As a person who works in D.C., I am no stranger to the idea of networking and how powerful of an asset it can be in a town like this. As a city built on connections and relationships, knowing the right person and getting that one introduction can literally mean the difference between business growth or stagnation. Having personally been to a slew of networking events since I’ve worked in the District, I can admit I’ve become somewhat jaded to the thought of attending them. Honestly, the idea of getting pitched at by service providers and pretending to be interested in what people do, all the while accumulating business cards in my pocket is not the most appealing use of my time. Actually, one of the few networking opportunities I do make a point of attending are Cadre events, which are nowhere close to being comprable to other meetups and shouldn’t even be compared to the usual networking fare of D.C. But again, no one really compares to Cadre.

In fact, there is only one D.C. networking event that has genuinely piqued my interest and I am incredibly excited to attend, and that is Lore System’s Big Idea CONNECTpreneur Summer Forum. This is probably one of the single greatest entrepreneur/VC-related events the region will ever see, and includes some of the biggest people in regional tech/startups that you can possibly hope to meet. Over 165 entrepreneurs, investors, and regional thought leaders will be in attendance along with over 40 angels and VC’s, including a plethora of CEOs and CXOs, making this probably one of most dense tech related gatherings the area has seen (second only to our infamously massive DC Tech Meetups).

The event is not only impressive in the number and caliber of it’s attendees, but also in the quality of panels and discussions that will be held during the course of the day. There will be a total of nine different companies and startups pitching their concepts to the attendees int eh room, as well as two fascinating panels including one on “Turbocharging Entrepreneurship in the D.C. Reigon” as well as a lesson on “The Art of the Pivot”. Beyond their stellar lineup of discussions and panels, another quality that makes this event so successful is that they severely limit service provider participation, which ensures the cadence and topic of conversation will remain tech-related and you won’t be getting pitched at by a variety of salesmen.

This forum consistently earns the moniker as the “best networking event in the region” from those who attend, and judging by the list of panels and companies who have already purchased tickets on their Eventbrite page, the event should be able to obtain that title again this year.

If you are at all involved in entrepreneurship, startups, or the tech community of the D.C. region, I would highly recommend you attend this forum because this will certainly be a once-in-a-lifetime networking opportunity you will not want to miss.

Registration is still open, and tickets are available here.