Austin, Texas – The National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors (NAW), the voice of the $8.2 trillion wholesale distribution industry that employs over 6 million U.S. workers, along with Applico, an advisor to billion-dollar distributors and manager of the wholesale distribution industry’s first dedicated venture capital fund, has announced the list of innovative tech startups presenters for the 2023 NAW Innovators Summit, powered by Applico. These cutting-edge companies are bridging the tech divide in B2B by solving core challenges for distribution and redefining industry benchmarks.

CEO speakers from the following tech innovator companies are joining as first-time presenters:

Due to popular demand, the following tech innovators are returning presenters from the previous year’s event:

  • BalanceBar Geron, Co-Founder & CEO
  • CurriMatthew Lafferty, Co-Founder & CEO
  • Nautical CommerceRyan Lee, Founder & CEO
  • ProkeepJack Carrere, Co-Founder & CEO
  • Proton.aiBenj Cohen, Founder & CEO
  • Zoro  | Sandy Mattinson, President

“We are thrilled to have such an accomplished group of innovative tech CEOs join us at this year’s NAW Innovators Summit. The personalized, private meetings between these cutting-edge companies and the top distribution executives in attendance will inspire new ways to advance business strategies. The returning tech presenters gave us so much amazing information last year that we cannot wait to see what’s in store in 2023,” said NAW President and CEO Eric Hoplin. 

“There’s a lot of talk about AI – each one of these companies is an AI company. They are applying AI in their respective fields of logistics, B2B payments and financing, sales automation, purchasing and product data,” said Applico CEO, Alex Moazed. “This lineup cuts through the noise of fluffy tech solutions and delivers a curated roster of CEOs from the industry’s most exciting tech innovators.

The event will take place Tuesday, November 14, 2023, from 3 p.m. CT – Thursday, November 16, 2023, at 1 p.m. Austin, Texas, at the Omni Austin Hotel Downtown. The NAW Innovators Summit powered by Applico, has been hailed as the industry’s top matchmaking event between distributors, leading B2B tech companies and investors.

The NAW Innovators Summit powered by Applico welcomes leading industry executives across North America to meet the founders of the most exciting B2B distribution-focused technology startups in closed-door presentations. Attendees get the ‘inside scoop’ – and if distributors like what they hear, they can book private, one-on-one time with founders to discuss opportunities in more detail.

The technology tracks will include marketplace technology, sales and operations technology, supply chain technology and “AI in action” – pragmatic examples of AI for wholesale distributors.

Applico is the trusted advisor to billion-dollar distributors on strategic partnerships with tech startups. Applico Capital is the wholesale distribution industry’s first dedicated venture capital firm. With backing from more than 5 billion-dollar distributors, Applico Capital’s B2B Distribution Fund I invests in technology that will help distributors modernize and digitize their core business.

The National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors (NAW) is one of America’s leading trade associations, representing the $8.2 trillion wholesale distribution industry. Founded in 1946, NAW comprises national, regional, and state employers of all sizes, industry trade associations, partners, and stakeholders spanning all distribution sectors. Our industry employs more than six million workers throughout the United States, accounting for one-third of the U.S. GDP. 35,000 wholesale distribution companies operate nearly 150,000 places of business across North America, including all 50 states.