The Traction Tech Council—A New Way To Discover Innovation For The Enterprise

Erick Schonfeld

Whether it’s AI, blockchain, or big data and analytics, new technologies are hitting every industry at an accelerating pace. It’s hard to keep up with all the changes, startups, and potential new competitors. But those who understand the changes afoot, will be best positioned to take advantage of them.That is why at Traction Technology Partners we are launching the Traction Tech Council — a new way to discover innovation for the enterprise. (Read more about the launch on TechCrunch). The Council is designed for enterprise executives—CEOs, CIOs, CTOs, chief innovation officers, chief digital officers, IT managers and their teams—looking for an edge in understanding emerging technologies.Members are able to connect with their peers and enterprise-ready startups through a unique blend of live virtual events, peer networking, Council field trips, and a powerful software platform.

The Council will always focus on the areas of emerging technology with the greatest potential to alter the competitive landscape or create new industries. For 2018, that focus will be squarely on AI, blockchain, and data. We believe these are the three broad areas that will impact enterprises the most over the next few years.It is better to understand significant new technologies early on than to be caught off-guard. Both AI and blockchain (while still early) feed into the larger data strategies already well under way at most enterprises. Data technologies are more mature, but still evolving rapidly. And they are central to every enterprise today. If you are not a data-driven company, you are toast.The great news is we are not starting from scratch. In fact, we already have nearly 150 members from major corporations like Lockheed, Shell, GE, Honeywell, Lenovo, PwC, Turner Broadcasting, and Novo Nordisk. If you are an enterprise executive who would like to join the Council, you can schedule a demo to learn more or apply for membership.(The Council is a vendor-free zone. Members must be qualified enterprise executives and their teams. However, startup founders and technology vendors who would like to present to the Council, can apply to present).Executive leadership councils have been around for a long time. Unlike other leadership councils that can cost tens of thousands of dollars per year for a few dinners and a printed membership directory, we are aiming to transform — and scale — the council business itself by delivering more value at a fraction of the cost. We do this by using and developing new technologies ourselves wherever we can to deliver our services so members can experience them first-hand, and harness data to give them better insights over time.My partner Neal Silverman and I are drawing on our decades of experience running and leading technology conferences (DEMO and Disrupt), traditional councils, and media companies (TechCrunch, IDG, Fast Company, Business 2.0, Fortune, Wall Street Journal) to create a unique experience for our members. Over the past two years, since we started Traction Technology Partners, we’ve been refining the model and building a private, online member platform to tie all of our services together.

The Traction Tech Council combines access to the world’s leading enterprise startups with a community of like-minded peers from other large corporations. We program world-class content delivered on a monthly basis in the form of live video presentations and bi-annual Council Field Trips to startup offices in New York City and Silicon Valley. In between scheduled events, members can go on the data platform 24/7 to discover vetted enterprise startups, watch session videos, and connect with other members to share knowledge.

On the platform, Council members can Ask the Network questions about emerging technologies (either publicly or anonymously). They can also message each other directly, or engage in smaller group discussions. Of course, members can see the calendar of upcoming sessions, watch sessions and go through presentation decks from our speakers.But the real power of the platform (which was designed and built by our CTO and Head of Product, Sean Walter), is its growing database of enterprise startups. It is a clean, well-lit place to discover startups that are gaining ground in the marketplace. Members can sort startups by technology or industry, share profile pages with private links, add notes, and create their own lists.What we’ve found from talking to our own enterprise customers (TTP also operates custom Innovation Discovery Programs for large corporations) is that when it comes to emerging technologies, everyone wants a way to separate the signal from all the noise out there. All the companies in our database have one thing in common: they are showing signs of traction. Whether its showing progress with customers, investors, or technology, traction is our filter. We are not paid by the startups or vendors to showcase their technologies. We pick the best companies in the world and present them to members. It’s as simple as that.

And that is just the start. As we grow, we will be collecting even more high-quality data on behalf of our members to help them evaluate and engage with the best emerging technology companies in the world.We are convinced there is a substantial community of forward-thinking executives in large companies across the world who want to learn how to leverage new technologies and connect with their peers across industries while doing so. If that sounds like you, apply now to join the Traction Tech Council.

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