George Foreman Jr.’s IYC Capital has signed a three-year agreement with the Sacramento Business Journal to present the annual TechEdge Conference.
The Business Journal will put on the technology-oriented event in Sacramento next spring, and Foreman will flex his Rolodex to bring in sponsors and speakers.
“We want to make this the Super Bowl, the ‘it’ technology conference in Northern California at this time of year,” said Foreman in an interview.
Foreman said he’ll announce TechEdge’s keynote speaker early next year. The event will also feature a series of panel discussions and exhibitors from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on April 24 at the Sheraton Grand Sacramento Hotel.
The technology community in Sacramento is coming together and growing, Foreman said, but he wants to bring companies and sponsors from outside the area here.
“We want companies that have never been to Sacramento but that have been curious,” he said. “It has been a good event, but we want to refresh the whole event.”
Foreman is co-founder of IYC Capital, a Sacramento investment company. He lives in the Houston area, but he was raised in Sacramento’s Valley Hi neighborhood, attending Prairie Elementary School and John F. Kennedy High School.
“I’m very excited to see TechEdge taken up a notch,” said Dave Sanders, managing partner of executive search firm Worldbridge Partners and event chairman of TechEdge.
Foreman Jr. is the eldest son of two-time world champion boxer George Foreman. The younger Foreman is also lending his connections, support and fame to the Capital Region AR VR Accelerator, a Sacramento-based program for augmented and virtual reality companies.
Foreman said that since the launch of the Capital Region AR VR Accelerator in August, he has also become a venture partner in the accelerator. It will put a dozen companies through an 11-week program to help them gain traction. It’s not for idea-stage companies, but for companies with revenue and customers.
Foreman said he’s interested in his hometown’s development because Sacramento is a place where he feels comfortable, still has a lot of friends and uses any excuse to come and visit.
“I believe that you should come back and give back,” he said.
In addition to tech entrepreneurs, he said executives should bring their college-age children to events like TechEdge.
“What an amazing place to meet top-level executives, pass out cards and make connections,” he said. “I wish something like this would have existed when I was coming up.”
Earlier this year, Foreman was in early talks with the city and with the Sacramento Kings to bring prime-time, televised professional boxing to Golden 1 Center, but he said he’s been focused on vetting technology companies in recent months, and hasn’t pursued the boxing venture.
David Lichtman, publisher of the Business Journal, said TechEdge will be advanced to a “new level” with Foreman’s, IYC Capital’s and Sanders’ involvement.
“With both George’s and Dave’s extensive knowledge nationally and locally in the technology world, and the opportunity for exponential tech company growth in the future in Sacramento, we are poised to bring a world-class program to the region,” Lichtman said.