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, announced today that Drew Oetting, Founding Partner at 8VC will be the Investor Keynote for the 2023 NAW Innovators Summitpowered by Applico; and Daniel Jaffe, Partner at 9Yards, will be the spotlight investor speaker at #IS2023.

Taking 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. 

“We are thrilled to welcome Drew and Daniel to the Innovators Summit stage,” said NAW CEO Eric Hoplin. “In 2023, the Innovators Summit seeks to showcase everything unique about the inaugural technology conference from 2022 while also expanding the types of technology companies present and inviting the investor community to further participate and share their unique perspective and insights. We look forward to hearing from these two highly respected leaders from the investor community and curating an incredible program for attendees,” Hoplin concluded.

“This event is truly a one-of-a-kind experience to hear the real story behind innovation in B2B,” said Applico Founder and CEO Alex Moazed, “Having two investor leaders like Drew and Daniel will provide Innovators Summit attendees inside knowledge on what VCs look for in technology companies, how they underwrite the risk and where they see valuations and the market headed.” Moazed concluded. 

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.

Drew Oetting is the Founding Partner at 8VC, a leading supply chain and B2B technology venture capital investor with more than $7 billion in assets under management. With investments into logistics tech like Project 44, Deliverr, and Flexport, B2B SaaS in the hands of construction contractors like Kojo, AI companies like Palantir and B2B marketplaces like Knowde, Drew and the 8VC team have a unique vantage point to see what’s on the horizon for innovation in the supply chain and wholesale distribution. 

Daniel Jaffe is Partner at 9Yards Capitala growth stage technology investment firm focused on foundational industries, starting with fintech and logistics tech. Daniel covers all things supply chain, logistics, and the real economy. Some noteworthy investments include logistics-tech companies such as Emerge, Deliverr, and Mudflap; B2B fintech firms such as Built and Remote; and distributor tech companies such as Kojo and Pepper.

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 6 million workers throughout the United States, accounting for 1/3 of the U.S. GDP. 35,000 wholesale distribution companies operate nearly 150,000 places of business across North America, including all 50 states.