Not only will there be ample time for Q&A after each session, the speakers will also be in and around the conference themselves, giving attendees the chance to have more casual conversations with them.
“Our aim is not to build the biggest conference in the world or the fastest-growing,” Littlewood said. “We want to run the best event for entrepreneurs to come to learn about how people are building great companies. And we want to give them the best advice, the best ideas and the best connections that will help them build long-term sustainable, profitable software companies.”