Recession-proof your business with 60+ speakers at online-savvy conference

Online-First co-founder Moby Hayat. Courtesy photo

When project manager Moby Hayat was laid off this past March, he looked around and saw fellow entrepreneur friends losing revenue, having their product or service become obsolete overnight, and frantically hustling to survive.

"The world was quickly changing," he says. "Massive layoffs, extreme budget cuts, and grim stories of loss. But as in every recession, there are businesses which find a way to adapt and grow. In 2020, those businesses will be the ones that are entrenched in online customer acquisition, selling their products and services in the virtual world, and see this as an opportunity to grow."

So Hayat and his business partner Austin Larson, the CMO of an Inc. 500 company, decided to put their skills and knowledge to use.

They, along with entrepreneur CJ Finley, are hosting Online-First Summit 2020 from May 11-14. It's sponsored by Tixpire, ThriveOn, podcast The Fireshow, and InnovationMap.

The four-day virtual conference is geared toward those who have lost business due to the current economic crisis, been negatively impacted by social distancing, are looking to shift to online sales, and who want to expand or build new digital revenue streams.

More than 60 speakers will be talking live and in recorded sessions about best practices for e-commerce, how to organically build a following, the state of the job market, how to avoid layoffs, ways to deeply connect with your customers in an online-only world, and how to make money online as a creator "without selling your soul," among other topics.

Not only will adapting to the post-COVID business world be discussed, but also how companies can learn from this time and apply lessons to the unknown future.

Hayat and the team's previous work has featured Mayor Adler, SXSW director Hugh Forrest, the designer of Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, the Texas Woman Entrepreneur of the Year, and included collaborations with Funded House, Entrepreneur Media, and MediaTech Ventures.

Head here to see the full four-day lineup, browse the list of speakers, and book your space.

General admission tickets are $35 and include access to live broadcasts and replays until July 31, 2020. VIP tickets come with an execution planner, custom swag pack, content marketing course, one-hour consultation, and access to live broadcasts and replays until December 31, 2020.

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Building Houston

 
 

You can now hop online and invest in this promising cell therapy startup. Photo via Getty Images

A clinical-stage company headquartered in Houston has opened an online funding campaign.

FibroBiologics, which is developing fibroblast cell-based therapeutics for chronic diseases, launched a campaign with equity crowdfunding platform StartEngine. The platform lets anyone — regardless of their net worth or income level — to invest in securities issued by startups.

The funding, according to a press release, will be used to support ongoing operations of Fibrobiologics and advance its clinical programs in multiple sclerosis, degenerative disc disease, wound care, extension of life, and cancer.

"We're excited to partner with StartEngine on this campaign. StartEngine has over 600,000 investors as part of their community and has raised over half a billion dollars for its clients," says FibroBiologics' Founder and CEO Pete O'Heeron, in the release.

"This is an exciting time at FibroBiologics as we continue progressing our clinical pipeline and developing innovative therapies to treat chronic diseases," he continues. "This new funding will fuel our growth in the lab and bring us one step closer to commercialization."

The campaign, launched this week, already has over 100 investors, at the time of publication, and has raised nearly $2 million, according to the page. The minimum investment is set at around $500, and the company's indicated valuation is $252.57 million.

In 2021, FibroBiologics announced its intention of going public. Last year, O'Heeron told InnovationMap on the Houston Innovators Podcast of the company's growth plans as well as the specifics of the technology.

Only two types of cells — stem cells and fibroblasts — can be used in cell therapy for a regenerative treatment, which is when specialists take healthy cells from a patient and inject them into a part of the body that needs it the most. As O'Heeron explains in the podcast, fibroblasts can do it more effectively and cheaper than stem cells.

"(Fibroblasts) can essentially do everything a stem cell can do, only they can do it better," says O'Heeron. "We've done tests in the lab and we've seen them outperform stem cells by a low of 50 percent to a high of about 220 percent on different disease paths."


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