Editor’s notebook: Conference season picks up

As I look back on the calendar, as we’ve passed more than halfway through the year, I see it’s been a busy conference season so far in 2014.

But it’s all just a warmup to what’s to come. Not only is Thomson Reuters and VCJ hosting two conferences this fall, but I’ll also be busy participating in other conferences, as well.

It begins in late August when I head up to the North Bay to take part in the 4th Annual App Retreat at Cavallo Point.

I go every year to the App Retreat. Not only is it an engaging and intimate group, limited to 50 people this year, but it’s a great event for talking about the app economy and to meet leaders and innovators, discussing what lays ahead for apps and will stand out as the dominant players.

A sampling from this year’s attendance and participants includes people from Samsung, Verizon, Helpshift, Telefonica, GameSalad, as well as Illuminate Ventures, Sigma West, Next World Capital and BlueRun Ventures.

I’m sorry for not being able to invite you all to come, but feel free to follow our tweets with the hashtag #appretreat.

Hardware and Internet of Things

Next up, Thomson Reuters is hosting two conferences, one on each coast, related to hardware, including 3D printing, wearables, drones the connected home and more.

In New York, our conference will take place Sept. 18-19 at the Waldorf Astoria.

On the West Coast, the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Half Moon Bay will host our 4th annual West Coast venture conference from Oct. 6-8. This year, we’re partnering with Global Corporate Venturing, which will host day 2 in Half Moon Bay.

… and more to come

I’m also in discussions with a seed-stage investor and others from Silicon Valley to help moderate a discussion on seed investing in San Francisco in November. More details to come later.

Millennials and hardware

Speaking of hardware innovation, I recently heard from Boris Wertz, founder of Vancouver-based Version One Ventures, an early-stage investor that has backed some three dozen deals in consumer Internet, SaaS and mobile companies.

Wertz, who also serves as a board partner for Andreessen Horowitz, says that in regards to Millennial entrepreneurs, those born roughly from the 1980s through to early 2000s, that not only did they grow up with the Internet, but that a lot of innovation for Millennials is happening in areas like hardware, 3D-printing, drones, artificial intelligence, machine learning and all things mobile.

His advice for Millennial entrepreneurs, which he emailed to me, and I condensed:

  • A key, basic rule of entrepreneurship is that you will be most successful if you work on a problem that you are really passionate about and interested in solving.
  • It doesn’t hurt to learn some coding basics.
  • Start Small.
  • Work for another startup.
  • Don’t be afraid to just dive in

That sounds like great advice for any generation.