Jun 16, 2015 ยท 2 minutes

A lot of you know the story.

Two years ago, having just given birth to Evie I came to Nashville to speak at a conference a friend was organizing called "Southland." It was the first time I’d been to Nashville since I lived in Tennessee. I’d certainly changed a lot over that 15 years or so, and Nashville had too.

Standing back stage I had what I’ve called a “field of dreams” moment. Pando had already decided we were going to do a destination event, and we were trying decide where. I kept saying I knew it when I’d see it-- and, man, did I see it in Nashville. I knew if I could get hundreds of investors and entrepreneurs and developers and designers to come to Nashville, at a minimum they’d have an epic few days of amazing conversations, music and food. At a maximum, who knows? Maybe some deals would happen and companies would get formed. If would could inspire dozens of local entrepreneurs and facilitate life changing intros… even just that would be a great thing.

Like most things you do as a startup, it’s not been a straight or easy path between that moment and today-- when our second Nashville event and the first ever PANDOLAND makes its debut. Like most entrepreneurs, if you were to tell me then everything we’d have to go through as a consequence of that decision, I'm not sure I would have gone through with it. But, looking at the registration list for today's event, I'm so glad we stayed the course.

Nothing in the last two years could have prepared me for the event we’re kicking off today. For those arriving to town, you are going to look out into a conference crowd of way more women than men. That’s certainly a first for me-- in any city, any country or any event.

Two years ago I had goosebumps backstage. Last year I had butterflies. This year, I don’t totally know what to expect when I take those first steps onto the stage to welcome you all on behalf of the Pando team.

For any of you who can't make it here to Marathon in person or who missed out on a ticket, all is not lost! Pando members can watch the entire live stream of the event right here. If you're not a Pando member yet, you can sign up using that same link.

We start in a few minutes with Andy Sparks. Don't miss it!