Exclusive: Entrepreneurs vow to create 1,000 jobs in two days
Bliss is the founder of the Perfect Business Summit, a two-day event held in Las Vegas October 7-8, that brings together top CEOs, entrepreneurs and investors with more than $10 billion in capital. For the second anniversary of the conference Bliss got the participants to commit to creating 1,000 new jobs by spring 2011.
“This is like a two-day economic stimulus,” said Bliss, now 40, who made his fortune running restaurants and concert venues in his native Cleveland, before relocating to Los Angeles nearly a decade ago. “Our event isn’t one of those rah-rah conferences where it’s just a bunch of motivational speakers. We bring real CEOs, real business founders to these events that have done it.”
Virgin Inc. founder Sir Richard Branson was the keynote speaker at last year’s inaugural event and this year Bliss has raised the bar, doubling the number of speakers to 75. That group includes a who’s who of entrepreneurs such as Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh, Palms Casino founder Gavin Maloof, UStream.TV founder Brad Hunstable, Hard Rock Cafe and House of Blues founder Isaac Tigrett, Aaron Patzer, founder of Web-based money manager Mint.com, Gina Bianchini, co-founder of social networking site Ning and John Paul DeJoria, founder of Paul Mitchell salons.
Josh Stein, managing director at prominent venture capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson, will also be among the speakers.
Bliss said the idea is to tap the business acumen and capital of these entrepreneurs to help the startups attending the summit expand and hire to meet the collective pledge of creating 1,000 jobs by next April. These startups will include the winners of the business pitch competition run by Perfect Business, the Los Angeles-based startup consultancy firm Bliss co-founded with partner Mark Verge.
“It’s a realistic figure,” Bliss said of the 1,000 jobs, adding that come the spring they would be reaching out to students graduating from business schools in Nevada, Arizona and Southern California to try to fill some of the jobs at these startups. “We’re internally setting goals even higher than that.”